Dear Lord, let thy word create in our hearts a firm and living faith. Amen.
Hebrews 5, 5-10. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedek.
Our salvation through Christ stands firm as a rock. God himself has appointed him our high priest; his call is in due and proper form in accordance with the eternal counsel of God, and certified to by the oath of God himself. And it is the “glory” of Christ to be made an high priest for us. Shall the arrangement which God has made fail of its purpose? Does not our faith rest on a firm foundation? Do you think that Christ can fail to discharge with honor the duties of his office? Must not our salvation be a matter of the highest concern to God, since his Son, the only begotten, regards it as his glory to be our high priest? Our salvation rests on so sure a foundation that the gates of death are powerless against it; and the heaven prepared for us, our salvation and glory, is high above the devil’s reach. Our high priest has performed his whole office and brought the sacrifice which was necessary as an atonement for our sin. As he had taken upon himself to be at once the sacrificing priest and the lamb to be sacrificed, he could not fail to make complete satisfaction for our sin; and there was not the slightest abatement of the claim, although he is the only begotten Son of the Father. “He willingly charged himself with the duty of satisfying every demand of strict justice, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. There never was any disobedience in him; and yet he learned through his suffering what it is to be obedient; he stood the test of obedience, experienced the sensation of obedience, and received the reward of obedience, which is victory over death and entrance into glory. And now he is our high priest at the right hand of the Father, and is, both by reason of his humiliation and by reason of his exaltation, the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. For it is by reason of the suffering which he has undergone and the blood which he has shed as a sacrifice, and which he offers to God for our benefit, that we are justified and have continual and full forgiveness of sin. To obey him. However, means, above all things else, to believe in him. Bow your heart by the grace of the Spirit in submission to this word of truth, that the very Son of God is your high priest, who saves you by his blood; then you are obedient to him. Here to we exhort and admonish one another. O, that you would obey him, who for your sake was obedient unto death! He was obedient and willing to accept the wrath of God, and you are not even obedient and willing to accept his grace! If the bridge were unsafe on which we are trying to lead you, you might decline to go even to heaven; but it is in fact built on the firm foundation of God’s eternal decree, and on the office and the completed work of the Son.
Give us, O God, the light and the strength of thy Holy Spirit, that we may believe. Bend our will and intellect to sincere obedience in faith, that we may build on the strong rock of our salvation, the obedience of thy Son in suffering unto death. Amen.
Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully through thee absolved I am
From sin and fear, from guilt and shame!
And when the dead shall hear thy voice,
Thy banished children shall rejoice;
Their beauty this, their glorious dress, —
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness.