Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hebrews 4:14, Our Great High Priest

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

I understand that some Christians don't study the Old Testament, and believe it to be no longer valid. I disagree with that position. In fact, one of my passions is finding Jesus in the Old Testament. My most recent find is in the consecration of the High Priest.

Aaron, Moses' brother, was the first High Priest. He was chosen by God for the position, and his sons were chosen to do the job after him. In Leviticus 8 the ritual for Aaron's consecration is given to Moses by God. Here it is, in part:
Lev 8:10-12, 22-23 10And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. 11And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them. 12And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him.

 22And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. 23And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.
What does that have to do with Jesus, you may be asking. Good question! After all, God says in the Hebrews verse that Jesus IS our High Priest, and that settles it! Yes, I agree, it does settle it. But there is confirmation in the Old Testament which can be seen when compared with events in Jesus' life.

In Lev 8:12 above, Moses poured anointing oil on Aaron's head to sanctify him. It was not just a little bit of oil, because in Psalm 133:2 we are told that the precious ointment ran over Aaron's beard and down to the hem of his robe. Was Jesus anointed in this way? Yes! Remember Mary, Martha and Lazarus's sister?
Mark 14:3, 6-9 3And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
 6And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. 8She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
We know this is the same woman, because the town is Bethany, Jesus is anointed by a woman, and because of these verses:
John 11:1-2 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
So Jesus was anointed with enough precious oil to cover his head and his feet. What about the blood of the sacrifice which was applied to Aaron's ear, thumb, and toe?
Mat 27:29-30 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
His head was bleeding from the beating and the thorns. His ears had blood on them. His own blood.
Someone innocent had to die to provide the blood. In Leviticus a ram died. But for Jesus' consecration, Jesus died.
Luke 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
He had nails through his hands and his feet. His thumbs and big toes had blood on them. His own blood.
What a price he paid in order to be our Great High Priest! What suffering he endured in order to make intercession for us with His Father! There can be no greater demonstration of his love for us than this. All we can do is accept it with profound gratitude.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Romans 8:28 All for Good

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Gen 50:19  And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

As I have shared before, I am a member of After God's Heart, a community Bible Study for women. We are currently making our way through Romans. In studying Romans 8:28, we were asked how God used something bad to produce something good in the Genesis passage. My answer was that God used Joseph's brothers' evil intent to provide for the salvation of their whole family.

As I was writing my answer the parallel in Jesus' life struck me: God used the evil intent of the rulers of the Jews, to whom He was related, to provide for the salvation of everyone in the nation. Further, God used the evil political system of the time to provide the same thing for everyone in the world.
There is only one condition placed upon receiving this provision: believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and say that you do. God will take it from there. What could be easier?