Eternal King and Priest
In the same way, Christ did not exalt himself to become a high priest, but God who said to him,
You are my Son; today I have become your Father, also says in another place,
You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:5-6 CSB
The office of high priest is an honor that God conferred upon the person who assumed the duties of the office. The high priest, from the time of Aaron to the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, enjoyed proper recognition from the Hebrew community. Without a doubt, next to the civil leader the high priest held the highest office in the land. The author of Hebrews, however, stresses that no one takes the honor upon himself for self-gratification. No one fills the office of the high priest simply for the sake of entering into the presence of God on the Day of Atonement, of receiving the respect of the Israelite community, or of wearing the beautiful high-priestly robe (see Leviticus 8:7–9). The honor associated with the office derives from fulfilling the duties assigned to the high priest. From the text, Aaronic priesthood was inaugurated by God. Anyone who will be presumptuous about the work without a clear calling from God is an affront to God and can become a source of provocation from the people. If there was no clear calling from God, there will be a strong tendency to elevate oneself, can lead to exhibiting a haughty spirit instead of humility. Such attitude could result to a deficient concept of godliness and a perverted perception of God and His Word. Once again, the author addresses Jesus as the “Christ,” signifying His office and duty as the Son of God. Though the Lord Jesus Christ has been crowned with glory and honor as high priest, He “did not exalt himself to become a high priest.” To provide a clear description of the type of Christ’s priesthood difference from Aaronic priesthood, the author used an Old Testament king-priest image. In order to be accurate, the author described Christ’s priesthood by quoting Psalm 110:4, “You are a priest forever according to the pattern of Melchizedek.” The author affirms that God was announcing that Christ is the King and His priesthood is forever. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ is both the Eternal King and the Eternal Priest. Aaronic priesthood is temporal. Christ promises that we will share in the eternal rest of God Himself. We received His promise when we open to Him our lives and surrender to His Lordship recognizing that He is our King.
Isaac De Guzman