Hebrews 7:23-27 ESV
“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.”
Jesus Christ, our High Priest
This is talking about Jesus Christ, God the Son, who left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human form, was born as a baby to an earthly mother, grew up as a child, and as an adult at around the age of 30 began his earthly ministry. He fed the hungry, raised the dead, healed people of their infirmities, and performed many miracles. And he taught repentance for the forgiveness of sins and obedience for eternal life.
Although he was perfect, for he never sinned, although he was tempted to sin like we are, still he had enemies, and they were mostly the religious, the Jews who were in positions of great influence and power and rule within the temple of God. They hated him because they were jealous of him and they feared they might lose their own positions of power and influence over the people if he gained too much popularity among the people.
They also hated him because he claimed to be God, which is who he is (God the Son) and they hated him because he confronted them with their sins and he spoke truth to them about their sins and he called them to repentance and to obedience to him and he warned them that if they did not submit to him as Lord that they would not have eternal life with God, but hell would be what awaited them, instead.
So, while he walked this earth during his three years of ministry they hounded him continually. They tried to trip him up with his words and because of the things that he did so that they would have cause to accuse him and to discredit him so that the people would not follow him. But that did not stop him, so they eventually plotted and carried out his death on a cross after they had him beaten nearly to death and after they had given him a mock trial at the hands of the public authorities.
But it was the will of God that Jesus Christ should suffer and die, for when Jesus died, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but so we would live for him who died and who was raised. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so that we would now honor God with our lives and with our bodies.
But he did not remain dead. God the Father resurrected him from the dead on the third day. He spent about 40 days appearing to many people in his resurrected body before he then ascended back to heaven to be with the Father. And then after several more days he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his followers, just as he had promised he would do, and now the Spirit of God dwells in the lives of Jesus’ followers.
Before Jesus became our sacrifice for our sins, though, the people had human priests who used to have to sacrifice animals for their sins, and they did this once a year, I believe. But when Jesus Christ became our sacrifice for sin, no more sacrifice is necessary. And we don’t have to go through human priests anymore for we have become kingdom priests, holy unto God. And Jesus Christ is now our mediator between us and God the Father.
He is Able to Save
Jesus Christ was not just our sacrifice for sin so that we no longer have to go through human priests, but he is the only way to salvation from sin and to eternal life with God the Father. Only by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, can any of us have our sins forgiven and have the hope of eternal life with God. There is no other way to God and there is no other way to heaven. We must all go through Jesus Christ if we want salvation from sin and the hope of heaven when we die.
But as mentioned in the section above, Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to forgive us our sins so that when we die we get to go to heaven. He died to deliver us out of our slavery (addiction, bondage) to sin so that we would now follow him with our lives, that we would now become slaves of God and of his righteousness, and that our lives would now be given over to obedience to our Lord to following him in his ways and in his truth.
He didn’t die just to save us but to transform us, to turn us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that we would receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. He put our sins to death with him so that we will die with him to sin, not just once, but daily, and so that we will walk in obedience to his commands in practice, and so we will no longer walk in sin.
For he said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For, he said that if we hold on to our lives (of living in sin and for self) that we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives (die with him to sin) for his sake, then we will have life eternal with him. And he said that not everyone who says to him “Lord, Lord,” will inherit eternal life, but only the one who is doing (obeying) the will of the Father who is in heaven.
So, his plan of salvation for our lives is that we must die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness in faithful obedience to his commands (New Covenant) and in the forsaking of our sins, in practice, in our daily walks, consistent, and continuing in him until the day he takes us home. And if we do not, but we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, in direct disobedience to him, then we don’t have the hope of eternal life with him.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
You are Loving and Forgiving
An Original Work / February 19, 2012
Based off Psalm 86
You are loving and forgiving,
Jesus, Savior, King of kings.
You provided our redemption.
By Your blood You set us free.
You are gracious; full of mercy.
No deeds can compare with Yours.
Great are You; there is none like You.
Glory be to Your name.
Teach me Your way, and I’ll walk in it.
O Lord, I will walk in Your truth.
May I not have a heart divided,
That Your name I give honor to.
I will praise You, O Lord, my Savior,
For great is Your love toward me.
You have delivered me from my sins.
Your grace has pardoned me.
You, O Lord, are full of compassion,
Slow to anger, bounteous in love;
Faithful to fulfill all You promise;
Glory be to Your name above.
Hear, O Lord, and answer Your servant.
You are my God. I trust in You.
Turn to me and grant Your strength to me.
You are my comforter.