Dear CSOPC family,
Grace and peace to you this week. As you go through your day today, let me encourage you to pause for a moment to pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. Take five minutes to pray for our church, our officers, our Sunday school teachers, our covenant children, our marriages, our singles, our presbytery, our denomination, other gospel-preaching churches in the area, our brothers and sisters suffering persecution around the world, and our unsaved neighbors, friends, and family!
The Lord hears and answers the prayers of his children!
- Bible study tonight at the VanTubergen’s home. Join us at 7:00 as we continue our study in Galatians. Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, 77095.
- This Lord’s Day we will continue our study through Revelation in Sunday school and through Mark in our sermon series.
- Remember to register for our spring retreat. Go here for details and to register: http://providencepres.com/retreat/.
- Finally, this week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection on Christ as our great high priest.
Have a great day and I look forward to worshipping with you this Lord’s Day.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“Our Great High Priest”
Hebrews 9:12, “[Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing our eternal redemption”
Jesus is our great and final prophet, priest, and king. Last week we considered Jesus as our true prophet; this week we will consider Jesus as our high priest. The priests in Israel were tasked with overseeing the temple worship of the Lord. They guarded the temple – making certain nothing unclean entered into God’s presence (Num 18:1-7). Moreover, they offered the sacrifices on behalf of the people to make atonement for the sins of the people (Leviticus 6-7). And once a year, the high priest would enter into the Most Holy Place to offer a sacrifice on behalf of the nation (Leviticus 16).
But there was something lacking – something deficient in the Old Covenant priesthood and sacrificial system. Not that it was wrong or sinful in itself! Indeed not! For it was instituted by the Lord himself! But the Old Covenant priesthood and sacrificial system were ‘intended’ to be preparatory and temporary. There was a type of built-in deficiency: “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb 10:4). Furthermore, the repetitive nature of the sacrifices speaks to its insufficiency … each day – day after day after day – the morning and evening sacrifice was to be offered (Ex 29:38-46). And the priests themselves would come and go – year after year after year (Heb 7:23). Just as the prophets were types pointing forward to the final prophet, so also the sacrificial system and the priesthood were types pointing us forward to the anti-type, the final and great priest, the Lord Jesus Christ (see John 1:29).
The book of Hebrews unfolds the glorious truth of (1) Christ our great High Priest and (2) the final and sufficient sacrifice (in particular, chapters 5, 7-10). For example, Hebrews 7:27 states, “[Jesus] has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.” Or as 9:12 puts it, “[Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, this securing an eternal redemption.” Or again, “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest (referring to the Old Covenant priests) ‘stands’ daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had for all time offered a single sacrifice for sins, he ‘sat down’ at the right hand of God” (Heb 10:10-12, note also the contrast between the Old Covenant priests who stood and Christ who sat down).
Christ is both the ‘offerer’ and the offering. He is both the priest and the sacrifice. And His priesthood is an eternal priesthood; and his sacrifice was a perfect, final, and sufficient sacrifice. Although the blood of bulls and goats could not take away our sin; the blood of Christ did take away the sins of his people (1 Peter 1:18-19; Eph 1:7; 1 John 1:7). In fact, there is nothing we can do to wash away our sin – we cannot cleanse ourselves. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse – only Christ can save. And this is what he has done as our Great High Priest!