Friday, July 31, 2009

"Now Appearing"

"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself,
now to appear in the presence of God for us."
(Hebrews 9:24)

The writer of Hebrews provides one of the most thrilling truths in the Bible by proclaiming that the Lord Jesus Christ is now appearing before His Father for our benefit. The Apostles Paul and John confirm this mediatorial office of Christ's priesthood that eternally maintains our standing and relationship with God.

"There is one God, and one mediator
between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 2:5)

"If any man sin,
we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous."
(I John 2:1)

Just as we could not birth ourselves spiritually and originate our relationship with God, neither do our own actions or merits secure our place in His family. The Apostle Peter adds to our consideration by writing that we are "kept by the power of God," and the writer of Hebrews again provides assurance in numerous Scriptural declarations of a salvation that is originated, continued, and completed by "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).

"But this Man, because He continueth ever,
hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Wherefore He is able also to save
them to the uttermost
that come unto God by Him,
seeing He ever liveth
to make intercession for them"
(Hebrews 7:24-25).

"Neither by the blood of goats and calves,
but by His own blood He entered in
once into the holy place,
having obtained eternal redemption for us."
(Hebrews 9:12)

"Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.
He taketh away the first (covenant),
that He may establish the second.
By the which will we are sanctified
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ
once for all...
by one offering He hath perfected
forever them that are sanctified."
(Hebrews `10:9-10; 14)

"But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever,
down on the right hand of God."
(Hebrews 10:12)

May such a floodtide of grace in Christ Jesus wash over our soul and cleanse away every discouragement, every hesitation to join our Lord in appearing in the presence of God, and every failure to avail ourselves of a grace so abundant that our great High Priest even now presents to His Father the tangible evidence of His mediation on our behalf. "What are these wounds in Thine hands?" asks the Father. "Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends" responds the Son (Zechariah 13:6). "Then they are My friends as well," we might imagine the Father declaring. "And thus I will receive them as I receive You, My Son."

For the born again believer in the Lord Jesus, the consideration of such grace calls to the depths of our being, breaks our heart anew, and motivates us to respond in far greater love, faith, obedience, and consecration to God and others. Love begets love, and our Lord's perfect faithfulness to us stokes the hearth of our own heart's flame of devotion. Yes, even now He is appearing in the presence of God for us, bearing our person and name in His heart, and on His hands and feet. And even now let us appear also to give thanks, rejoice, and then go forth spiritually invigorated to declare with the Psalmist, "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!" (Psalm 18:1).
"Having therefore, brethren,
boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way,
which He hath consecrated for us,
through the veil,
that is to say, His flesh;
and having an high priest
over the house of God;
let us draw near
with a true heart in full assurance of faith."
(Hebrews 10:19-22)

No comments: