Until the arrival of Jesus on the scene, mankind relied on priests to hear our human sins and sacrifice unto God to ask for forgiveness. But how did Jesus change it all?
Hebrews chapter 5 is basically split into 3 different sections. First, the author describes the fallibility of a human prints. Second, he speaks to the authority of Jesus as the ultimate high priest amongst all priests. Lastly, he speaks to our need for wise teaching and continuous learning.
How is Jesus different from other priests and does it matter?
I appreciate the organization of this chapter. It goes from what we had, to why Jesus is qualified and ends with why we need him to begin with. The chapter explains that human priests are not perfect individuals. They also have sin, so they are not authorized to forgive us our sins, but were called to take on the sins of their followers and offer up those sins with a sacrifice.
Then, Jesus enters the scene. Not only is he qualified to be our priest, but he is qualified to absolve us of our sins. In his life he was without sin and he gave himself up for a continuous sacrifice.
Lastly, we need to answer the question of why we need Jesus to begin with. This chapter uses milk and meat as metaphors in our knowledge of God. We all start as babes and need milk, or first principles, of God in order to grow spiritually. It is only when we are full grown are we ready to eat meat.
Real life application
How does this affect our lives today? Most Christian faiths do not have a priest and we go directly to God for our forgiveness. Jesus has in fact become our intercessor between our sins and God. He hears our sins when we pray and ask for forgiveness. And because of his sacrifice we are forgiven of our sins. Yes, it doesn’t matter how many times we ask for forgiveness as our debt has been paid.
Going back to chapter 4, developing a solid prayer life will enhance that communication with God. Also, seeking his word and personal development each day will help us migrate off of milk and onto the meat of the word.
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