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3rd Week of Lent

The Way of the Cross

Reading:-   Hebrews 5:1-10 New International Version (NIV)

1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honour on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son;today I have become your Father.”
6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever,in the order of Melchizedek.”
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

In reading and understanding the letter to the Hebrews there is a need to understand some Old Testament concepts. Time and again the writer refers back to Old testament characters; Abraham, Moses, Joshua and David. In chapters 4 through to the end of 10, we need to understand something of the role of the High Priest in the Old Testament Temple.

“Every High Priest chosen from among men, is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins”. (Hebrews 5 verse 1)
The role of the Old Testament priest was to act as intermediary between the Lord God and the People of Israel, bringing God to the people and the people to God.
The High Priest in the Old Testament could only enter the Most Holy Place by bringing a sin offering, to make atonement for himself and the people. (see Leviticus 9, verse 7).

The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews quotes from the Psalms to show that Christ is not only called by God and chosen to be “a High Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek”; Christ is called “Son of God”.
He was able to enter into the Most Holy Place, into the very presence of God the Father, offering Himself as a once for all sacrifice for sin.
As a Priest and as a Son He faced all the temptations we do, and more: He faced the horror of the cross and the darkness of death – for us.

    Lifted up was He to die,
    “It is finished!” was His cry.
    Now in heaven exalted high.
    Alleluia! What a Saviour!


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