“In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest.” (Hebrews 5:5)
What were the qualifications for becoming the high priest? The high priest was chosen from God’s people, from the descendants of Aaron (Exodus 40:12-15), and was able to “deal gently” with those who did not know God and were going astray. This person was also called by God rather than taking the honor on himself.
Jesus did not come to appoint himself as the great high priest. But he met the qualifications of this role. As we have noted, he is fully human and can empathize with all our weaknesses. He understands all that we go through, even all our temptations, and yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).
So God appointed him as the great High Priest. And because Jesus is the Son of God, from before the time of Aaron, God declared him “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek,” who served as a priest of God Most High (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 7:1-3) outside the time Aaron.
At some points in the history of God’s people, the high priest office was in the hands of families who took it on themselves or bought control of it. Jesus does not take this on himself but is appointed by God. He meets the qualifications, and he meets the needs of all of God’s people.
The office of the great High Priest is not to be bought. It is filled by Jesus, God’s Son, who is fully human and appointed by God himself.
Thank you, God, for appointing Jesus as our great High Priest. Because of his work, we are assured of your forgiveness. Amen.