Mag's Thoughts

Jesus, the High Priest in the Book of Hebrews

     Let us look at Jesus as the High Priest as he is compared to a high priest in the Old Testament. We find this in the Book of Hebrews. The unknown author of Hebrews is writing to a congregation of Hebrew Christians who are in danger of returning to Judaism. The well-versed writer argues for the New Covenant of Jesus Christ and the supremacy of Jesus as the God of God and “the Radiance of God.” He establishes the priesthood of Christ on the order of Melchizedek and the ability of Jesus Christ to atone for our sin (The Old Testament sacrifices) once and for all. In Hebrews, the New Covenant of Jesus Christ of forgiveness that is fulfilled by the Christ and the New Covenant, unique from all others, is compete and final in the Christ.
     If we look at Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18-24, he pronounced a blessing on Abraham as Abraham returned to Hebron. Melchizedek is described as a priest of God Most High and again in Psalms 110 as it describes the Christ as the Priest King on the order of Melchizedek. Then returning to Hebrews 11, we see Jesus Christ compared to Melchizedek, unlike the Levitical priest, but “by the power of an indestructible life” and “a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Christ is the High Priest in heaven who intercedes without the offering of animals or blood because He paid the ultimate price of His own blood for humanity.
     One of my favorite passages in Hebrews is Hebrews 8-9. This passage gives me peace in this world because it explains Christ, the High Priest, seated on the right side of the throne of God. In Hebrews 9: 14-15 the writer says, “ How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” And in verse 28 the writer of Hebrews states, “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.”  Christ died for my sins and that is an eternal promise of God in John 3:16.  These passages bring me such peace of mind!   We look forward to the season of Easter as Lent begins.  May we bow down on bended knee to give thanks for the gift of eternal life guaranteed by Jesus, the Messiah!

 

See Jesus

     As we move into the season before Easter, let us  look deeper into the scriptures to see Jesus as He is revealed in the Bible. Christ is the risen Son of God, the Messiah, who sits at the right hand of God. We so often  look peripherally at how thoroughly the Bible from Old to New Testament details who Christ is and what His mission on earth entails. In Mark 1:11, the apostle writes, “and a voice came out of the heavens: ‘Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased.’ ” He is one of three persons in the Triune One God (Luke 1:35, Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14). He existed before Creation as the apostle records the words of Jesus in John 17:5, “And now glorify Thou Me together with thyself, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” You see Jesus Christ came as the Incarnate Son of God to earth as John tells us in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
     The Incarnate Christ means that two natures, divine and human, are joined in the person of Jesus Christ and the two natures are inseparable. This joining of two natures in one being is called hypostatic union as explained by John in 1 John 1:14. The divine nature is scriptural and seen in so many passages in both the Old and New Testament (Isaiah 9:6, Micah 5:2, Colossians 1:15-17). Jesus himself claimed His deity (John 5:18, John 8: 54, 58). In John 10:30, Jesus says, “I and my Father are one.” Jesus was indeed fully human born of woman. He grew as a boy into manhood, was hungry, tempted, felt pain, cried, and felt deep agony in the Garden and on the cross (Mark 11:12, Matthew 4:1-11, Hebrews 2:18, Mark 14:34, John 11:35, Luke22:44, Matthew 27: 27-32, Mark 15:9). Yet, He was God, the Son.
     Christ, the only begotten Son of God came with a mission to bring redemption to mankind (John 3-16-19) through His death and resurrection. God’s plan was revealed as God spoke to Adam and Eve, after they sinned in Genesis 3:15. He sits at the right hand of God and will indeed return in triumph. Jesus will rule over the New Jerusalem as the new city descends from the heavens. The Gospel books of the Bible record the birth, temptation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ (Luke 2, Matthew 1-2, Matthew 4- 25, Mark 1-13, Luke 5-21, John 1-17, Matthew 14-16, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, John 18-21). The work done by Christ through His death, resurrection and ascension, is the pivotal event in all of history (1 Corinthians 15). Death was and is defeated!
     Those of humanity that believe in Jesus Christ and the work He did on the cross, will have an eternity in His presence because through Him, God has given us the gift of eternal life Romans (Acts 16:31, John 3:16! The risen Christ was seen by the disciples, the women who followed Jesus and to almost 500 who saw Him alive after His crucifixion before his ascension (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, John 201-2, mark 16:5, Luke 24:4, 9-11 and 13-30, Matthew 28:5-8 and 1 Corinthians 15:6) In Hebrews 24-25 Jesus’ role in heaven today as High Priest and King (Zechariah 6:13) is described as, “ but He on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Christ builds the greater church, body of believers today (Matthew 16:18). Again, Christ will return to earth to rule over the millennium and after Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, the New Jerusalem will come down. The throne of God and the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, will reign forever. (Revelation 20:2-7 and Revelation 21:10 through 22:5).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. “1 Peter 1:3
“But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“For a child will be born to us a son will be given to us; the government will rest on His shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to His government or of peace on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forever more. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

