Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Perfect High Priest (Part 2)

Yesterday we saw the significance of Christ's perfect obedience to the Father throughout his entire life. Through faith in Christ we are counted as perfectly righteous before the Father. In the book of Hebrews we read plenty of references of Jesus as our great High Priest. This is comforting because unlike the Old Testament high priests Jesus was perfect and made a sacrifice once for the forgiveness of sins. But not only was Jesus able to make one sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, he was also able to cover sinful humans with his perfect righteousness. This was impossible for the high priests of the Old Testament.

Many have argued that Jesus had it easy to be obedient because he did not live in a time like ours that was full of sin. First, sin is not a new thing. Since the fall (Gen. 3) the hearts of men have always been prone to sin and sin often. Maybe we see sin more visually in our technological age because it is all over TV, computers, magazines and so on but that does not negate the fact that sin has always been prevalent in the hearts of humanity.

Second, the bible says Jesus was tempted in every respect as we are. Let me repeat: Jesus was tempted in every respect as we are. The bible is clear that there is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9) so therefore sin was as dominant back then as it is today and Jesus was tempted by it all. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus endured temptation to the greatest degree possible. When we are tempted to sin we normally cave within minutes. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit are we able to withstand temptation to the greatest degree. But Jesus resisted sin perfectly. He never caved once to the fleeting pleasures of sin. Praise God! Jesus is able to sympathize with us in our weakness and through faith in Christ his perfection is counted to us so that we may be presented holy and blameless before the Father (Col. 1:22).

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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