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Friday, February 5, 2016

Praying Hebrew 3: Jesus Our Great High Priest

By Edward Lundwall, Jr.

“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession:” (NASU)

Lord, when I obey your Word to consider Jesus in such a way that it dominates everything (kata noew in Greek), tears of joy, adoration and reinforced faith gush forth from me. Israel was blessed to have a High Priest to make intercession for the people. For on the Day of Atonement, that chosen priest was to make peace for Israel by entering into the Holy of Holies to apply the blessed blood of sacrifice for the forgiveness of the nation’s sins. However wonderful this was, it is diminished when compared to what I have as a New Testament believer in Christ, my High Priest.

In the Old Testament, the High Priests were only believing sinners with imparted privileges and temporary powers of their office. The Greek word for High Priest carries the idea of a ruling priest. They were chosen on the grounds of their faith and commitment, because they were to behold and uphold You in glory at all times. These ruling priests were to focus upon the physical, liturgical, power, and prestige of their office. Many were corrupted; some even to the extent of leading to the arrest, corrupt trial, condemnation, and crucifixion of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Through this, Father, Jesus became the sacrifice for the atonement of all who would trust in Him! Words fail me when I try to understand or even describe the exaltation of the Lord Jesus to the position of my and every believers’ High Priest. You appointed Him in His humanity to fulfill the Old Testament picture. In doing so, He burst its foreshadowing to nothingness, replacing it with a greater reality!

Lord, forgive me and others, when we fall back on human tradition, instead of a faith relationship with you through our High Priest Jesus. The Hebrew Christians within the early church were happy until the Jewish religious leader forced them to choose between their traditions as Jews and their personal relationship with Christ. Even today, it is easy to participate in outer practices of any church and neglect the inner connection and communication we need with You through Jesus, our High Priest. (I Corinthians 10:13) Forgive us, Lord. Thank you that our faith is victorious over conflict when we renew our focus in this way upon Christ. He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6) in every area of existing in this passing world, and in preparing for our permanent heavenly one!

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