We talked last night at the Gathering about Jesus as the high priest | King and what that means for us. For some reason, much of our conversations tend to turn towards the need to get over our own ego, to trust, to let go of that which we seek to control… and it turned this way again. Hebrews 5 mentions that Jesus
became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
We noted that this is pretty significant as, even though Hebrews talks a lot about Jesus paying the penalty as the perfect sacrifice, there is this balancing thread of obedience… something that is quite a bit harder than just affirming with our mouths or getting the facts right. But what does it mean to obey?
We get in the habit of thinking that if we follow the right rules we are good to go with God. Egh… not such a good perspective. That which is on the outside is an outpouring of what is on the inside. If someone has not developed a heart of love, grace, forgiveness, peace, and release of control… all those things on the outside are going to be rigid, unforgiving, judgmental, and closed to the world. We are to have open arms to the world, inviting them into a higher way of living. This is something that Jesus did for us… and he knows what we are going through because he has been there.
But what did it look like for him? This gets to the ego stuff. We fashion this image of who we are… our self. Most of the time it comes from who our parents, schools, media, government, etc tells us we are supposed to be. It takes some pretty hard stuff to crash that down… to let that go. When we are at rock bottom, it is then that we can begin to see who we are meant to be. Very tough for folks who haven’t faced challenging situations in life to get here (I should note that we can bring ourselves into these challenging situations with effort and intentionality – discipline – but this isn’t really a value of our society). We start looking at how Jesus took on the role of high priest in a way that connects with our humanity and as we consider this ego destruction, it takes on a new light.
Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.
Submission, humility, tears, non-grasping of authority, prayer, obedience, suffering… not really values of our American dream of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”