The book of Hebrews is an exercise in teaching Jewish Christians about the priestly function of Christ. It takes great care to focus on the aspect of Jesus being the greatest of all priests. The writer contends that Jesus is better than any of the rest because of his relationship to the Father.
Jewish Christians understood priestliness. They understood the rarity of the “order of Melchizedek” that combined the office of priest AND king. The writer states that Jesus is the best of all of those orders put together…he is better than Melchizedek and far superior to Aaron.
Interestingly, he then points to Christ’s humanity as a point of superiority:
Hebrews 5 (Common English Bible)
5 In the same way Christ also didn’t promote himself to become high priest. Instead, it was the one who said to him,
You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father,
6 as he also says in another place,
You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.
7 During his days on earth, Christ offered prayers and requests with loud cries and tears as his sacrifices to the one who was able to save him from death. He was heard because of his godly devotion.
Imagine being a first-century Jewish convert to the Way and learning that it is through loud cries, tears, and suffering that Jesus takes his throne of honor at the right hand of God.
8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.
Can we take heart in this? Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered and God elevated him to the high priesthood. So too may we become part of a “royal priesthood” through our suffering and obedience. Eternal salvation comes to all who obey the Son.
9 After he had been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys him. 10 He was appointed by God to be a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus is indeed better than all the rest. In today’s marketplace of beliefs, Jesus stands alone as the one who can truly deliver you. He is our priest forever. Thanks be to God!