Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hebrews 5: there are high priests, and there is the High Priest

After the Moreh compares Jesus to Moses, the lawgiver, deliverer, and prophet, he compares him to Aaron his brother - the first High Priest of Israel. Far from our small rural synagogue, his successor in Jerusalem makes decisions for what he says is the good of Israel, decisions like "for the sake of the nation one man must die." Even if the man was Jesus. This is the man that represents us all before God! How far our high priests have fallen from the likes of Ezra, the priest who led Israel back from captivity. I do not speak ill of the office, but of the men in it.....they say the high priest is selected not of his own will, but by his peers, and ultimately by God. As if Annas and Caiaphas had to be dragged kicking and screaming into taking the job! It is power they love, not the power of love.

Sometimes I am glad I pray and hear Torah far from Jerusalem.

But I am comforted by the Moreh's words about the one true High Priest. Instead of offering sacrifices given by the people (and keeping much for himself), High Priest Jesus sacrificed everything, his very life. Instead of giving orders and strutting around in pride like a Roman emperor, Jesus deals gently with the ignorant and those gone astray. Rather than take this honor on himself, Jesus was called by God from the very womb. Like a good priest he offered up for us prayers and petitions with pleading and tears, not for himself but for His people. And he became a priest like Melchizedik, to whom even Father Abraham gave gifts of homage.

Of such a wise servant I say with love and confidence, "may the government be upon his shoulders." As it now is, of the Kingdom, and shall be one day of the whole world.

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