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In the Days of His Flesh – A Priest Forever

Posted Mar 14, 2020 by Adrian Ebens in Priesthood of Christ
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Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 

Heb 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. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. 

Heb 8:6  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 

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; (Heb 5:8-9)

Context of Heb 5

Heb 5:1  For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 

Heb 5:2  Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 

Heb 5:4-6 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 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. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Now this

Heb 5:7-9 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and 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;

Then this

Heb 5:10  Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. 

Heb 5:11-12 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Those who think of the result of hastening or hindering the gospel think of it in relation to themselves and to the world. Few think of its relation to God. Few give thought to the suffering that sin has caused our Creator. All heaven suffered in Christ's agony; but that suffering did not begin or end with His manifestation in humanity. The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him. Ed 263

Isa 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old

Christ took humanity that He might reach humanity. A divine-human Saviour was needed to bring salvation to the world. And to men and women has been committed the sacred trust of making known "the unsearchable riches of Christ." Ephesians 3:8.  {AA 134.2} 

The instant man accepted the temptations of Satan, and did the very things God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying, "Let the punishment fall on Me. I will stand in man's place. He shall have another chance."  {FLB 75.3} 

     As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. Christ knew that He would have to suffer, yet He became man's substitute. As soon as Adam sinned, the Son of God presented Himself as surety for the human race, with just as much power to avert the doom pronounced upon the guilty as when He died upon the cross of Calvary. {FLB 75.4} 

[Zech 3:1 Joshua the Priest in the OT] Satan would cover the people of God with blackness, and ruin them; but Jesus interposes. Although they had sinned, yet Jesus took the guilt of their sins upon his own soul. He snatched the race as a brand from the fire. With his long human arm he encircled humanity, while with his divine arm he grasped the throne of the infinite God. And thus man has strength given him that he may overcome Satan, and triumph in God. Help is brought within the reach of perishing souls; the adversary is rebuked.  {RH, September 22, 1896 par. 4} 

After the fall Christ became Adam's instructor. He acted in God's stead toward humanity, saving the race from immediate death. He took upon him the office of mediator. Adam and Eve were given a probation in which to return to their allegiance, and in this plan all their posterity were embraced.  {CC 20.6} 

In His humanity Christ was tried with as much greater temptation, with as much more persevering energy than man is tried by the evil one, as His nature was greater than man’s. This is a deep mysterious truth, that Christ is bound to humanity by the most sensitive sympathies. The evil works, the evil thoughts, the evil words of every son and daughter of Adam press upon His divine soul. OFC 119,120

 

From these texts we are enabled to read with a better understanding Heb. 5:7, 8, where the apostle says of Christ:- {July 2, 1891 EJW, PTUK 217.2}

"Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and 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." Jesus spent whole nights in prayer to the Father. Why should this be, if He had not been oppressed by the enemy, through the inherited weakness of the flesh? He "learned obedience by the things which He suffered." Not that He was ever disobedient, for He "knew no sin;" but by the things which He suffered in the flesh, He learned what men have to contend against in their efforts to be obedient. And so, "in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted." "For we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need." Heb. 4: 15, 16. {July 2, 1891 EJW, PTUK 217.3}

It is quite commonly assumed that the Word was made flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth eighteen hundred years ago, in order that He might learn man's condition and needs, and thus be able to sympathise with and help them. That this is a mistaken idea can be seen by a moment's reflection, as well as by plain statements of Scripture. The Psalmist says, "He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust." Ps. 103:14. Again, "O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising. Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether." Ps. 139: 1-4. It is He upon whom men must depend for a knowledge of themselves. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins." Jer. 17: 9. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jer. 10: 23.

All this was as true eighteen hundred years before Christ as eighteen hundred years after. God knew men as well, and sympathised with them as much, four thousand years ago as He does to-day. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, "in all their affliction He was afflicted." Isa. 63: 9. The prophet could say of a truth, seven hundred years before Christ, "Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." Isa. 53: 4. God was in Christ, not that He might know men, but in order that man might know that He does know them. In Jesus we learn how kind and sympathising God has always been, and have an example of what He will do in any man who will fully yield to Him. E.J. Waggoner, Present Truth UK, December 19, 1895

Still in the Flesh.-"Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God." 1 John iv. 2, 3. To confess Christ, it is not enough to believe that He once lived and suffered and died and rose again. We must confess not merely that He did come in the flesh, but that He "is come in the flesh." He is a present Saviour. As in all the afflictions of the Israelites of old He was afflicted, so now "we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Heb. iv. 15. He still feels everything that touches us, for He is still in the flesh. Even in the heavenly places. He is still "the Man Christ Jesus." 1 Tim. ii. 5. He is our forerunner, that is, one of the brethren who has gone before to prepare a place for the rest. When He comes again, He will come in the flesh for His flesh did not see corruption and the same flesh that went into the grave also ascended to heaven. "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens that He might fill all things." Eph. iv. 10. {December 19, 1895 EJW, PTUK 803.7}

1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 

1Jn 4:2  NIV This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,