What limitations are confronting you? Do they impede your ability to flourish or deter you from your calling? Who said that you shouldn’t pursue your God-given dreams? If God placed a righteous passion in your heart, will He not fulfill His purposes in and through you? Today, let’s delve into Hebrews 5 to gain more insight and expand our roots in the knowledge of God’s immutability. His immutability should give us a sense of great comfort because it means the LORD can not lie! God does exactly what He says He’ll do!
Have you considered that both Jesus’ nay-sayers and His supporters were necessary for God’s redemptive plan? His plan was simple for Him; yet too complex for the opposition to comprehend while it was unfolding. We will examine this point as we analyze the sacred Scripture contained within Hebrews chapter 5.
There are 4 principles I will use to outline this message:
- first, Jesus had to be like us;
- second, Jesus had to have an extraordinary calling that matched a specific “type”;
- third, Jesus had to learn obedience to be a perfect sacrifice and high priest;
- and fourth, Jesus had to fulfill the redemptive names of Jehovah, the LORD.
From these points, the Scriptures provided will demonstrate that when God gives you a dream, He’ll bring it to pass despite any obstacles, nay-sayers, and doubts because He has already arranged it. Please read Hebrews 5 verses 1 to 10 in conjunction with this outline and get prepared to be in awe of our everlasting, immutable Father!
First, Jesus Had to Be Like Us: Verses 1 to 4
Under the Mosaic Covenant, the role of the high priest was to offer gifts and sacrifices to God on behalf of the people they represented. This Aaronic mediator role was implemented after the LORD had delivered the descendants of Jacob or Israel from slavery in Egypt. The LORD gave them the law so that they would understand when they were transgressing against Him; and, He instituted the Levitical priesthood so that people had a way to repent and worship Him.
The LORD was very specific about the lineage of the priesthood and their roles so He separated the descendants of Levi to be priests. While the LORD called the descendants of Levi to be priests, He appointed a distinction within the tribe: only the descendants from Aaron (who was the grandson of Kohath) could be high priests (Refer to Numbers 18:7). Moses who was Aaron’s brother was not called to be a priest either.
- But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience concerned only with … fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:7 to 10).
The Aaronic priesthood was an honourable appointment by God’s sovereign election which held the responsibility of executing the LORD’s precepts with exceptional care. God was very specific about the Aaronic Priesthood because:
- the high priest’s accountability to intercede to God for their kinsfolks’ transgressions would require integrity to ensure the succession through one person’s family line over 14 hundred years. It also took devotion to “the cause” since the incumbent risked his life in performing the role. Holy God could not condone evil but He desired to forgive. (Matthew 9:13);
- the high priest was to bless the LORD by appeasing His wrath through making atonement in the Holy of Holies in the manner Jehovah had prescribed through animal sacrifice. The LORD said, “And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet aroma to the LORD. … ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’ (Leviticus 17:6 and 11);
- and most importantly, the role of the high priest represented a prophetic “type” that Jesus Christ fulfilled. Jesus was to be the Suffering Servant appointed by God to make atonement by offering Himself to God as the final sin offering for His kind, mankind. … He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:24 to 25).
The very first animal that was sacrificed because of man’s sin occurred when God prepared animal skins to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. It was in the garden of Eden that the LORD had made the declaration that a human would trample the enemy. Whatever God declares, He fulfills it!
In Genesis 3:15 we read how God had promised to crush evil’s head through the Seed of the Woman. In the Septuagint (which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures), the word for “seed” is “spérma” which from Strong’s G4690 means the semen virile or life-giving power. This prophetic declaration includes insight into Christ’s birth since the female body is incapable of producing virile semen necessary to produce life.
From the very beginning, God had declared part of His redemption plan by asserting victory over the enemy through the supernatural birth of a Child that would be born of a woman. Our Redeemer would have to be from “our kind”, and He had to be born of God to be perfect. To fulfill His Word, the Son of God became a human being conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20 and Luke 1:34 to 35). At the appointed time this God-Man became our Great High Priest to fulfill God’s oath declared over the enemy who tempted humanity to sin.
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s promise of the Messiah was being disclosed through types and shadows of future events. Hebrews 5 establishes how Christ’s atonement of our sin ended the need for an earthly mediator between God and us. (Hebrews 7:27; 1st Timothy 2:5 to 6).
