Thursday, June 23, 2016
Merciful and Faithful High Priest
The purposes of Jesus being fully human (while still being fully God) include to destroy the devil and power of death, to free those who were in bondage to sin and fear of death, to be a sympathetic & trustworthy Mediator between God and us, and to make atonement for the sins of the people.
Even though Jesus Christ is absolutely perfect and sinless, He voluntarily took our sin upon Himself and suffered agonizing death on the cross in our place to pay for the penalty of our sin. This greatest sacrifice satisfied God's justice, righteous wrath, and holiness.
Jesus understands our weaknesses and intercedes for us in the presence of God the Father. Because He Himself suffered (but He never surrendered Himself to temptation) when He was tempted, He knows exactly what it's like to be tempted and He is able to help us when we are tempted. He is merciful (full of mercy, grace, love, and compassion) and faithful (we can always count on Him). "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." (Hebrews 4:14-16) Jesus Christ is our High Priest who can empathize with us. In His humanity, Christ was familiar with our needs, temptations, and problems. Satan tempted Him in the wilderness but He didn't succumb to the temptation; He did not sin. He overcame each temptation with God's Word. We don't have to sin when facing temptations, either. "The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one." (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
We no longer need to fear dying since we know that when we leave this earth, we will live eternally with God in Heaven. Christ's death and resurrection defeated Satan & death and delivered us from slavery to sin; therefore, the Enemy, sin, and death no longer have power over us. We will be clothed with the imperishable and immortality. "The dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed...'Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15:52b, 54b-58) What marvelous victory all believers have in Christ!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your atonement, mercy, and faithfulness! Thank You for my eternal home with You in Heaven! Thank You for not leaving us alone to fend for ourselves here on earth! Please enable me to overcome any temptation and emerge from any trials victorious. Please give me a heart of empathy like Yours. Teach me, Lord, how to help those who struggle and suffer. Help me be a good listener and encourager. Use me, Lord, to be Your messenger of light, love, grace, mercy, and hope. Amen.