Passage: Hebrews 5
CHAPTER SHIFT - Of course we know that chapters and verses were not part of the original scriptures, but were added over the centuries. These divisions certainly make it easy to find a specific text within the Bible, but, as is the case today, the divisions do not always seem to be placed in the right spots. Chapter 5 should start in 4:14 and extend to 5:10, and chapter 6 should start at 5:11. This is how we'll Dig Deeper into these passages.
4:14-16 - This chapter explains the priestly duty of Christ. Most Protestant Christians are not as familiar with role of a priest as what Jews or even Roman Catholics are, but a priest is a mediator who stands between God and His people. Today's passage is one of the key reasons Protestants don't refer to their clergy as priests, because that role has been and is now being fulfilled by Jesus. This passage reminds you that not only does your Priest know exactly what it's like to be you, but that He's made it possible for you to confidently approach His Father's throne whenever you want.
v1-6 - Jesus is superior to human priests because He does not need to continually make sacrifices to atone for His own sin. As he does so often, the author reaches back to the Old Testament to show how God was working out all of history to pave the way for Christ to offer His priestly sacrifice to pay for our sins. In v6, you'll see a vaguely familiar name that we'll be reading much more about in chapter 7 - Melchizedek, one of the most enigmatic, mysterious characters in all of history.
v7-10 - This paragraph (in the original language, it's all one sentence!) tells of the three priestly duties that Jesus fulfills:
v7 - He offered up prayers for Himself and His people;
v8 - He learned obedience through suffering;
v9 - He became the source of salvation for all who obey Him (literally all who listen to Him).
v11-14 - These verses really belong with chapter 6, so we'll cover them tomorrow.
Old Testament Reference(s) -
Psalm 110 is what is known as a Messianic psalm in that it describes what the messiah would look like in order to give hope for Israel. As you read this short Psalm, see if you can understand a bit more why the Jesus seemed so different than what the Jews had pictured He would be like.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: What two men from the Old Testament are mentioned in this chapter? (See verses 4 and 6.)
How is it comforting to know that Jesus understands what it's like to be human? How is it comforting to know that Jesus did not need to atone for His own sin like a human priest does?
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: A Holy God who has graciously allowed sinful people to be made holy through the completed sacrifice of our final high priest, Jesus Christ.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Obey Jesus - believe in His Name (v9).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that you may receive mercy and grace to help you in your needs (v16).