Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Our great high priest: Better than... Jonah?!!!

Jesus the Great High Priest
Hebrews 4:14 " 14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For 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. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The book of Hebrews talks about Jesus, our great high priest: "greater than Moses," and "forever, in the order of Melchizedek." In our time of need, we may draw near to the perfect, eternal, wonder of wonders: Jesus and His throne of grace. Yet, for me it is strange how so often when I find myself in such times of need, I instead identify with the miserable, disobedient prophet of little faith, Jonah. He had the memory span and gratitude toward God that lasted all of about one chapter.

The redeeming truth from Jonah is Christ's faithfulness and worthiness, NOT Jonah. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson spoke during the 2006 PCRT conference about "What Jonah Learned," which of course was summarized by quoting Jon 2:9b "Salvation comes from the LORD" and "yet you brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God." Jonah learned that despite his ingratitude and unfaithfulness, God alone is faithful, gracious, and merciful. In the NIV Jon 2:8 says: "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." How painfully true it is to realize that great statement. Yet it is barely a beginning. Turn from the idol and turn TO the Christ!

So, in my readings I'm finding hope and grace in dwelling upon, studying in, and soaking up Jesus in the gospels, and identifying with Him, His Words, His prayers, His actions. And even the epistles of Paul, Peter, John, and James provide examples of Christ's love and faithfulness worthy to dwell upon. And all because of His great love and grace that He lavishes upon us.

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