Summary: When life gets hard, persevere in your confession, because Jesus is the Son of God; pray with confidence, because Jesus suffers with you; and obey with conviction, because you truly believe that Jesus is your complete Savior.
Some time ago, when I was looking up job descriptions for various positions in the church, I cam across these:
PASTOR: Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. More powerful than a locomotive. Faster than a speeding bullet. Walks on water. Makes policy with God.
ELDER: Able to leap short buildings in a single bound. As powerful as a switch engine. Just as fast as a speeding bullet. Walks on water if the sea is calm. Talks with God.
WORSHIP LEADER: Leaps short buildings with a running start. Almost as powerful as a switch engine. Faster than a speeding BB. Walks on water if he knows where the stumps are. Is occasionally addressed by God.
YOUTH LEADER: Runs into small buildings. Recognizes locomotives 2 out of 3 times. Uses a squirt gun. Knows how to use the water fountain. Mumbles to himself.
CHURCH SECRETARY: Lifts buildings to walk under them. Kicks locomotives off the track. Catches speeding bullets in her teeth. Freezes water with a single glance. When God speaks she says, “May I ask who is calling?” (Leadership, Vol. 7, no. 1.)
Now, we know who really runs the church. No, just kidding. But it does bring up an interesting question: What do people look for in a spiritual leader? What do they expect, especially when life gets hard and they need some help?
Well, there is no spiritual leader that can provide the support that Jesus can. As much as I, your pastor, really care about you and want to help, there is no one greater than our Lord. So, if you come to me, I’m just going to point you to Him.
Hebrews 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. (ESV)
When life gets hard and you feel like quitting, DON’T. If you are following Jesus, just hang in there!
Hold fast your confession. Don’t give up your faith, because Jesus is the Son of God.
You see, Jesus is not only your Priest – the one who cares for you and goes to God on your behalf; and Jesus is not only your HIGH Priest – the head of all priests; Jesus is your GREAT High Priest! No other priest in the Bible was ever called “GREAT” – only Jesus. And that’s because He far surpassed any High Priest in Israel’s history.
You see, only the High Priest could enter the holiest place in Israel’s Temple. It was called the holy of holies, and it was separated from the rest of the temple by at thick curtain. It contained the Ark of God, the place where God chose to reveal His presence, so no one dared to even look at it, much less be in the same room with it. It was too dangerous! Some of those who had touched the Ark in the past didn’t live to talk about it.
So only the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies, and only once a year, and only with the blood of an animal sacrifice to cover for his own sins and the sins of the Israelite people. Even then, the other priests tied a rope around his waist long enough for the other end of it to stick out from under the curtain. That way, if the High Priest died while in God’s presence, the other priests could pull him out without having to risk their own lives. Being a High Priest in Israel was an awesome responsibility and an awesome privilege.
However, Jesus has done much better than that. He didn’t go into a man-made temple on earth; He went into Heaven itself. And He didn’t bring with Him the blood of an animal sacrifice; He brought His own shed blood. And He didn’t go to an Ark which only represented God’s presence; He went into the very presence of God Himself.
Jesus truly is THE Great High Priest, because He is the Son of God Himself, going into the very presence of God Himself, bringing His own shed blood to cover for the sins of the whole world, not just the Israelite people. Jesus truly is THE Great High Priest, and He is YOUR Great High Priest if you are depending on Him.
So don’t quit. Hold fast your confession. Hang on to your faith.
In a Bible study called It Had to Be a Monday, Jill Briscoe writes about the death of a Christian friend. During the funeral visitation, the deceased man's wife and sister stood by the casket, greeting people. The sister kept motioning to her brother's body, saying to each person who came to greet her, “There he is. There he is.”