Skip to main content

Advent Reflections: Priest Above Me

A couple of years ago, I wrote out a self-published e-book of Advent Devotions. You can still buy it from Amazon.com here: Advent Reflections. However, I’m going to re-use the whole thing for daily blog posts here on the blog this year.

Hymn numbers are from the 2008 Baptist Hymnal/Worship Hymnal from Lifeway.

Week Two Day Six: Priest Above Me

“For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NRSV)

Now we come to the crux of the matter. Jesus is certainly the Priest above all religion, practices, problems, and divisions. Yet what about you? Do you recognize that Jesus is alive to be your High Priest?

It is not enough to say that He is greater than all else. Doing so would be true, but it remains a distant truth. I readily recognize that I could not go three rounds with George Foreman. What of it? The question is irrelevant: no one expects me to box and everyone knows Foreman can.

Recognizing Jesus as the High Priest above me is bringing this entire discussion home. Sure, Jesus has the answer for the world’s problems. Do I admit He has the solution to my problem? Do I admit that He is the answer to the divisions I have with others?

More even than that: do I recognize that I cannot, on my own, make my way back to God? God is holy, righteous, and perfect. He is fundamentally different than I am. I am in one place at one time, limited in ability, knowledge, and judgment. God is not limited to locations and times, His abilities exceed my comprehension---and He understands Himself. He never makes a mistake, while I hope to avoid making fatal mistakes.

That a mere human cannot come to God without help should not surprise anyone. It should astound us that there is anyway made possible. Jesus makes that possible. The manger makes it possible. The manger is that moment when God opened the door. He put the mediator in place that could bring us back to Him.

Is that personal for you? No other mediator will work: your pastor, your friend, your parent or your child cannot stand between you and God to bring you to Him. There is one mediator. God closed the whole gap that night in Bethlehem.

Where do stand at the manger? Do you stand near or behind another? The grace of God is this: there is room enough in the front row for everyone. You do not have to take that back seat. It works, really, the other way. There is only a front row. Those who are one row back are outside, and will stay there unless they come themselves into the presence. The way is open for all who would take it. He is the High Priest above all things, and that includes individual people.

Scripture passage for the day: Revelation 19:1 (NIV)

After this I heard what sounded

like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

Hymn for the day: Good Christian Men, Rejoice #183

Prayer: Lord God, help me see Jesus as the only one between You and me. I ask for your help to move up to the front row, where nothing and no one stands between us. The only thing that should matter is You. Help me to live that truth. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…