Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Credentials for High Priest

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
Sandwiched between two verses about Jesus being made a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek, the author of Hebrews lists this as his credentials, hardly the material I would put on a resume for the position of Ultimate High Priest. Basically, Christ is said to be the ultimate high priest because during his time here he cried out to God for help who could have saved him, but then he died anyway. Christ is the high priest whose prayers were not answered.

I wonder how much my prayers would be transformed if I remembered that I prayed through a mediator who as a man offered unanswered prayers. I often see myself as Job, crying out to a God who seems mostly silent, and whose greatness and power would silence me if he actually answered. Job asked God to come and meet him in the flesh…

…and when God ultimately answers Job’s prayers in the person of Christ, he does it as a man who cries out seemingly unanswered prayers. Christ is the ultimate High Priest because he also has begged for relief to his present pain that did not come. It is that man (with an emphasis on man in this particular context) who intercedes for me in my own seemingly unanswered prayers.

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