Friday, September 30, 2016

HIGH PRIEST, SACRIFICE AND PERSONAL


I have really been captivated by a passage of Scripture lately. The Holy Spirit, through Hebrews 4:14-16, has been impressing upon me the uniqueness of my Savior. No other belief system can declare what this passage claims. Here is what Hebrews 4:14-16 says - 
  • "since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
The whole passage, all three sentences are pure encouragement and the reassurance seems to build throughout. 

In the first sentence believers are encouraged to "hold firmly to the faith we profess". Why? Because "we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God". Last time I checked there is no other who has the role of High Priest of God, took His own life back to ascend into Heaven and sits at the right hand of Father God. This supports Christ's statement in flying colors, "I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

The next sentence gets better. It used to be that High Priests would simply take your animal sacrifice representing your sin for that year and offer it on the altar before God for forgiveness. There was not much interaction with the populace except for matters concerning judgement, cleansing and forgiveness. This is why the second sentence starts off describing Jesus - "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses,". The really remarkable catcher in this sentence comes next - but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Somehow and sometime in Christ's life on earth, He miraculously experienced every situation humanity would go through, But He Responded Correctly Every Time! He was the perfect person that nobody could or ever will be.

The beginning of the last sentence starts off with three key words - "Let us then". This phrase means - because of all that was just previously stated, the following should be capitalized on. So, how should we benefit from Christ being our Personal High Priest and Sacrifice? "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."  You see there will certainly be times of need, but because of Christ's sacrifice and victory, believers can confidently come before God's throne to receive mercy (compassion) and grace (favor). 

"There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus. 
No, not one. No, not one. 
None else can heal all our souls, diseases. 
No, not one. No, not one. 
Jesus knows all about our struggles. 
He will guide till the day is done. 
There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus. 
No, not one. No, not one." 
(Hymn - There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus)

He is the believer's High Priest, Sacrifice and He is Personal.