We have such a High Priest

Meditations on Hebrews chapter 8

Life is a school.

Everything in our experience is meant to teach us and help us grow to maturity. And it’s all wrapped up in getting to know God.

Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the centurion’s servant was healed that very moment (Matthew 8:13).   But what prompted Jesus to say that?

It was what the centurion said…

Just before that the centurion said this: “”Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he  comes…”

The centurion had insight and faith.

He had an understanding of Jesus and His role, His authority, and what He would do. And this insight inspired his faith.  He  drew from his own experience in this world, and propelled by need, his hunger brought enlightenment from God. And his resulting faith caused Jesus to compliment him and even marvel at what He had just heard.

This world is our school room. Actually it’s a reform school. Everything we experience here is meant to teach us and point us to God.

Feel a need at times for a priest?.

Someone to talk to who understands–and more, who can help? We have such a high priest, the highest of the high priests: Jesus.  The most effective priest who has ever lived ,and who is still alive and active today.

You want to know God?  Get to know Jesus.  When He walked this earth, He was the perfect model of God the Father. He was and is the Person who shows us what God is like, with every word, every gesture, every act and expression.

This world is not perfect.

But his present world, this earth and our experiences here are not perfect. They are marred by sin and corruption, as are we.  We need God’s help in understanding it all (Hebrews 11:3). But the centurion understood plenty, and his understanding resulted in a faith that impressed Jesus–and believe me, Jesus is not easily impressed.

One day, this world and we will reflect God more accurately.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea…” (Revelation 21:1, NASB)

“Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13, NASB).

“There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:3-4)

Meanwhile, we are to look to Jesus.

“But we do see Him who was made for a little whle lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9)

He is with us and in us.

He’s in us so that, as Frank Viola and Lenoard Sweet point out in The Jesus Manifesto, He may live out His life through us. There in a few words is the key to a victorious life:

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in  me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who lived me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20, NASB)

“I can do all things through  Him who strengthens me.” (Philippiians 4:13, NASB)

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:29, NASB).

It’s a partnership really, for He is our friend.

In the end God will make everything right.

For now, we struggle. But let us not lose hope (Hebrews–the whole epistle!)

 

N.T. Wright Interview: “Simply Jesus” & Wright Responds to Critics

I have read Frank Viola’s blog posts and books for years.

And as far as I’m concerned he’s spot-on.  And I found myself agreeing easily with what N. T. Wright had to say in this interview: Frank Viola interviews N. T. Wright. Both have eye-opening, deep, biblically-sound insights on Christian living and the contemporary church. HIghly recommended.  ( I haven’t personally read any of Mr. Wright’s books, but I soon will.)

Listen to this key interview.  It’s one every Christian seeking to follow our Lord should hear.

Another not-to-be-missed message

I  recommend you give this interview a listen too: Scot McKnight Interview: “The King Jesus Gospel” & McnKnight Responds to Critics.  

 

Probably the Best Book ever Written about the Body of Christ

A review of From Eternity to Here by Frank Viola (ISBN #  978-1-4347-6870-4.  Copyright 2009)

The Big Picture of God’s Plan for Mankind from Eternity.
Every generation, often more than once, a man or woman comes along who’s clearly called by God. They see the truth in God’s Word and proclaim it in a fresh way that opens our eyes.

It’s all there in the Bible
It’s not something made up or imaginary. Actually it was there all the time, inspired words waiting to be to be taken seriously, or waiting for discovery by a mind open and prepared to hear the Lord’s instruction.  Prepared to learn at the feet of the Lord Jesus.

And the Kingdom Moves Forward
Sometimes, and especially when that person’s message is heard, understood and heeded, a move of God occurs, and God’s Spirit moves powerfully on people. The progress of God’s Kingdom on earth as a this-world reality is augmented and goes forward.

I don’t often say that a particular person is a gifted Bible teacher. I’m rather hard to please.  But I say that about Frank Viola. His writings are must-reads. All of them.

I recommend all of his books
But this is one of his finest and most enlightening–From Eternity to Here. This book is powerful, can be life-changing, and definitely sets forth in a fresh and newly insightful look at the Church, the Body of Christ. It is solidly Scriptural from cover to cover, and also reading it can be both challenging and comforting at the same time.

The Real church
The real Church is not a building—we all know that. Nor is it a denomination, no matter how big, or this or that sect or an institution, no matter how impressive. The Church of Jesus Christ consists of all true born-again believers in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. And we experience the real thing when we fellowship and pray together. Not socialize or pass the time in casual conversation—although there is nothing wrong per se with causal conversation. But the Church is expressed, realized in visible form, when we share in mutual ministry the life of Jesus who is unfailingly present in the midst of those who gather in His name.

This is a book that should be read by every serious Christian, no matter the denomination or sector of the Church.

Try it. It will warm your heart and encourage your faith.