Bible Reading: Hebrews 7:24-25,27, 10:16-18
Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him,
because he always lives to intercede for them.
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day,
first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people.
He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."
Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
Philip Yancey, a great modern pastor and theologian said this ‘Grace means that there is nothing we can do to make God love us more…and nothing we can do to make God love us less.’
God loved each one of us so much that he sent his only son, Jesus, to die on a cross for us. Truly there is nothing he could do more than that to show us his love.
In his dying for us, all of our failings, whatever they are, past, present and future, are dealt with in that one act. Truly there is nothing we can do, however bad, that could make him love us less.
I was shocked therefore to hear of a visitor who came into one of our churches and, when offered prayer, asked how much it would cost! I think such ideas belong to pre-reformation theology. Paying priests for prayers is wrong both morally and theologically. Jesus our great high priest has made the ultimate sacrifice once for all; there is nothing more we can add to this, financially or otherwise. Sacrifice for sin, for the living or for the dead, is no longer necessary. We simply need to believe.
In the Old Testament the priest was the go-between in the relationship between individuals and God. He would pray to God for them and make sacrifices on their behalf. Now, as New Testament Christians, each one of us has direct access to God through Jesus who, the writer to the Hebrews says, ‘Lives to intercede for us.’
We can pray ourselves as individuals, we can also pray for each other as part of the ‘priesthood of all believers’, but beyond that, Jesus, the Son of God, is now in heaven, interceding on our behalf! Isn’t that just amazing.
Whatever it is that is on your heart today, bring it to Jesus in prayer, in the assurance that he hears and that he intercedes for you.
Thank you, Lord Jesus for your ultimate sacrifice made once for all.
Help me to live in the joy of your forgiveness
and in the assurance of your intercessions for me. Amen
Before the throne of God above