Thursday, April 2, 2015

Jesus a Great High Priest

4.2.2015 Maundy Thursday                          Hebrews 5:1-14 Jesus a Great High Priest

The Last Supper

Hebrews claims that Christ is superior to the Jewish high priest. He is superior because of His origin (v.5) and His destiny as the heavenly priest in the heavenly sanctuary (v.6) Moreover, Christ was appointed high priest by God. He can act in behalf of sinners because he, too, was human (Vv. 2,3) Yet this high priest was vulnerable because He was human (Vv.7-10) Some scholars consider verse 7 to be Hebrews’ account of Gethsemane. He learned obedience through His suffering. As a result God appointed Him high priest of the order of Melchizedek. It is important to note that Christ’s work as high priest begins in heaven.  His suffering and death were preparatory for it.[2]

God appointed Jesus as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Even though Jesus was God’s Son He learned to be obedient from the things He suffered. When He became the perfect Son He became the creator of eternal salvation for all those who obey Him. Today the focus of Holy Week becomes heightened with the remembrance of Christ’s institution of His Supper, the events surrounding Good Friday, followed by Jesus rest in the tomb and His glorious resurrection. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus our Great High Priest suffered for your sins, and the sins of the entire world. He learned obedience through suffering. It is His suffering and death that not only brings you close to God. It is the  proper payment, the sacrifice for your sin.

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen[3]

[1] Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff pg. 291, © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

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