Hebrews 5:8 (ESV) … “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.”
So authentic was Jesus’ solidarity with humankind that he “learned obedience from what he suffered and [was] made perfect” (vv. 8, 9). This “does not mean Jesus passed from disobedience to obedience.” Nor does it mean that he developed from imperfection to perfection. The idea is that he became complete in his human experience.
Now, in his completeness, his perfection, he is “the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (v. 9). His solidarity with us means he can save us to the uttermost. Christ is our triumphant, eternal Savior. His superior selection as both eternal King and priest, coupled with his superior solidarity with us, makes him far superior in sympathy to the high priest of old.
The glorious vestments of the Aaronic high priest have always been understood as being emblematic of the ministry of the ultimate high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. Can you see him resplendent in the glorious white light of a thousand suns in eternity? He bears our names on his shoulders and thus shows his infinite compassion for us. He has borne all our sins in his own priestly body on the tree. In his solidarity with us he bears our present burdens as well. We are always on his heart. Perhaps as he prays for us, he places a nail-pierced hand over the precious stones and presses them close. Though seated at the right hand of the Father, the golden bells constantly ring as he ministers on our behalf. And his crown, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD,” will be our crown because that will be the eternal outcome of his work.
Can anyone miss the message to the little church on the high seas? This was their high priest, and our high priest in life’s uncertain seas today as well. Jesus persevered in submissive prayer in Gethsemane and was heard, and our prayers will be heard also if we persevere.
What motivations! We have the example of Jesus’ prayers. We have Jesus, “a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek… high priest in the order of Melchizedek” (vv. 6, 10). May we avail of ourselves of him day by day!