A Closer Look at the Holy Spirit

 The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Triune God (Matthew 28:19), and from Creation, the Holy Spirit was active in the lives of man. Do we, as Christ-followers really know what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit or the significance of how the Holy Spirit works in our lives? At Creation, Genesis 1:2 describes the Holy Spirit as “moving over the surface of the water.” The Holy Spirit is described in Psalm 139 as omnipresent and omniscient, just as the Father and Son are. In the Old Testament, he is known as the Spirit of the Lord or Spirit of God (Exodus 31:3, Job 33:4, Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 59:21, Ezekiel 36:27, Joel 2:28). The Psalmist in Psalm 51, however uses the term Holy Spirit saying, “Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.”
In the New Testament, Mary the mother of Jesus was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18). Christians know that Jesus promised a Helper to His disciples in John 14:16-17 saying, “ And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit , He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” The Holy Spirit worked in the life of Christ, appeared at His baptism, empowered Jesus to do all sorts of miracles (Luke 4:18, Jon 1:32, Acts 10:38, Luke 4:1, Matthew 12:28). Jesus offered Himself as the sacrificial Lamb through the Spirit (Hebrews 10:14). On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit as described “a noise like a violent wind” and “tongues of fire” in Acts 2:2-3.
We as followers have the Holy Spirit within us to help us. In John 16: 13-15 Jesus reveals how the Holy Spirit will work on hearts saying, “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me for He shall take of Mine and shall disclose it to you. All things that the father has are mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.
The Holy Spirit convicts the heart of sinners as Jesus describes in John 16:8-11. The heart of a man is forever changed, regenerated, by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation (Titus 3:4-7). The Holy Spirit stays with believers as they grow as Christians. The Holy Spirit prays, intercedes when believers are weak and do not know what to pray for He knows their hearts (Romans 8:26-27). The Holy Spirit helps Christians in so many ways. He gives them spiritual gifts such as the gift of evangelism, pastoring, the gift of teaching or the gift of mercy (the list of gifts found in Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, and 28-30, Ephesians 4:11). In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul lists the results of the Holy Spirit working in the heart of man, “ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control against such things there is no law.”
The Holy Spirit dwells within all believers, and as a believer grows in faith, they can be repeatedly filled with the Spirit which is a surrendering of or relinquishing control of our lives to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5, Acts 13:52, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31). The Holy Spirit guides, helps, teaches, moves, creates and recreates, intercedes, searches our hearts, emboldens, assures, comforts (Romans 8:4-6, Romans 8:16, John 14:18, John 16:8, John 16;8, Romans 8:26, Romans 14:17, Jude 20).
Man must never blaspheme the Holy Spirit as Jesus states in Matthew 12:30-32; Jesus made it clear that this blasphemy is unforgivable. The Holy Spirit works within the heart of man, lives within man, and matures the believers to surrender their lives in totality to Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will continuously work within the heart of believers as they are sealed (guaranteed) with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22 and 5:5, Ephesians 1:13-14 and 4:30). Christians are guided to surrender their will to Christ-likeness as they are moved, guided, taught, and emboldened by the Holy Spirit! “The Holy Spirit continues to work in the world in the saving of souls and the growing of the saints.
“For who among us knows the thoughts of man except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.”
1 Corinthians 2:11-12

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