|As he saith also in another place,
|Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchiz'edek.
|Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
|though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
|and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
called of God a High Priest after the order of Melchiz'edek.
Jesus Christ was not a Levitical priest. He was a High Priest after the order of Melchiz'edek. This priesthood is a spiritual priesthood. And, it is not made up of Christ alone! In Revelation 5:10, Christ has "priests" who reign with Him. This stands to reason, as all High Priests rule over a "priesthood." These priests in the book of Revelation are under their boss Jesus Christ, and they will rule the earth with Him.
Revelation 5:10 says,
"You (Christ) are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth."
In a round about way, this explains why Christ's experience on earth had to involve suffering. Because as High Priest, He needed to know what it was like to suffer so He would be a compassionate and merciful priest.
14 Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.
16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Already, many priests have qualified to be in the "priesthood of Melchiz'edek" mentioned in the book of Hebrews. How did they qualify??? They were made complete or "perfect" by suffering, just as Christ was made complete.
Suffering comes so that we will be merciful and compassionate priests . The whole book of Hebrews is about this spiritual priesthood. The book mentions the word "High Priest" 15 times, priesthood 7 times and the word priest 26 times! This book is about the coming priesthood of Melchiz'edek that will be established at the return of Christ. These priests must also suffer in this life like Christ did. They must suffer and learn compassion before they will be allowed to reign with Him.
2 Timothy 2:11-12
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
I was reading in Matthew 26 about the extreme suffering of Christ right before they killed Him. He was under severe distress. He asked God to allow Him a way out, but in the end, He said "Thy will be done." Because, He knew that He had to go through the suffering, so He submitted himself to it. This is the point. Suffering is not a pleasant subject for us humans... By nature, everyone of us try's to avoid it at all costs. But, suffering can bring completeness to a human because it teaches us true compassion as only those who have suffered a thing can know.
The book of Hebrews is about those that go on to this "perfection." If we read Hebrews 11 and 12, you will see that it is full of examples of men and women who suffered through every kind of trial yet they remained faithful and obedient to God, no matter what circumstances came their way. They maintained a powerful faith in God.
That is tough to live up to sometimes. Yet, in our own way, if we remain faithful when our trials come, and even learn to "rejoice" in them, we will be counted in their number.
16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Suffering is the membership price we pay to be glorified as a joint heir with Christ. It is the price we pay to belong to His spiritual priesthood of Melchiz'edek. But, it is a cheap price to pay in the long run, because incredible things will come to us if we are only willing to pay the temporary price God asks for the admission.