The Baby High Priest

Our High Priestwith love.png

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Christ, our High Priest Who is higher than us, chose to become lowly like us to make atonement for all of our sins forever.

Scriptures of the Day:

Hebrews 8:1-6

1 “Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We have such a high priest, one who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So this one too had to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 The place where they serve is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For he says, “See that you make everything according to the design shown to you on the mountain.” 6 But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises.”

Hebrews 5:10

“And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, and he was designated by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7:3

Without father, without mother, without genealogy, he has neither beginning of days nor end of life but is like the son of God, and he remains a priest for all time.

Psalm 110:4

4 The Lord makes this promise on oath and will not revoke it: “You are an eternal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.” 

Yesterday I was thanking God that Christ is our mediator.  Today I reflect on the fact that He is not just a go-between – He is a high priest.  I love when something miraculous happens where there is no explanation.  There is a mystery surrounding this high priest who showed up out of nowhere, who was the high priest of God and to whom Abraham tithed to.  The fact that this name means “King of Righteousness” in Hebrew makes me smile.  Not only that, He is from Salem, which means peace.  Our Prince of peace made an appearance as high priest to the father of our faith, Abraham.  How amazing.  His next entrance as a priest would be as a baby.  Christ is our high priest who lives forever in the order of Melchizedek.

We do not just celebrate God coming in the flesh as our Savior, our Redeemer, our Deliverer, and our King.  He is our high priest.  He is able to make atonement for all of our sins and He forever intercedes for His sheep.  Many times in our lives we will have people come in and out of our lives.  If we are blessed to have some with us for most of our journey here on earth, we are blessed indeed (unless they are a thorn in our flesh, ha!)  But Jesus as our high priest forever means He didn’t just leave us when He left this earth.  He remains our pastor, caring for our souls – for all eternity!

He is forever faithful in His duties as our priest and never forsakes His children.  I am completely overcome with this reality. Christ coming as our high priest means we are never rejected, never without His leadership in our lives.  Never abandoned, always with Him.  Always.

Thank you, sweet Jesus, for being our everything!  I worship You, my high priest!

A Season of Thankfulness: Day 14 – Our Covering

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Psalm 5:12

“Certainly you reward the godly, LORD. Like a shield you protect them in your good favor.”

Psalm 85:2

“You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin. Selah.”

Romans 4:7-8

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin.”

The imagery of a cozy comforter protecting us from the chill of winter provokes a smile on my face, reminding me of the comfort Christ’s covering brings to His children.  To Adam and Eve, He provided a literal clothing to cover them.  To all of Adam and Eve’s descendants He provided Himself as their covering.

We tend to attempt to rely on ouselves for a covering.  It just would not seem right to allow someone else to take care of our messes.  Yet our excuses are empty and our covering ultimately has holes in it.  We could never provide the perfect solution to our sin problem.  We are flawed and others cannot cover us, either.  We will stand alone before God in the end.

But how will we stand?  If we have accepted the free gift of Christ’s salvation, His atonement (at-one) united us with a Holy God, completely blotting out all of our sins.  When we appear before God on the judgment day, He will see Christ, our faithful Savior, providing propitiation (appeasement to God) for every single one of our sins.

Covering us with His grace and unconditional love, we finally belong.  We belong to His family and He protects and watches over those underneath His canopy of forgiveness.  Why would anyone want to be without this covering, when it is the answer to our soul’s cry to be safe, loved and known?

What a beautiful gift it is – this covering God provides through Jesus – lasts forever and our sins will never be counted against us.  No ordinary covering could accomplish such an act of uniting the unholy with the holy; no, only God Himself could provide that perfect sacrifice.

Jesus, thank You for covering all of our sins and washing away the burdens of this world.  Thank You that your covering is not temporary and will not wear out.  Knowing You is eternal and You never give up on us.  Praise be Your Name!

God-Confidence & the Cloak of Many Colors

Philipians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  

Psalm 27:3

Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

My stomach betrayed the personna of confidence I wanted to convey.  Why did I doubt myself so much?  Then suddenly the LORD gave me a visual: a cloak of confidence.  I did not recognize that I was wearing so many cloaks that needed to be cast off, one by one.  The cloak of insecurity, the cloak of fear, the cloak of unworthiness, the cloak of guilt, the cloak of self-doubt and my biggest one: the cloak of rejection.

We all are wounded in this life and do not realize that while we have forgiven and moved on from places of pain, we still carry the wounds . . . subtly . . . without recognizing it.  While I do not believe truly in self-confidence as much as I do in God-confidence, there is a role for self in the confidence cloak we need to put on.  We must choose to wear the cloak of truth in who we are in Christ and His promises.  Sure, we are aware of our weaknesses, but that does not need to hold us back.

This cloak of confidence reminds me of an atonement cover – blotting out those aspects of my personality that are still like a frightened little girl, and covering them with Christ’s acceptance, Christ’s strength, and Christ’s enablement.  It means no longer contemplating all of the reasons we are not qualified and putting on all of the reasons Christ says we are qualified.  It means looking at ourselves with truth and grace.

Fear of failure can make us run and hide underneath counterfeit cloaks, but they never give the peace of Christ like abiding in Him and trusting in His word does.  Healthy confidence is confidence placed in God and a willingness to step out in faith in the calling He has on our lives.  It does not depend on or is not obtained by man’s opinion or even perceived success.  It is found in obedience and quiet trust, silencing the deafening accusations swirling around in our own mind or in the minds of others.  May we wear this cloak with gratitude and offer Christ praise for what He will do in us.

Christmas Count”Up” Day 23 – Baby Jesus, our Covering

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Ephesians 1:7

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”

Romans 4:7-8

7Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered8 blessed is the one against whom the Lord will never count sin.”

Romans 5:18-19

18 “Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.”

Hebrews 2:17

17 “Therefore he was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.”

I am quite sure if we committed a crime and were required to pay the penalty for that crime that we would not lay the burden of our sin debt on a baby.  It would seem so cruel.  The sacrifice of animals was sickening enough, but an innocent human life?  It still causes my stomach to churn when I think of an innocent lamb being slaughtered for someone else’s sin. It does not make sense to us because we are not fully acquainted with God’s standard of holiness.  How much more, then, would the death of a baby for someone else’s sin be considered tragic and heartless?

But our sin payment cannot be completely covered for all eternity by an animal or sinful man.  The death required should awaken us to see how very repulsive and wicked our sins are to God.  Sin destroys lives and separates us from God.  He required our sins to be eradicated, and the only means is by a perfect One, of which only God can meet that criteria.

Today we can stand in the presence of God because Christ covers us completely.  The loving compassion of our God, choosing to clothe us in His righteousness is beyond comprehension.  To Adam and Eve, guilty of sin in the Garden of Eden, God provided animal skins, symbolic of the need for a covering.  To the Israelites He specified a a system of animal sacrifices by which they would not be condemned for their sins.  He could not, in His righteousness, excuse sin, but He could Himself provide for a covering for His children.

Moms have big plans for their children.  I cannot fathom the anguish Mary felt when her son was killed ruthlessly.  But Our Savior, our Covering, Christ Jesus, was born to bear our sins – willingly.  That was not Mary’s plan, but it was God’s.  As I reflect on a baby born to bear my own iniquity, it serves as an impetus to help me refrain from costly sin, which cost my Savior His life.

Lord, thank You for giving Your own life for ours.  May we live a life worthy of Your sacrifice, all for Your glory.