During the lockdown I tried to improve my Sudoku problem solving skills. I have been learning about x-wings and hidden triples, but still I am not very good at solving the puzzles. In life we face problems that are much bigger and more important than sudoku. Perhaps you have faced problems that you couldn't solve or problems that you needed help with. But what if everyone is facing the same problem and no one has a solution?
God’s answer to this problem was to send Jesus as our Great High Priest. Jesus who is both fully God and fully human was able to deal with this great problem. As the Apostle Paul wrote: For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus who has given himself as a ransom for all people. (1 Timothy 2:5–6)
There are three key marks to Jesus' ministry as our Great High Priest.
- Jesus has dealt with this problem once and for all. His sacrifice upon the cross completely fulfils all that is needed to remove the problem of sin. What seals the deal is that having presented himself as the sacrifice to take away our sins, Jesus ascended to heaven and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God. His ascension to heaven helps us to recognize God seal of approval on what Jesus has done.
- Because Jesus is fully human, we have a Great High Priest who understands our struggles. That means he understands us, he can sympathise with us, and he can relate to the issues we face. This Great High Priest is our Brother, one of us,who loves us and seeks the best for us.
- Because Jesus has dealt with the ultimate problem that kept us from God, we can now approach God. We read “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) The presence of the ascended Jesus at the right hand of God's throne validates our welcome in God's presence. It is not just that the way is open for us, but as children of God, who are loved by God, we are encouraged by God to approach the throne of God where Christ is seated with confidence. We do not need to be timid God has made a place for us in his presence.
Because Jesus is our Great High Priest we can be forgiven. We can be set free. We can become the children of God. We can come to the throne of God with confidence. We can have full hope in this life and in eternity. God solution to our great problem is so life changing that it is referred to as being born again. At great cost to himself this gift of grace is offered to us at no cost. The Apostle Paul not only defined the great problem that the wages of sin is death he also proclaimed the great solution … but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6.23)
Have you ever felt separated from God – what was that like for you?
What would it take for you to approach God with confidence?
Have you ever asked God for forgiveness and experienced his grace? (If not, why not pray to him now and begin a new life with him).
Rev John Malcolm