Summary: What do we see in the mirror? With Jesus Christ as our faithful High Priest, we serve His Kingdom as a royal priesthood. When we embrace this we understand our selves and our world very differently.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? I don’t mean when you’re rushing to get somewhere and you quickly glance at the mirror to make sure your face isn’t upside down. What I mean is: When you stop to look in the mirror what do you see?
If you’re like me you sometimes look for flaws. I see an endlessly receding hairline. I figure it’s got to stop somewhere, right? You might look for blemishes. You might check that you’re hair’s where it should be.
Or do you sometimes pause and look deeper into the mirror? Beyond the surface. Do you struggle to like what you see? Do you look sometimes at a person who has not done what they’d like to have done in life?
Do you see someone who has never been able to drown out the voices from the past that told you that you were inadequate. You’ll never be anything. You’re not beautiful. You’re not lovely. You’re not smart. Or you’re not normal. Or you don’t try hard enough.
Do you ever ask yourself: “Why don’t I like what I see?” or “Why is it that I don’t like what I see?”
I think we see a lot of things when we look into the mirror, a lot of things that we really believe are true, but they are not very good things. They are dark things. Discouraging things. Things that can take the wind out of us. Things from our past that somehow impact us today and impact us tomorrow. They are beliefs….about ourselves. About us.
When we look in the mirror we get a glimpse of how we see ourselves, the identity we feel is ours. What we think about our identity will always impact the way we feel about life, the courage we will find to live.
The hope we will live with. Our capacity to take risks. To embrace life in all its intended fullness.
Our passage today speaks of identity. The identity of someone who for many of us is very, very close to us. Someone we’re discovering we can never be close enough to.
Our passage today looks at Jesus. And what today’s passage reflects about Jesus is something we may not spend a whole lot of time thinking about: His priesthood.
We’re continuing our journey into the book of Hebrews, and we’ve already today got a sense of what Hebrews says about Jesus Christ, our High Priest.
Now, one of the weirder notions in the Bible is the idea of priests. I say “Weird” because for most of us, especially for those of us who don’t come from an Anglican or Catholic tradition, we don’t necessarily get the idea of priests.
The need for priests. At least that’s how it seems to me. We get the idea of “pastor” as the man or woman who preaches and serves the church. That’s closer to the idea of a modern-day priest. But what is a priest in the biblical sense? And, more importantly, why does the Bible refer to Jesus as a priest? Our high priest.
And weirder yet…the Bible says something very important in this regard about YOU, as a follower of Jesus Christ and us as a church. When somebody says I’m a “So and so”, the very least I want to do is to know what it is the person meant. So let’s spend some time today probing this, unwrapping this whole idea of a royal priesthood that we’ve heard read today.
One of the things we’re learning together as a church is that God relates to us as individuals and as a group. We hear the Word of God individually and as the Word spoken to the church, the body of believers known as the church.
For most of us there’s likely a learning curve with this, because we live in an individualistic society that has left most people isolated and lonely, having replaced real friendship and relationships for the most part with technology.
Our DVD players and our computers and the internet have become our sad substitute for knowing and being known within a community.
If we let it, the Word of God draws us deep into each other’s lives. It calls us into sacred relationships, it summons us to be social. Not for any random reason, but because the Word of God draws us in to the life of God, which is not singular but plural. God is one and triune. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This, what we know as the Godhead, exists in perfect relationship, perfect community. And it is into that divine community that we are called to actively participate as members together of His body.