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Our Merciful High Priest

At this time of the year, the people of the world, and the people of the church are celebrating the festivity called Christmas. Believer and unbeliever alike have trees put in their homes, put colored lights on them (some flickering), spend large amounts of money for gifts, sing the same songs, and by all outward appearance have all things in common. At this time of the year the distinction between church and world, is all but extinguished. The average church-goer puts his light under a bushel, and the worldly individual puts his ‘best’ foot forward. Indeed, very strange practices at this time of the year, with the Christ supposedly in mind. Let the serious-minded child of God consider a few ideas from Scripture on the glorious event of the birth of Christ.

Hebrews 2:17 and 18, “Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in the He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.” Young people, yet, fathers and mothers too, all of us, let’s go back and read those two verses again! What a wealth of treasure in God’s Word! Christ Jesus was born. Why? In order to suffer and die, for you and me, and all of God’s children.

Our merciful High Priest. This means that it is the will of Christ to make us perfect, to experience the covenant life with God as He does. And He works this desire, or will, out in our life upon this earth already, even though we are yet in our sinful natures. This is why we can sing Psalter #163, stanza 2,

“The loving kindness of my God

Is more than life to me;

So I will bless Thee while I live

And lift my prayer to Thee.

In Thee my soul is satisfied,

My darkness turns to light,

And joyful meditations fill

The watches of the night.”

            It’s that lovingkindness of God, that caused Him to send His Son to be born and to die for His people. Is this then your song and confession, child of God? Can you really sing this? If you can and do, then you have a most beautiful confession and evidence that you are a child of God, and most blessed! Then we, “see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor.” Hebrews 2:9a.

To know and experience this blessedness, we must know and be assured that Jesus (Saviour) removed all our sins. Then the full meaning of the birth of Jesus fills our hearts. If we have this assurance, then we will be comforted in anything and everything that comes our way in this life. Then we know that, “If God before us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. This knowledge and assurance comes to the child of God through the Scriptures. We must know what the Word of God says about Himself and about how we, as His people, must walk in the midst of this life as pilgrims and strangers. If we are not faithful in Bible study, and if we neglect the preaching of the Gospel on the Sabbath day, then it will surely follow, that our spiritual life will suffer. We all must confess daily that we fall far short of living in obedience to our Lord and Saviour. What then is our hope in this life, dear reader? Surely it is not the customs or the ‘joy’ this world tries to tempt us with. Let’s look at the beauty of Hebrews 2:17 and 18 again. Jesus, the One born to be our faithful and merciful high priest. We need that knowledge, child of God! Remember that He was born for the purpose of saving us from our sins. When we are faithless, He is faithful! He knows all our weaknesses and frailties, therefore He is continually interceding for us to the Father.

Do these truths, of the coming of Christ into our flesh go with us every day of our life? They should! The world, and much of what is called Christianity today, certainly do not even know what we are talking about, especially at this time of the year. This kind of Jesus remains in the manger, and excites them to give all kinds of gifts (not to Him, but to each other), and to have so called Christ-mas parties, and the list of things they do could go on.

“But we see Jesus” (Hebrews 2:9), not staying a babe; but shedding His blood for the sins of His people, and now seated at the right hand of God, interceding for us. And His promise to us is, that He shall come with a shout, not in the stillness of Bethlehem’s manger; but as Lord of lords, and King of kings, to save His Church and to execute judgment upon all the ungodly.

Let us all then examine why and how we remember and meditate on our Lord Jesus Christ, even in His lowly birth. Is it in harmony with the Word of God? Remember Hebrews 2:17 and 18. When we think of the great wonder of Bethlehem, do we do this in all seriousness as Scripture would have us do it? Or do we add many of the customs of the world to our remembering? We remember Him as our Saviour. His birth cannot even enter our minds, without remembering His finishing sacrifice on the cross. Our faithful and merciful high priest! From God’s Word we will have and experience the assurance that He is our only comfort in life and in death. And also, we will not be caught up with the empty customs of this world, as we remember our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us, as members of the Body of Christ, look to Him, and for Him, as the Author and Finisher of our faith, and give God the praise and glory for all that He has done for us, in and through Christ.