Jesus, God’s High Priest, tried and despised by many, but… accepted by others
God’s High Priest tried
As we know the Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of the NEW MAN in his perfection. He is the First Citizen of the NEW CREATION and as such is also the High Priest of God. The NEW CREATION begins in us when we are reconciled with God, on the basis of our faith in the dear blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, and when we – in and by the Holy Spirit – come into relationship with the risen Christ, in order to live a priestly life, a life that is in complete service to God.
The Gospel after Luke reveals both to us, Jesus as the High Priest Himself, as well as the royal priesthood, namely Christians as priests of the most high God, whom He bought from sin with His sacrificial blood (His blood shed for our sins as an offering [a ransom]), by His excellent grace.
We got to know the first three chapters as a good and necessary basis of the repentant life God wants to establish in man. It is God, Who comes to us and calls us to repentance. And it is this repentance, together with the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified, which, as we have seen, forms the gateway to this NEW LIFE in God.
Now we will look at this NEW, pure, priestly LIFE in all its facets, which God will give to those people, that, in repentance and faith, long for it intensively here. Long to share His death and resurrection (see Romans 6:3-5), which Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan (river) points to. We will first look at the trial of Jesus, the High Priest, Himself; thereafter at His rejection by the one, and acceptance by the other. In the next chapter we will be able to look at the royal priesthood; these are all Christians who followed Him in His death and resurrection, and who could walk after Him by the inward working power of His relationship.
Jesus Christ, our High Priest, after He was baptized with the Holy Spirit, was tried; as also each priest of God, when he must stand in his (divine) ministry, is tried; namely herein: whether he be willing to do God’s will in his life. Of a priest it is demanded that he count all of his own will and life as nothing, in order to be able to do that wonderful will of God in his life. All of one’s own will, all hobbies, all desires of one’s own, the social job; in short: all we have and are, what we as a human being want and desire; all these must be laid on God’s altar of (burnt) offering. God must be able to do with his priest what He, in His sovereign (almighty; independent of any higher authority) Love, wants and desires. Do not we pray: “Thy will be done in heaven, as also in the earth”? Beloved, this then is God’s demand for a priestly ministry, in any degree and of any nature. Hence, in regard to this demand, a priest is tried by God again and again. We are confronted with the choice again and again whether to choose the (sinful) enjoyments of the world or His pure will and service, because He calls us to a voluntary priesthood in His purity and holiness. Should we fail in our choice, and if we choose to do our own will, then God will not continue with us until we will have learned to lay off this stubbornness; until we humbly begged the Lord to deliver us from all reasons which cause us to be stubborn… Let us learn to obey and fulfill His will heartily, then we can proceed like that spiritual racer from Philippians 3:14 in increasing revelation of this NEW LIFE in our everyday life; ready to lay down all that hinders us in the race to that goal in Christ.
Luke 4 verse 1: “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,…”
It is the Holy Ghost Who leads us into trials and puts us opposite the foe! The enemy tempts us with all the “beauties” of this world, and the Holy Spirit puts us before the choice whether to obey God’s Word or… to choose that which is the enemy’s. After all, He calls a voluntary people that is willing to serve faithfully and as a priest, being completely in God’s service.
Luke 4 verse 2a: “(Jesus) Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing…”
For forty days Jesus was tempted by the devil! God Himself allowed this to happen. The High Priest, God’s own Son, had to prove His faithfulness and willingness in His service as High Priest.
By E. van den Worm
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