Jesus had to be a perfect human if He was going to become the final spotless sacrifice, but why did He have to suffer so very horribly during the sacrifice? The sacrificial lambs were not tortured to death; it was quick. The prophecy about the Suffering Servant of God who would lay His life down is in Isaiah 53.
The fulfillment of this Messianic prophecy required incredible resolve and restraint from our LORD:
- He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7).
- And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:62 to 64).
In the Matthew 26 account where the high priest was interrogating Jesus, it was necessary for the high priest to hand Jesus over and request His execution to fulfill prophecy. When considering this, please consider the very nay-says who were the LORD’s willing antagonists were acting in the type of role Jesus would fulfill at the right hand of God. Although they were mistaken, the high priests were representing their people with great passion.
How many times do you think we misunderstand God’s timing or even purpose for a thing?
In the typology, a high priest could intercede for his relatives because he identified with them; they were all Jacob’s descendants and people who wanted to be part of Israel’s family. The high priest was familiar with their culture, trials, and temptations. As a human being, Jesus could understand the boundaries of our human existence and He identified with us. As the God-Man, Christ was fully aware of the full extent of every evil imagination and deed. Our LORD fulfilled the prophecies concerning physical, emotional and spiritual suffering which started with the abandonment of His friends up to His death on the cross.
- For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18);
- For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God IN HIM. (2nd Corinthians 5:21).
Praise the LORD! In Christ, we are the righteousness of God because the full wrath of our sin was poured out on Christ. Now when we come to the throne of Grace, God sees us in Christ and sees that we are justified through faith in Christ!
As the Son of God, He loved His Father and ‘bride-to-be’ so much that He was entirely devoted to “the cause” although He knew what was ahead.
- Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” … Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:38 to 39, and 42).
As God-Man, for Jesus to intercede as High Priest, He needed to truly understand how frightened, weak, and emotionally distraught we could become when struggling with our mind, will, emotions and body. He had to experience all types of pain and still trust God so that He would remain perfect and be able to relate to us. Because He can empathize, He can be merciful and deal gently with us in our imperfection.
- Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8).
Second, Jesus Had an Extraordinary Calling that Matched a Specific “Type”; Verses 5 to 6
Contained in these next two verses is a peek into the eternality of our immutable God who keeps His Word! Hebrews 5:5 and 6 quote these two Old Testament verses which span thousands of years between God’s declaration and fulfillment.
David wrote this Psalm over 1000 years before Christ
“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. (Psalm 2:7).
Melchizedek was a priest over 2100 years before Christ
The LORD has sworn And will not relent, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4).
Eternal God established the exception or another “type” or “foreshadow” when He originated the Abrahamic covenant that later birthed the Mosaic covenant with the Aaronic priesthood. Isn’t this getting exciting? Let’s turn to Genesis 14 where we’ll read about this.
God called Abram out of the land of Ur with the promise of blessing him. He wanted Abram to be separate from his former life. At age 75, Abram left for Canaan with Sarai, his wife; Lot, his brother’s son; and people they acquired (Genesis 12:5). Strife broke out between Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen so they agreed to separate peacefully with Lot having the first choice over territory.
Political conflict between kings in the area broke out and Lot was taken captive during the fighting. When Abram learned of this, he took his men and rescued Lot. The King of Sodom and the King of Salem heard about how Abram had victory in overcoming Lot’s captors so they went out to engage Abram in conversation.
- Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. (Genesis 14:18 to 20).
Please notice that there was a priest of God Most High before Aaron. This is over 400 years before the Mosaic Covenant. Since Abram, who was the Levitical patriarch, identified Melchizedek as a priest there could be no dispute from the Levitical priesthood about the possibility of a high priest that was not come from Aaron. The Lord had already predestined that the Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah.
The Holy Spirit inspired David of the tribe of Judah to pen Messianic Psalm 2 and Psalm 110. In Luke 3, the genealogy of Christ is documented down to David on Mary’s side and in Mathew 1, the genealogy of Christ’s step-father down to Abraham through David. By arranging for Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the most legalistic doubter could not dispute Jesus was from the tribe of Judah.
