merry christmas from the byrds
music is "utah" by the predictors
snow screen saver on my ibook
What was the job of the high priest in ancient Israel? Essentially he had two jobs. First he represented the people of Israel to the LORD. When the people had a concern or needed guidance they asked the high priest to consult the LORD on their behalf. The high priest stood between men and God. He stood before the LORD and represented the people. A prophet on the other hand represents the LORD to the people. The priest takes our message to the LORD and brings His answer back but a prophet brings us the message of the LORD and takes back our response.
The second job of the high priest was to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. It was his job to make the yearly sin offering for the people. He was the only one who could go into the holy of holies and stand before the Mercy Seat on the Arch of the Covenant. Before he could make the offering of sin on behalf of the people he had to first make and offering for his own sin. His own sin made him unworthy to offer the sacrifice for sin. So he had to have a sacrifice for himself and then for the people. He did all this in the temple in Jerusalem and before that in the Tabernacle both were pale reflections of the True Temple.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest. His job is similar to the original high priest but with some significant changes.
First our Great High Priest has gone through the heavens. As the Great High Priest his does not go to a temple or tabernacle made with human hands out of the stuff of this world. Instead He goes to the True Temple to perform his priestly duties.
Our Great High Priest also make and offering for sin. Jesus Christ offers himself as that offering for sin. He doesn’t need to offer a sacrifice for his own sin because he was sinless. He was tempted in all the ways the human high priest were. He was tempted in all the ways we are today. Yet he was and is without sin. In spite of the fact that He is sinless because he faced temptation like us He is able to sympathize with our struggle against temptation. With Jesus as our Great High Priest a door has been opened for all the people of God to approach the throne seeking grace and mercy. No long is it just the high priest who enters the throne asking for grace and mercy on our behalf. Now we walk in ourselves with confidence.
Finally like the human high priest our Great High Priest represents us to the LORD. In these last days the Son being our representative has given us direct access to the Father. The Son, Father and Holy Spirit are one. Access to one is access to them all.
Neither of these high priest claimed the job for themselves instead they were appointed or called by the LORD. They are high priest because the LORD wants them too. Jesus is our Great High Priest by the desire of the LORD.
Hold on tight to the faith we profess. Jesus is our Great High Priests goes to the True Heavenly Temple. He offers a sacrifice for our forgiveness alone because He is without sin. Our Great High Priest sympathizes with us as we struggle with sin, because he has been tempted in every way. As our representative before the LORD he has opened the door for us to approach the throne of the LORD with confidence seeking grace and mercy.
What is your focus? Where do you find your identity? These are vital questions for you and me as one of God’s people. Do you find your identity in what you do at work? Are you focused on your family? Do you have to have he latest and greatest technological gadget? Are focused on being the center of attention? What ever our focus is becomes our god. Is our god the true living God or a false dead idol?
If your focus is on the stuff of this world, your job/work, your family, technological gadgets, being the center of attention then you are focusing on stuff that will vanish in the end. You are storing up treasures here and not in heave. Your fate will be the same as the treasures you are collecting. By fix our thoughts on Jesus we will share in the heavenly calling!
Does this sound familiar? It should because it is not my advice but what the author of Hebrews tells the readers after talking about the incarnation of Jesus. The Son of God became flesh and blood like us and because of that we need to focus on Him. By fixing our thoughts on Jesus we become holy brothers and sisters and share in the heavenly calling. (Hebrews 3.1) We become the house of God! (3.6) Jesus and Moses were servants in this house. Both of them were good servants. The difference is that Moses is just a servant while Jesus is the Son and heir of the house. He is the faithful Son over God’s house and we are the house. (Hebrews 3.2 - .6)
We are only the house is we hold onto the courage and hope we boast about! (Hebrews 3.6) The courage and hope we boast about is the Good News of Jesus! The hope and courage is that the Son of God became flesh and blood to save us. The hope and courage we have is that we have a heavenly calling, a heavenly destination. As God’s House we will live eternally with the Father, thanks to the Son for making us holy and thanks to the Spirit that gives us the strength to live as one of God’s people.
A few weeks ago during our 3rd-6th grade class on Wednesday night I had the students write on a card something they treasured. Next we went to another room to act out our parables for the night. While we were in the other room I sent someone to the other room to rip up the cards! When we came back and found their cards ripped up they students were not happy but they will never forget that our earthly treasures no matter how special will be destroyed. The only thing that is permanent in our world is God. Our continued focus on Jesus the Apostle and High Priest will assure us that we will share in our heavenly calling.
Hebrews Part One (1.1-3)
The book of Hebrews begins with this simple statement:
“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1.1 & .2) This simple statement reveals an incredible and awesome truth. The truth is this that God speaks directly to us thru His Son. He no longer uses a third party to speak to us like prophets or donkeys or angels instead it is direct communication from the Son. The long period of the absence of God’s direct communication is over. This simple statement also reveals that we are in the “last days.” The end is now closer than it was. The time of this world is coming to an end and in this end time God speaks directly to us.
If the Son our direct link to God, who is the Son? The author of Hebrews describes the Son in this opening in 7 ways. First, (1) the Son has been appointed the heir of all things. He is the Lord of the universe and this world is his. (Hebrews 1.2) Not only is the Universe his but (2) the Son is also the one thru whom the God made the universe. (Hebrews 1.2) The Father some how used the Son as the instrument of creation. (3) The author goes on to describe the Son as the radiance of God’s glory. (Hebrews 1:3) (4) The Son is also the exact representation of God’s being. (Hebrews 1:3) If you want to know what God is like you look at the Son. (5) The word of the Son sustains all things. (Hebrews 1.3) All things were created thru the Son, all things are the Son’s and the Son’s keeps all things going. (6) This world is broken and dirtied by sin and the Son became the provider of purifications of those sins. (Hebrews 1.3) (7) After providing purification the Son sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of Heaven and rested. (Hebrews 1.3) The author of Hebrews lays a foundation for the greatness of Christ, which he will expound upon as the book continues.
This first section reminds of the awesome greatness of our LORD Jesus Christ. I feel that sometimes we get comfortable with Jesus. We think we know who he is and we don’t think much of that. It is no big deal when people use his name in vain. He is just Jesus. The author of Hebrews writes to remind his readers of the awesome greatness of Jesus. He is not to be taken for granted. In fact how could you take the Son for granted, how could you get comfortable with the Son when you stop and look at who he is! This opening shows us a Son, it shows us a Jesus far beyond any flannel graph character, far beyond any portrayal in a movie and far beyond anything in our imaginations.
When I stopped and thought about these first three verses they blew my mind away at the picture of Jesus I saw. I hope you take the time to reread them and meditated on what they mean and allow you r perception of our LORD Jesus Christ to be expanded.