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Hebrews 5-7 Common English Bible (CEB)

Introduction to a deeper teaching

Every high priest is taken from the people and put in charge of things that relate to God for their sake, in order to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. The high priest is able to deal gently with the ignorant and those who are misled since he himself is prone to weakness. Because of his weakness, he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the people. No one takes this honor for themselves but takes it only when they are called by God, just like Aaron.

In the same way Christ also didn’t promote himself to become high priest. Instead, it was the one who said to him,

You are my Son.
        Today I have become your Father,

as he also says in another place,

You are a priest forever,
        according to the order of Melchizedek.[a]

During his days on earth, Christ offered prayers and requests with loud cries and tears as his sacrifices to the one who was able to save him from death. He was heard because of his godly devotion. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. After he had been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for everyone who obeys him. 10 He was appointed by God to be a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

11 We have a lot to say about this topic, and it’s difficult to explain, because you have been lazy and you haven’t been listening. 12 Although you should have been teachers by now, you need someone to teach you an introduction to the basics about God’s message. You have come to the place where you need milk instead of solid food. 13 Everyone who lives on milk is not used to the word of righteousness, because they are babies. 14 But solid food is for the mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between good and evil.

Let’s press on to maturity

So let’s press on to maturity, by moving on from the basics about Christ’s word. Let’s not lay a foundation of turning away from dead works, of faith in God, of teaching about ritual ways to wash with water, laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment—all over again. We’re going to press on, if God allows it.

Because it’s impossible to restore people to changed hearts and lives who turn away once they have seen the light, tasted the heavenly gift, become partners with the Holy Spirit, and tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age. They are crucifying God’s Son all over again and exposing him to public shame. The ground receives a blessing from God when it drinks up the rain that regularly comes and falls on it and yields a useful crop for those people for whom it is being farmed. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it’s useless and close to being cursed. It ends up being burned.

Make your hope sure

But we are convinced of better things in your case, brothers and sisters, even though we are talking this way—things that go together with salvation. 10 God isn’t unjust so that he forgets your efforts and the love you have shown for his name’s sake when you served and continue to serve God’s holy people. 11 But we desperately want each of you to show the same effort to make your hope sure until the end. 12 This is so you won’t be lazy but follow the example of the ones who inherit the promises through faith and patience.

Our hope in Jesus’ priesthood

13 When God gave Abraham his promise, he swore by himself since he couldn’t swear by anyone greater. 14 He said, I will certainly bless you and multiply your descendants.[b] 15 So Abraham obtained the promise by showing patience. 16 People pledge by something greater than themselves. A solemn pledge guarantees what they say and shuts down any argument. 17 When God wanted to further demonstrate to the heirs of the promise that his purpose doesn’t change, he guaranteed it with a solemn pledge. 18 So these are two things that don’t change, because it’s impossible for God to lie. He did this so that we, who have taken refuge in him, can be encouraged to grasp the hope that is lying in front of us. 19 This hope, which is a safe and secure anchor for our whole being, enters the sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 That’s where Jesus went in advance and entered for us, since he became a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. This Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he returned from the defeat of the kings, and Melchizedek blessed him. Abraham gave a tenth of everything to him. His name means first “king of righteousness,” and then “king of Salem,” that is, “king of peace.” He is without father or mother or any family. He has no beginning or end of life, but he’s like God’s Son and remains a priest for all time.

A priest like Melchizedek

See how great Melchizedek was! Abraham, the father of the people, gave him a tenth of everything he captured. The descendants of Levi who receive the office of priest have a commandment under the Law to collect a tenth of everything from the people who are their brothers and sisters, though they also are descended from Abraham. But Melchizedek, who isn’t related to them, received a tenth of everything from Abraham and blessed the one who had received the promises. Without question, the less important person is blessed by the more important person. In addition, in one case a tenth is received by people who die, and in the other case, the tenth is received by someone who continues to live, according to the record. It could be said that Levi, who received a tenth, paid a tenth through Abraham 10 because he was still in his ancestor’s body when Abraham paid the tenth to Melchizedek.

11 So if perfection came through the levitical office of priest (for the people received the Law under the priests), why was there still a need to speak about raising up another priest according to the order of Melchizedek rather than one according to the order of Aaron? 12 When the order of the priest changes, there has to be a change in the Law as well. 13 The person we are talking about belongs to another tribe, and no one ever served at the altar from that tribe. 14 It’s clear that our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, but Moses never said anything about priests from that tribe. 15 And it’s even clearer if another priest appears who is like Melchizedek. 16 He has become a priest by the power of a life that can’t be destroyed, rather than a legal requirement about physical descent. 17 This is confirmed:

You are a priest forever,
        according to the order of Melchizedek.[c]

Able to save completely

18 On the one hand, an earlier command is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (because the Law made nothing perfect). On the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And this was not done without a solemn pledge! The others have become priests without a solemn pledge, 21 but this priest was affirmed with a solemn pledge by the one who said,

The Lord has made a solemn pledge
        and will not change his mind:
You are a priest forever.[d]

22 As a result, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 The others who became priests are numerous because death prevented them from continuing to serve. 24 In contrast, he holds the office of priest permanently because he continues to serve forever. 25 This is why he can completely save those who are approaching God through him, because he always lives to speak with God for them.

26 It’s appropriate for us to have this kind of high priest: holy, innocent, incorrupt, separate from sinners, and raised high above the heavens. 27 He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day like the other high priests, first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. He did this once for all when he offered himself. 28 The Law appoints people who are prone to weakness as high priests, but the content of the solemn pledge, which came after the Law, appointed a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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