Hebrews points out that there were no parents inscribed among the Scriptural genealogies for Melchizedek. As such, there was no record-keeping to account for Melchizedek‘s lifespan. I suggest this passage indicates that there was no descendant of Melchizedek to take his position so his standing remains. In other words, his position was not handed off to a successor after a specific age as in the Aaronic Priesthood. Without his role being replaced and by not being a part of the Aaronic priesthood we see a “type” or a “foreshadow” of Christ. (Refer to Hebrews 7:1 to 3, and 11).
Jesus did not meet the criteria of Aaronic Priesthood and He did not meet the expectations of the majority of the Jews. He had an extraordinary calling by God’s design and He met God’s criteria. And every detail and fact that appeared to be a contradiction was designed to perfectly fit the entirety of Old Testament prophesies. Did God design some “contradictions” in your life? He certainly has in mine!
From the previous Psalms, we see Christ had the honour of being High Priest unto God. Jesus did not take it upon Himself to be our High Priest; He looked to God to restore His former glory. Although He was predestined to be exalted, He did not proudly nor arrogantly force Himself into the role. Neither did our LORD remove the earthly high priest from his position. Near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He warned His disciples that His death was approaching by praying out loud saying:
- … “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, … “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:1, and 5).
Everyone one of us has moments of insecurity and doubt. This is where the assurance of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth will guide you, assure you, and tell you what the LORD has to say about you and your future. Why not meditate on John 16:13. Trust Him.
Whatever Godly calling the LORD has purposed in your life, when we yield to His Word over our lives, He will bring it to fruition! Jesus was obedient and trusting and God and the Holy Spirit ensured Jesus’ triumph over the grave.
- Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, …made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant… And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of … death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (Philippians 2:5 to 10).
Just before we head to the third part of today’s outline, let’s just consider the roles of the Old Testament that God ordained because there’s beauty in it. There were:
- Priests; and,
Prophets spoke to the people for God. Priests spoke to God for the people by making intercession and sacrifices. Kings were to be subject to God and were to represent God’s justice, righteousness and compassion in their territories.
There were instances when a person was anointed with a dual role. For example: David was a king and a prophet; Ezekiel was ordained as a priest but called to be a prophet; and, Melchizedek was a king and a priest. There were only three documented mentions a person being both a king and priest in the Bible. They are:
- Jesus Christ; and,
- the glorified follower of Jesus Christ (the church).
Wow! Jesus was the first fruits from the dead so that He could have many brethren (Romans 8:29) . How exciting is this? It is written:
- you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1st Peter 2: 9);
We’ve looked at the extraordinary calling Jesus fulfilled, but there this last nugget that guarantees His supremacy as our Great High Priest. Not only is Jesus the Great High Priest, and soon coming King; He is the only One who fulfills all three roles ordered by God in direct ministry to Him.
Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of His appointed calling was and is in stages; why would ours be any different?
Consider Christ’s ministry:
- a Prophet declaring what God says (Mark 6:4; Luke 24:19; John 6:14; John 8:28);
- a Priest making intercession to God from humanity (Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 6:20); and
- the King of Kings! (Revelation 19:16).
Third, Jesus Had to Learn Obedience to Be a Perfect Sacrifice and High Priest; Verses 7 to 9
Generally, I work through goals and problems with great tenacity because I have this belief that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). That said, there seems to be a point at which my cup is full. Other times, I have felt drained as though I had emptied everything I had to offer, but the demand for more is still there.
Have you ever been there? Jesus, the very God-Man, has been there.
- Jesus and His disciples… came to a place which was named Gethsemane; … and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:32 to 36).
He was then arrested, tried, and then brutalized. As He hung on the cross, witnesses heard Jesus’ agony:
- …About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).
- And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23:46).
The Bible doesn’t tell us the scope of Christ’s thoughts while He was suffering. What we know is that God purposely allowed Jesus to suffer so that He would:
- experience the pain of enduring suffering; and,
- overcome the battle that rages in our souls between trust and fear.
When we doubt God, we do not trust Him. This means there is either unbelief or fear. If we are afraid of trusting God, is it because we do not believe He will act in our best interest? Or, is it because we are afraid that we will have to surrender something?
Hebrews 5:8 and 9 teach us that Jesus overcame through obedience to the Father. This type of resolve came from His reverence for His Father and trust in God’s character. How can this type of faith develop? The more our relationship develops with God, the more we trust Him. As we read His Word, we learn more about His Character which is revealed through the events of our lives. In those moments where it is difficult, we must resolve to put our trust in Him. TRUST IS A DECISION THAT RESULTS IN ACTION.
