Scripture: Hebrews 4:14-16, 9:24-26
Hymn: Arise, My Soul, Arise
In the book of Revelation, Jesus is described as a priest walking among the lampstands. He explains to John that the lamps are the churches, and Jesus, as the priest, is caring for His people. In the temple in Israel the priests offered sacrifices for God’s people and led them in their worship. They prayed for God’s people, interceding for them. The priests were like the people and they themselves were sinners in God’s sight, needing to offer sacrifices for their own sin, too. But every priest would grow old and die and a new priest would have to be found. Jesus is now our great high priest, and he is so much better than all the priests of the temple. Since he became a man like us he understands our weakness and our sinfulness, and he feels compassion and sympathy for us. And now He sits at God’s right hand in heaven. Having risen from the dead after dying on the cross, he can never die again. He can be our priest forever. On the cross, he offered himself up for our sins. He was both the priest and the sacrifice. Now in heaven,he intercedes for us, praying to God the Father for us. This is why we pray “In Jesus’ Name.” Because Jesus is our priest we have access to God. Because Jesus is our priest we have peace with God. God the Father loves His Son, and Jesus’ perfect priesthood makes us acceptable even though we are not holy ourselves. So we come to God with confidence. And because Jesus stands in heaven as a priest ministering among his churches we have confidence in his promise to guide us and keep us to the end of time.
Lord Jesus, thank you for offering yourself up for us, as priest and sacrifice. Thank you for interceding for us, for sympathizing with us, and for watching over us. Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son as our priest. We have confidence to come to You only in Jesus’ Name, Amen.