5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.”
6 As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”;
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
Christ’s qualifications for priesthood parallel those of the Levitical priests — shown in reverse order. Although His qualifications parallel those of the Levitical priests, they are far superior.
- His priesthood is of a higher order
- His suffering is without sin
- His sacrifice is complete and final
Christ did not appoint Himself but was appointed by God (v.5).
You are My Son (v.5) — from Psalm 2:7 (see Hebrews 1:5)
Melchizedek (v.6) — he was a king-priest, as is Christ — from Psalm 110:4
Christ is compassionate due to His sufferings (Marek 14:34; Luke 22:44)
Christ offered the complete and final sacrifice for sin.
save Him from death (v.7) — saved “out from within” death — not saved from dying a physical death
was heard (v.7) — includes also that He was delivered — Psalm 22:24
fear (v.7) = careful and respectful handling — reverence for God’s will
Though He was a Son (v.8) = lit. “Son though He was” — emphasizing the eternal unity and dignity of His relationship with the Father
learned obedience (v.8) — experienced it
perfected (v.9) — not moral perfection, but fulfilling the requirements of a high priest and being exalted to glory
author (v.9) = cause
obey (v.9) = listen, then do what the word says — the obedience of faith
called (v.10) = addressed, saluted
Melchizadek (v.10) — Genesis 14:18-20 — Zechariah 6:13, Christ as a king-priest
The cup for Him in Gethsemane included two things, that He was to be made sin, and that the fellowship between Father and Son would be broken. Our Lord fully expected to be raised out from among the dead. Hence there was no need of such a petition. Furtermore, if He had prayed for escape from physical death, His prayer was not answered. And the writer to the Hebrews says that shis prayer spoken of in 5:7 was answered, which shows that escape from physical death was not in the writer’s mind.
The prayer here was a petition to be saved out from under death. It was a prayer for resurrection, uttered on the Cross. It is believed, and with good reason, that our Lord uttered the entire 22nd Psalm while hanging on the Cross. It is His own description of what took place there. Verses 1-13 speak of His heart sufferings; those due to His abandonment by God in verses 1-6, those due to the fact that mankind spurned Him in verses 7-13. His physical sufferings are described in verses 14-18. His prayer for resurrection is recorded in verses 19-21, and His thanksgiving for answered prayer in verses 22-31. — Hebrews in the Greek New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, pages 99-100.