Jesus, as a priest of the order of Melchizedek, was of an older priesthood affirmed by the father of the faithful himself, Abraham. The Messiah, the Christ, who existed in eternity past with the Father in all His divine glory, was to serve as priest and king for all mankind forever and ever. His reign will have no end! Now to further his argument that Jesus is the only acceptable intermediary for us, the author of Hebrews turns to the days of Jesus’ incarnation. Hebrews 5:7 says, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” The writer is going to focus on Jesus’ superiority in all things and His worthiness of our entire attention. The God man, the Messiah, was actually born into the family of man in order to become our fully-sufficient sacrifice. He felt our pains and cried out to God for deliverance and was answered.

This is one verse that might sway me toward seeing Paul as the writer of Hebrews. I don’t believe he was, but the similarity between this verse and Paul’s words in Philippians 2:6-11 strike me. Paul wrote about Jesus saying, “Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

With great tears, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and God heard that prayer! In His humble submission to death, which was the Father’s will for His Son in order to save us all, He was raised from the dead and elevated to the highest possible position. Jesus is so far above the prophets, the angels, the priests, and even Moses, that it’s at His name, and only at His name, every knee will bow and worship. Jesus deserves and yes, demands, all our attention. Paul tells the Colossians, “He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:18). Unfortunately we focus way too much attention on our own efforts, our works of righteousness that don’t matter at all except being as filthy rags, rather than putting Christ ahead of everything. Let Him be preeminent in our lives: thinking, living, and preaching! He is the only one who deserves it and demands it.