Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jesus, Our Man in Heaven

A.W. Tozer has a sermon entitled, "Jesus, Our Man in Glory," and the last three verses of Hebrews four give us a wonderful description of Him in His office as "Great High Priest, the Man who represents us before God in Heaven. When I am pressed to identify a "favorite" book of the Bible, I usually name this one, not because I have any great insight into it, but because what I do understand (and even suspect) enthralls me so that I am drawn back to it again and again. Let me show you what I mean.


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

Jesus Christ left the Father, passed through the womb of a virgin, lived a sinless life, suffered an agonizing interim of death and hell, accomplished a glorious resurrection, and then passed through the clouds to return to the bosom of the Father. This is why He is, superior to any earthly priest who lives now or ever lived before. He is the eternal Son of God; therefore He cannot die. He has "passed into the heavens," where our destiny is determined, and where (I say this reverently), He has the ear of the Father. This is why you and I can "hold fast our profession" of faith. We are safe and secure as long as our High Priest is alive. You can hang on to that, saint of God!


"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb.4:15).

George H. Morrison (1866-1928) has suggested that Jesus' greatest temptation was to avoid the Cross, and I can understand his reasoning. The devil promised He could gain a kingdom if He would bypass it (Matt.4:8-9); and Peter vehemently insisted he would personally not allow His Lord to suffer such treatment (Matt.16:21-22). Even the crowd around the Cross taunted Him, saying that the real King of Heaven would be mighty enough save himself, promising even to believe on Him, if He did (Matt.27:39-42).

Jesus knows what it is to be tempted to bypass cross bearing; and He knows what it is to tempted to act independently of God, which my husband thinks was His greatest temptation. But one way or another, the verse says Jesus was tempted "like as we are," from the greatest temptation to the seemingly insignificant hurt.

Because this is true, to me, the riveting word in this verse is "touched." I derive great comfort from the fact Jesus is not just mindful, or even troubled with my infirmities; He is touched by them. Others may say, "I feel your pain," but it is biased, tainted by their own feelings. I believe that Jesus' feelings on earth were not His own, but ours, as He represented every man. And today, He remembers those feelings of infirmity and inadequacy; not His own, to be sure, for there was no infirmity or inadequacy within Him (Jno.16:33; Isa.42:4); He remembers ours, and He is touched, deeply touched. He feels what we feel, but to an even higher and purer degree. When you and I truly grasp this, I think we will be far less inclined to pour our hearts out to anyone lesser.


"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb.4:16).

Finally, having described the superior qualities of this matchless High Priest, and His inherent bias toward us, the writer encourages us to come—come boldly—to the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, where we have every reason to expect satisfaction in our petitions for mercy. It is a "throne of grace," not a throne of rejection. The Law may have been given to shut our mouths, but Grace was given to open them!

So, if today is a "time of need" for you, dear friend, know this: You have a Great High Priest who stands before the Father, ready, willing, and able to speak for you. His name is Jesus, and He is Our Man in Heaven, so what are you waiting for?

Go! Go now!

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