Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Hebrews 7, verse 26.
You NEED a holy high priest to intercede for you whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not. You need it just like you need air, water, food and shelter. Here endeth the sermon.
Now for the example. A friend of mine has recently lost both of her parents. I completely empathize with her because both of my parents are gone as well. Her mom got sick and quickly died late last year. Not long after, I talked with her and she said that she didn’t think her dad, who was also in failing health, would last long. Her parents’ marriage had been close, Godly, and long, and my friend simply didn’t see how her dad would want to live long without his wife. Turns out she was right as her dad died just this week. Did he will himself to die or did the maladies of old age simply overtake him? Perhaps it was a little bit of both. The culprit in his passing really doesn’t matter, though, because the man and woman are both home with the Lord now, off on a new adventure that will last all eternity. They’ll get to spend it with each other, with Jesus, and with millions of others who believed and were saved.
Here’s the kicker: my friend doesn’t believe any of this. She’s not an atheist: she’s an unbeliever, one who doesn’t know but is apprehensive of taking the step that says “I believe.” She and I have talked many times about this very thing, and several times I’ve held out hope – as I do especially now – that she would be brought to faith. I see God’s Holy Spirit at work in her life, calling out to her to give up her pride and just embrace Him, yet she doesn’t. If good can come out of grieving (and it usually does), then I hope and pray this good comes out of hers. Heaven would be a much better place with my friend in it.
My friend doesn’t realize that she needs Jesus. She needs Him as a holy high priest, one who is blameless, pure, set apart from we sinners, and exalted from the heaven where her parents now thrive. A “need” is a necessity arising from circumstances. My friend (and me, and you, and everyone here on the Third Rock) needs Jesus to be her personal high priest because the circumstances of her life include rebelling against His holy command to be perfect. She hasn’t loved fully. She’s done things that are wrong. She’s willfully and sometimes gleefully dived deep into dark sins to which none of us should aspire. Those things weigh her down, making temporal existence seem overpoweringly dreadful when it need not be so. When we don’t realize our physical and spiritual need for Jesus, our lives are empty. Life without Jesus is merely existence.
News flash, friend reader: I could have just described you. I DID just describe me, as well as my mourning friend. Every single one of us sets ourselves apart from Jesus every time we sin against Him. And every thought or deed that is not of Him is sin. How can we abide by His command to be perfect? It’s not that tough. It starts by submitting to Him, believing in Him, giving ourselves over to Him, damn the world and the cost. Yes, in giving ourselves over to Jesus, we damn, we condemn, our actions to be taken away from us. We’re taken out of this world and begin to set foot, here and now, in a new world, a new existence where those things we condemn are separated away from us. They’re taken away from us because Jesus Himself took them away. I’ve described you, friend sinner, and I’ve described me, a sinner like you.
Like my friend. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. Pray that she would come to faith in the Savior who aches now to ease her pain, take away her burdens, and prepare her, too, to one day join her parents with Him in that new world of which they’re now forever citizens.
Lord Jesus, be with my friend and her family as they grieve. Reach out, use me to reach out, to help her by being a friend and Your ambassador. Touch her life and I pray she and all like her would come to You in faith.