“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.” – Hebrews 8:1-2 (ESV)
The Old Testament had men riddled with a rigid legal system to attain holiness. It was ordained by God, and ministered by men. In other words, the priest who interceded for the masses was a human being. And so, he had limitations. He would first offer sacrifices for his sins, and then the sins of the others. Moreover, he would repeat this process every time he seeks the presence of the Holy God. The Book of Hebrews wonderfully emphasizes, how Christ (by His death and resurrection) has not only fulfilled these legal requirements, but He has also ended it. He is therefore, a priest not in the order of a flawed humanity, but in accordance to His own righteousness and holiness. Indeed, how hope inducing it is that the scripture says, “(He) is a minister… in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man” (Heb 8:2, ESV)
I am reminded of the joyful, hope-inducing conclusion the Apostle John drew. And I quote: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (Jn 1:14, 16, ESV) How wonderful is that. The glory of God, in its fullness has been revealed to us through His son Jesus Christ. And the fullest extent of His grace for our complete salvation, in His death and resurrection. What Christian, born-again in the Holy Spirit will not rejoice over that? It is indeed impossible. Let us ponder upon the immaculate inception of Christ this season, through whom we could not just witness, but received the fullness of life.
As a way of concluding, I want to leave you with a wonderful illustration from Piper – this is the joy of seeing the fulness of Christ (that we associate with this season).
“Here’s an Advent illustration for kids (and for those of us who used to be kids and remember what it was like). Suppose you and your mom get separated in the grocery store, and you start to get scared and panic and don’t know which way to go, and you run to the end of an aisle, and just before you start to cry, you see a shadow on the floor at the end of the aisle that looks just like your mom. It makes you really happy and you feel hope. But which is better? The happiness of seeing the shadow, or having your mom step around the corner and seeing that it’s really her? That’s the way it is when Jesus comes to be our High Priest. That’s what Christmas is. Christmas is the replacement of shadows with the real thing.” (pg. 26)
Note: All of Piper’s quotations are from “Good News of Great Joy“
Read previous entries in this Series:
(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas(x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came