Our LORD had to learn to submit through suffering and it was this obedience that perfected Him. By loving God above everything it was possible for Jesus to put His trust in the Father; He overcame fear.
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1st John 4:18).
When Jesus said these last word, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit”, He demonstrated trust, reverence and love. Jesus was sinless and demonstrated perfect trust; He was the perfect Lamb of God.
He trusted God with resurrection from the dead. He also was perfected as the Great High Priest because He can comfort us having experienced the full extent of suffering.
Fourth, Jesus had to Fulfill the Redemptive Names of Jehovah or the LORD; Verse 10
The LORD knew the details of the commitment, and He was prepared to see it through. As He prayed from His heart, the Father heard the excruciating sorrow of His Son. It is wonderful that God is immutable and can not lie because if He could, this would have been the opportunity to do so.
Let’s pick up where we left off with Abram. After Melchizedek blessed Abram in Genesis 14, the LORD established His covenant with Abram in Genesis 15. He also foretold slavery in Egypt.
- After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” … Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring….” And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “… one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” … Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. (Genesis 15:1, 3 to 5, anc 13).
In Genesis 17, the LORD changed Abram’s name to Abraham and promised him that Isaac would be born the following year. A few years later, God put Abraham to a test. He instructed Abraham to sacrifice the only son he and Sarah had. When Abraham and Isaac arrived to perform the sacrifice:
- … Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “… Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar…. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” …. “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham … offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” (Genesis 22:7 to 14).
Praise God, Jehovah-jireh: “Jehovah will see (to it)”. That should to be a word for someone today. Whatever God has whispered to you through His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit will happen because Jehovah will see to it.
In Christ’s fulfillment of His perfect sacrifice and in His becoming the Perfect High Priest, Jesus provided every type of redemption from slavery that a human can experience. What is holding you back from your calling, from hope, or even from becoming a child of God? When Christ fulfilled the Isaiah 53 prophecy, He demonstrated He was the same LORD throughout the entire counsel of Scripture.
He showed us He was, Jehovah- Jireh (The LORD who would see to it) when … God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
Did He not show us He was Jehovah Shalom (The LORD our Peace) mentioned in Judges 6:23 and 24 by being our peace?
- He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:3 and 4.)
Did He not show us He was Jehovah Rapha (The LORD your Healer) mentioned in Exodus 15:26 by bearing the pain of our sicknesses and becoming our comfort?
- But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5).
Did He not show us He was Jehovah Tsidkenu (The LORD our Righteousness) mentioned in Jeremiah 23:5 and 6 by being our righteousness, our justification through faith in Christ?
- All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6).
Did He not show us He was Jehovah Ra-ah (The LORD our Sheppard) mentioned in Psalm 23:1 by being our Shepard who gave His life for His sheep?
- He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7).
Did He not show us He was Jehovah Nissi (The LORD our Banner, Victor, our Captain) mentioned in Exodus 17:15 by conquering sin and sharing His inheritance with us?
- Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12).
Did He not show us He was Jehovah Shamma (The LORD is there) mentioned in Ezekiel 48:35 by rising from the dead and being ever present with us?
- Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:10).
Oh precious family of God, as His inheritance, do you see it? Our God sets up the stories of our lives from eternity; and we live it out which testifies to His faithfulness and His transcendence outside the limitations time.
When God’s Word with His promises and His Name (which we bear as Christians) tell us that we can accomplish whatever He has given us to do, what can stop us?
Anything that has convinced you that His promise for you will not come to pass is a lie! This falsehood stands in direct opposition to His Word and His very Nature. What will you believe? As we close this time of reflection on our Great High Priest who is praying for you this at this very moment, please reflect on His promise to be present with you in everything you do if you so consent.
- “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
- “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (Revelation 1:18).
If you feel the Holy Spirit encouraging you to believe, you should evaluate the Scripture for yourself. Please visit DESIRINGFRUITFULNESS.CA/CHOICES. There you can find 4 simple steps that you can put into your own words in prayer to God so that you can be reconciled to Him. The steps are designed to help you know why this prayer is necessary. It is as simple as acknowledging you are a sinner and believing that Jesus Christ is the risen Son of God.
All Scripture used in this blog is from the New King James Version, unless otherwise specified.
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