Painting by Aharon Hacohen
Here is a post from my old blog. I’m republishing it here with very little change.
July 17, 2006
Thoughts On High Priests
Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
First of all, notice in verse 1 that the high priests of the Old Testament were taken from among men. They were ordained for men. They were ordained in things pertaining to God.
Now we have no earthly high priests in the church age, yet there are men who exalt various positions as if it were somehow a high and holy office. Curiously, they seem to think too often that they are ordained (and that's the very word they use) to men for God. In other words, they are some kind of extra special people whom we should honor because of they supposedly speak and act on God's behalf to the rest of us peons.
But notice the next verses. A true, God-fearing, Old Testament high priest should have had compassion on the ignorant and those who had strayed because he himself had the same tendencies. He had to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the people's. (How rare is that attitude among some today?)
Next we see that no man takes this honor to himself. Aaron was called of God for this job. He was not the one who announced that he was "called to preach" or "priest," as the case may be. And, his ministry was for men - on their behalf - including himself. God selected Aaron for this role, and he really had little to no say in the matter. (Ex. 28:1, Num. 3:10, Num. 17)
The interesting thing is that Christ, the Son of God, did not raise Himself to the position of high priest. He was given that office by His Father. And, He was given that office to minister on our behalf. If the Lord Jesus Christ did not exalt Himself to a position of honor, ought men to do so?
And what about "the rest of us"? Should we be exalting men - or ourselves?
1Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Notice that we are also called to something. Because Christ suffered for us, we should follow His steps. We should not glorify ourselves or men. We should not put ourselves in a position that God has not given us.
1Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
We are called out of darkness into Christ's marvellous light. Therefore, every believer, as priests of God directly under our High Priest, should show forth His praises.
Here is are some questions we can each ask ourselves: Who does my life praise? Does it praise some man, family, college, group, church, organization, etc.? Does it praise Jesus Christ who took upon Him the form of a servant and was made of no reputation?
Philippians 2:5-9 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; 12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.