He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. (Heb. 5:2)
The role of the high priest was extremely important in the social and religious life of the Jewish people. The high priests were called by God to lead the people in offering gifts and sacrifices in order to repair a relationship with God broken by sin. The high priests served to bridge the gap between a holy God and a sinful people. Yet they themselves needed forgiveness. They themselves needed to sacrifice and repent. In this way, they experienced solidarity with those they represented because all are subject to weakness. All have sinned.
In contrast, Jesus serves as a high priest who does not need to sacrifice for his own sin. He is the true bridge that connects the Father with his children. In his sinlessness, he serves as our Great High Priest and provides a way for us to approach God directly. He is not removed from our weakness though. He knows our insecurities, our fears, our dark thoughts. He experienced the trials and fragile nature of humanity, and he responds to us with gentleness and love.
Our current culture celebrates self-reliance and cheers on those who can achieve great accomplishments alone. Recognizing Jesus as our high priest reminds us of our weaknesses and our great need for him. He is the only one who can truly save us.
In your weakness find his strength.
Mark Moore is the spiritual formation pastor at Faith Legacy Church in Sacramento, California, and an auxiliary professor of theology at William Jessup University.
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.