Summary: Models of high priesthood. Comparison and Contrast.
AARON AND JESUS
Every high priest taken from among men was set aside, and was ordained to serve God in the offering of both gifts and sacrifices for sins, for and on behalf of men (Hebrews 5:1).
Jesus also was called and ordained of God (Hebrews 5:5-6).
The writer proceeds to prove this in a manner of Hebrew commentary which brings together two Scriptures which have a word in common: in this case “You” (singular). The first Scripture refers to the Son-ship of Jesus (Psalm 2:7).
[The priesthood of Melchisedec as a model for Christ’s is argued out more fully in a later chapter (Hebrews 7).]
It was necessary for the high priest to be able to have compassion upon, and to deal gently with, the ignorant and wayward (Hebrews 5:2).
Being a man with the same frailties as ourselves, even Aaron had to first sacrifice for himself and his family before ever he could sacrifice on behalf of the people (Hebrews 5:3; cf. Leviticus 16:6).
Jesus was touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and tempted in all points like as we are, but was yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Therefore He has no need to make sacrifice for His own sins (Hebrews 7:27).
Jesus’ offering is described here as “prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears” (Hebrews 5:7).
At Gethsemane Jesus cried ‘Take this cup from me’ – but also ‘not my will but yours be done’ (Matthew 26:39).
At Calvary Jesus cried to God in dereliction, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ (Matthew 27:46).
Jesus well knew that God was able to save Him from death, and we are told here that God “heard” because of His reverence for, and submission to God (Hebrews 5:7).
However, the historical facts demonstrate not a deliverance from suffering, but a strengthening in suffering (Luke 22:43).
They demonstrate not a deliverance from dying, but a deliverance out of the jaws of death itself (Romans 1:4).
The facts also demonstrate a subsequent elevation into heaven to minister on our behalf (Hebrews 4:14).
Though He was a Son, we are told, yet He “learned obedience” through what He suffered (Hebrews 5:8).
Of course, Jesus was always obedient. The incarnation itself was an act of obedience, and Jesus did not stop at ‘death, even the death of the cross’ (Philippians 2:8).
We are also told that He was “made perfect” (Hebrews 5:9).
This does not imply that He was ever anything less than perfect, but rather that through His suffering and obedience His qualifications to the role and function of high priest were fully validated (Hebrews 2:10).
Jesus’ obedience becomes the model of our obedience. Through His obedience He is made the author of eternal life to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).
This speaks of the obedience of faith (John 1:12).
It speaks of our obedience to the call to take up our own cross, and to follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24).