“Jesus–Perfect High Priest, Source of Eternal Salvation” by Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Jesus–Perfect High Priest, Source of  Eternal Salvation

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell


Scripture Readings: Hebrews 5:1-5; 8-10

Key Verses: Hebrews 5:8-10
“Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In my last post I unintentionally took you out of context to discuss the calling to ministry which was triggered by a verse which mentions the calling of the high priest (Hebrews 5:5). This verse is part of an introduction which first discusses the role with the intention of contrasting that role of the earthly priests to the role of Jesus, the perfect and final High Priest. Hebrews repeats itself for several chapters, emphasizing the superiority of Jesus, that although Jesus lived in a flesh and blood body, he was the only human without sin, that although he was human he was also divine. The author of Hebrews intends to emphasize His priesthood being not only from the line and order of Melchizedek, but also of God Himself, that he was appointed by God.

If Jesus, God Himself, is the High Priest, what other High Priest is needed?

Hebrews emphasizes that as a High Priest made sin sacrifices for the people, Jesus made himself the ultimate sacrifice for the people and became the source of eternal salvation. Because of his resurrection and that He lives forever, he is the Perfect, High Priest—the final High Priest, appointed by God, “forever.”

As I read these passages, I felt I understood better who Jesus was. I thought a lot about the cross and what happened there, how the scripture says that his suffering on the cross was an act of obedience that he submitted to and that by doing so he had “been made perfect”  and “became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” And I thought about how the Gospels say he uttered his last words, saying “it is finished.” It was because of reading these passages that I understand that these verses mean that he had finished his work, he had completed his mission, he had done what he had set out to do, had fulfilled prophesy, that suffering as a sin sacrifice to atone for all sins of mankind and to become the source of salvation itself was the purpose of his life’s work and now it was done. He is the High Priest, the Perfect High Priest, appointed by God. And he lives forever. And he loves me forever! WOW!

WOW!—I believe it was all planned, that He fulfilled the prophesy, that He is the Christ, that He is who He says He is, that He came so I might live life abundantly, that He died for me so that I may have eternal life, that I may commune with Him, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit in love. Loved by God!! Loved by God!!

Prayer: As I partake of your holy communion, I will do so in remembrance of you. Thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for your love. May we never forget! Amen.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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