Jesus, Our High Priest

  S (Scripture): Hebrews 6:17 In the same way God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, and so he intervened with an oath, 18 so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

O (Observation): In the Temple, a curtain separated the holy of holies space from the rest of the worship space.  God was thought to be most fully present in this holy of holies space – the sanctuary.   Priests were the only ones allowed to enter the sanctuary space.  The priests carried prayers to God, seeking forgiveness for those the priest represented. 

The author of Hebrews now considers Jesus Christ the priest above all other priests.  He has access behind the curtain covering our hearts, the curtain that protects the holy of holies from the rest of the world. 

Why was this done?  Why was Jesus made the high priest forever?  

Hebrews 6:18 so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us

A (Application): So many nasty, negative things happen to us, in us, and around us.  Racism is rearing its ugly head, joined by its cousin Bigotry.   Political debates divide us – Red vs Blue.  Tony Romo has a broken clavicle.  (Sorry, I’m a Cowboys fan.   Just ignore that last statement : )

Kidding aside, we see terrible things going on.  What in the world is happening in Syria?  What’s Russia up to?  

Holy cow!  The world is full of some crazy stuff. 

So what keeps us straight?  What keeps pulling us forward?  What keeps enticing us to use our gifts and callings?

The answer is not a “what?”, but a “who?”  And that person is Jesus Christ.   My sins and the sins of all people are able to be taken by our priest, Jesus Christ, who can take those sins to God to bring us forgiveness. 

And that brings me hope.  And if I have hope for me, I have hope for the rest of the body of Christ. And thus, I am free to serve my neighbor and bring hope to my neighbor. If I don’t have hope, how can I bring that hope to my neighbor?   I can’t give what I don’t have!

So being forgiven, and being a part of the body of Christ, we have hope and can bring hope to others.  But we have to be with the “other” to bring that hope to the other. 

Who is your neighbor?  How are you able to walk with your neighbor?

P (Prayer): Lord, we give thanks that you forgive us and set us free to help our neighbors.  Amen. 

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