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A Thought for the Day--Jesus Our High Priest
Monday, August 27, 2007
"Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool." ' Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:33-36 NKJ)
Jesus is Lord. Most Christians know that. He is also Christ, meaning the Anointed One. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, is making that declaration to the Jewish people, who were amazed when they saw and heard the disciples speaking in their own language. They were witnessing an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. Peter was helping the people understand what was happening. Peter was telling them that Jesus, having been exalted to the right hand of God, had received the promise of the Holy Spirit; the speaking in tongues by the disciples was an evidence of this.
Peter was quoting the Old Testament. He was quoting from Psalm 110, where God said to Jesus, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, you have the dew of Your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not relent, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." (Psalm 110:1-4 NKJ)
Peter was stating that God raised Jesus from the dead, exalted Him to His right hand in the heaven of heavens and made Him Lord and Christ. As Lord, Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. Jesus Himself testified to this after He rose from the dead. But, Jesus is also Christ; He has been anointed by God to be our heavenly High Priest forever. As our High Priest, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit of God to His people, giving them Divine revelation, power, and the ability to manifest the gifts of the Spirit. That is part of His role as our High Priest.
Jesus is alive today. He reigns at God’s right hand. He ministers to His people in the power of the Holy Spirit as part of His being called to be our High Priest. He interceeds for us before His Father’s throne, as our High Priest.
One of the qualifications for being a High Priest was that he would know the weakness of the people. The Bible says of Jesus, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 NKJ). Jesus, on earth, was weak like us. He was born in the likeness of sinful flesh, tempted like we are, yet without sin, for the grace of God was upon Him. This was true as a child, as a teenager, and in His ministry (Luke 2:40, 52).
Now we too can be made partakers of the Divine nature of God and can be empowered by the Holy Spirit as Jesus was. This is the gospel message of grace, offered to us.
Father we rejoice in Your provision for us. Help us to live in Christ and be empowered by Your Spirit as He was. Amen.
A Thought for the Day--Jesus Our High Priest
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:33-36 NKJ)
Most Christians know that Jesus is Lord. He is also Christ, meaning “The Anointed One.” On the day of Pentecost, Peter made that declaration to the Jewish people, who were amazed when they saw and heard the disciples speaking in their own language. Peter was helping the people understand what was happening as they witnessed an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples. He told them that Jesus, exalted to the right hand of God, had received the promise of the Holy Spirit; the disciples’ speaking in tongues was an evidence of this.
Through Jesus as our High Priest, we can become partakers of the Divine Nature of God. We do not become God, but rather God dwells in us so that we become more and more like Him, having His very nature and character developed in us. We then can be empowered by the Holy Spirit and have victory over our sinful flesh, just as Jesus did. We can become aware of our need to rely on the Holy Spirit for power and revelation, just as Jesus did. We can live humbly before God our Father, doing what we see Him doing, just as Jesus did.
Through the indwelling Presence of the Spirit of God, our spirit becomes alive to the things of God. We begin to love what God loves and hate what God hates. Serving God and living for Him become a natural outgrowth of having Him living in us through His Spirit. Jesus as our High Priest is called by God and given the ability to impart the Spirit of God over us and into us so that we can be filled with the very fire of God’s nature. We then have a love of holiness and righteousness and a hatred of the ways of Satan and of the things Satan uses to keep us focused on worldly things.
Through having the nature of God developed in us, we can experience victory over the lusts of our old flesh and over the power of sin which had enslaved us to sinful passions--anger, greed, envy, sexual immorality, ingratitude, murmuring, and the like. Through having the Holy Spirit continually given to us through Jesus, we have access to the wisdom, knowledge, power, counsel, understanding, and reverence of God. We begin to know that we know that things will work out all right; we begin to understand that God has a higher purpose than we see for the circumstances in our lives. We begin to see God using our present difficulties to develop His character in us and to conform us to the image of Christ.
Father, we rejoice in Your great plan for us to live in Christ and to have His Spirit in us so we can live for You as Jesus did. Help us to come into all You have for us in this life. Amen.
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