“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defence – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)
The writer to the Hebrews extended a lot of comfort and encouragement to the Jewish Christians that he was writing to, probably between AD 65 and AD 68. No one is quite sure where these people lived but these amazing letters focus on Jesus the Christ and what He has done for us. The writer goes into great detail showing that Jesus is superior to everything that has gone before: that He is greater than the angels (chapter 1), He is greater than Moses (chapter 3), He is greater than Joshua (chapter 4). In fact, everything that had gone before came to its perfection and fulfilment in Him.
But the jewel in the crown here in this amazing letter is that He is “…the Apostle and High Priest whom we confess.” Hebrews 3: 1 (NIV)
Here we come to the very heart of Christ’s heavenly work for us. Not only are we told that he is a merciful and sympathetic High Priest but that He is a praying High Priest. His personal prayers of intercession for his brothers and sisters are brought before the throne of God 24/7. Notice this section in chapter 7 verses 24 and 25: “But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangable priesthood. Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.” (NKJV) In other words, He lives forever as our great High Priest to intercede for us before the throne of God.
In his inaugural speech President Obama spoke of this time of “gathering clouds and raging storms”. I think that it would be good for us to remember the next time we face the storms of life (as the winds blow and the waves try to swamp and sink us, as things crash around us here on this earth) that in heaven we have a glorious and faithful High Priest who is still on His knees for us before the throne of our Father, who loves us just as much as He loves His Son. John 17:23 (NIV)
In our darkest night, in our most difficult trial, He is praying for us individually and collectively when we struggle as we run this race. He is always bringing us by name before our Father where we “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)
And so at any time, day or night, we can bring our pain to Him because He has felt and understands pain.
We can bring our fears to Him because He has experienced fear.
We can bring our tears to Him because He knows what it is like to weep.
This is our amazing High Priest about whom the Apostle Paul wrote:
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5:21 NIV)
Imagine all this…for us!
Ever merciful and gracious Father, we humbly give you our grateful thanks that you gave Your Son to intercede for us. At this time of year, as we remember His sacrifice and on-going role in our salvation, we look to Him as our Saviour and High Priest. We pray that our lives will reflect His love.
Study by Cliff Neill