Jesus, Our Great High Priest
October 9th, 2018 | Hebrews 4:14-5:10
For ancient Greeks, the divine was detached from human suffering. Aristotle believed that God was the Unmoved Mover who started the world but then remained uninvolved. Stoics
taught that God was beyond all feeling or emotions. And Epicureans believed that the gods lived in blissful ignorance of human affairs.
How radically different is the Christian conception of Christ, who is more than a detached, impersonal force—He is the divine Son who enters into our very world! Even more, He is our “great high priest” (4:14) who fully identifies with us in our humanity. Today’s reading
highlights several important aspects of Christ’s priesthood.
First, because of Christ’s humanity, our high priest “has been tempted in every way, just as we are” (4:15). His full humanity means that Christ stands in solidarity with us, including being subject to temptation, and can “empathize with our weaknesses” (4:15).
Second, Christ understands human suffering because He has experienced it Himself: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (5:8). Through that suffering, Christ was “made perfect” (5:9); His obedience became the complete expression of His love for the Father.
Third, Christ remained perfectly obedient in suffering, faced temptation, and did not sin (4:15). His priesthood is far superior to that of an earthly priest who “offers sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people” (5:3). He “has ascended into heaven” (4:14) on our behalf, and “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (5:9). He represents us before the Father and we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (4:16).
APPLY THE WORD
We can approach God’s throne to “receive mercy and find grace” (4:16). Look in a hymnal or search online to find John Newton’s hymn, “Approach, my Soul, the Mercy Seat,” which echoes so well today’s lesson: “Bowed down beneath a load of sin, / By Satan sorely pressed, / By war without and fears within, / I come to thee for rest.”
PRAYER | MYANMAR
Many pastors and church leaders coming from remote villages of the country travel more than a day by motorcycles and hired vehicles to attend a training for lay leaders. Pray for their safety.
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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