The Child of Bethlehem: Part 2 The Only High Priest.
Biblical Meditation: 1Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
to read: Hebrews 2:10-18
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Not only as the Highest Prophet but also as the Only High Priest is the coming of the Child of Bethlehem foretold. By the service in the tabernacle and in the temple, His Priesthood is high lighted in the liturgy of the Day of the Holy Convocation. But also the Promise is foretold in the Psalms and by the Prophets. A star is shining above the generation of the priesthood of Eli; a star of Messianic Hope:
1Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful Priest, That shall do according to that which is in Mine heart and in My mind: and I will build him a sure house;
There is no question at all Who this is and Who has fulfilled the Word of Promise.
By the Birth of Christ, God did raise a faithful Priest. He performed everything that was in the Heart of God. He fulfilled all the Will of the Father. That is why a sure house was built. It is His eternal Priesthood after the order of Melchisedec.
A prophetic word –full of expectation– is reflecting that the apostle Paul is describing in verse 17 of Hebrews 2. The apostle shows here crystal clear the heavenly Priesthood of Jesus Christ. As a Priest, He outshines the priest Eli. Also, the priesthood of Aaron is losing its brilliance by the glory of the Child of Bethlehem. This unique Priesthood is hidden in His manger,
Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
- Psalms 2:2 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
The Son left all the glory of the Father to become Man to dwell with mankind. God manifested in the flesh that is God’s mystery of godliness and devotion. He Who was worshiped by angels, humbled Himself to be among brethren, to be equal to them. The Son took part in our life by His death to re-gain power over our death and to dethrone the devil over the grave. The Son became our flesh and blood to deliver us. To deliver us who were in bondage of sin and death.
The Son was not ashamed to call us His brethren. Although He had all the reason not to do so. Because who are we Who is sanctifying us in His Priesthood? For whom did the Son want to do the Work of the Father? For mankind whose life is broken and marked by sin. Mankind, we who are the cause of our death and do deserve it. Didn’t we turn away from God to accept the lie of the father of lies from the beginning?
For us did hide the Child of Bethlehem the divine luster. His divine luster in exchange for the world’s dullness of the sinful and gloomiest life of mankind.
For –oh deep mystery!- the High Priest was sent to us by God. To us who are full of guilt and shame. God’s goodwill and grace toward mankind.
- That is why as God’s Prophet He came to us to reveal God’s deliverance.
- That is why as God’s High Priest He came to search for us to be a Sacrifice, to save us.
It included from the very beginning all the catastrophic consequences that were related to Him. He fully submitted and unconditionally surrendered in total devotion to the Will of the Father. The High Priest was not in search of glory to perform this Heavenly Priesthood. He was called by Him Who spoke:
- Hebrews 5:6 Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.
- Hebrews 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
At the same time, this heavy burden was carried by an unfathomable Love for His brethren. and atonement of sin.
It was a wonderful and yet difficult task for the high priest. He was called to reconcile for the people! He alone was to approach God to make to Him the blood atonement in the inner Sanctuary. The priest had to perform a difficult task to repair the relationship with God. He was not allowed to deviate those things that were important to God to obtain peace and blessing.
This all-enfolding service of the high priest reached into the heart of God. For in this service of atonement the work he did came from the heart of God. This mystery was the warranty and the power for atonement. Therefore only the high priest was allowed to bring the blood behind the veil, to light the incense, and to return with God’s blessing. From the heart of God, he also had to be faithful to the very end as he was obligated from this fountain of eternal love to show mercy during his service.
Wasn’t the earthly priesthood of sacrifice, prayer, blessing, and atonement a prophetic symbolism of Christ as the High Priest?
- Christ, as the High Priest Who would come indeed for the atonement of sin.
- Christ, as the High Priest Who came to prepare Himself as a Sacrifice to leave the earthly priesthood of Aaron forever far behind Him.
- Christ, the High Priest Who received from the Father the covenant of the everlasting and incorruptible Priesthood to the order of Melchisedec.
That is why the High priest can fully sanctify us so that we by Him can go to the Father. This High Priest we need Who can have compassion with our weaknesses because He was in all things equal to us but without sin.
God placed this High Priest in the manger near our feet.
The High Priest showed mercy and was moved with inner compassion to lost sinners. The High Priest fulfilled His service with a never-ending Love of His tempted brethren.
What else can we do then to hold on to the confession of this High Priest? Let us go daily to the manger; that He may help us to receive mercy and find grace; that He may help us in our guilt and shame in our sorrow and temptation; that He may grant us grace in our lives and in our passing on.
To be justified by God, there is no way we can do without the High Priest.
But this High Priest is all we need for now and forever!
to be continued part 3 The Everlasting King.
Previous part 1 The Highest Prophet