Today in Hebrews 5, we see a theme that we touched on last week; that Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered. The author of Hebrews was big on this concept. In the Gospel reading from Mark 2, Jesus says, “No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” In order for us to contain the new wine of the Spirit, we must become fresh wineskins. We must let go of the old self with its propensity to sinfulness and worldliness and embrace the new man created by Christ.
In Hebrews today we hear about the high priest. Each year a new high priest was chosen to offer sacrifice in the temple. The author tells us that “no one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God.” It hearkens me back to the notion of vocations to the priesthood. Who in their right mind would choose that for themselves? Men become priests because they are called by God.
Hebrews tells us that it is the same with Christ. “It was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: ‘You are my Son: this day I have begotten you.’ ” Just like a man giving up everything to become a priest, why would the eternal Son of God want to give up heavenly glory to come to earth to suffer and die? The answer is found at the end of today’s reading…so that he might “become the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Likewise, our priests answer the call to lead God’s people to salvation through the eternal High Priest.
Father, we thank you for Jesus, our great High Priest. May we always obey Him, and enjoy that eternal salvation that He offers us. And we ask for your blessings upon all priests. Help them to be the holy men that you have called them to be. Amen.