Once and For All

Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. But Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. He’s there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them.

So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, he doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect.      Hebrews 7:23-28 (The Message)

Lectionary texts: Job 42:1-6, 10-17, Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52

The texts this week are testimonies to God’s perfect love to save His children from their sins. His love began in the Law that He gave to help us to know His and His ways for us, correcting us when we faltered. And the Law included offerings done by priests that would be done in repentance and atonement. But it quickly became apparent that 1) the offerings would have to be done again and again and the priests themselves would have to do it for themselves first because 2) they were sinful men and even corrupt in their priestly acts.

And so God had to have The Priest, The Holy One, The One without blemish, who would Himself be the sacrifice once for all. The sacrifice would be perfection and would be The One who could take not only the sins that had so far been committed but could also be the sacrifice for all the sins to come. NO sin would be left uncovered by the Blood of this sacrifice.

And in my mind, maybe that is why the death of Christ is so horrific. It must be such horrific, violent love that it will be forever able to cover any horrific, violent sin that we may think up. This High Priest, Jesus Christ, “got it right” and did not stop there.

The NIV says in verse 25, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Even today as I begin another week, I feel so weak. Jesus is right here with me and stands in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30) between me and the Father, speaking on my behalf. And if I get quiet, I can hear what He says. If I have trouble hearing, I can always go to John 17 and begin there.

Mark’s Gospel passage tells me about Bartimaeus who was blind.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asks.
“I want to see.” Bartimaeus says.
Simple. Direct. No super holy language. No whining. Just the bottom line. What is my bottom line request from Jesus today? Am I afraid to say it? I should be more afraid of what might happen if I do not. His love surrounds me, heals me, comforts me. Surely with Jesus is where I want to be because there is where I will find perfect, unconditional love in the only Friend who has already given His life for me and continues to speak to the Father about me. Come in. Let’s sit a spell and listen to what He says.

Yahweh written and sung by Andy Park


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