SEEING then that we have a GREAT High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Feelings and faith are ‘funny’ things. When everything is going great, we can feel awesome and faith to believe God seems easy. They seem to complement each other in such moments, but one can really dictate over the other. In the New Testament, The Apostle of Grace, Paul who was taught by Jesus personally, encourages all believers to continue to walk through life from faith to faith. (Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 5:7) Easier said than done, right? Or is faith really that easy to obtain, the faith that pleases God so much? (Hebrews 11:6)
God knows with Him being unseen to our physical eyes, we need encouragement to ‘see Him’. He shows us Himself in the Bible and by the hearing about Him from the Word of God, He promises this will bring faith to our hearts.
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God [Christ: ‘Christo’ in the original Greek].
Seeing our current circumstances can dictate our feelings, seeing Jesus will dictate our faith. Perhaps what you and I see right now is a health problem, a financial problem, a relationship problem, a family problem and the feelings of discouragement seem overwhelming. God is ever-present, ever-watching over us (Psalm 46:1, Luke 12:7) and wants to remind us daily that despite what we see in the natural to dictate our feelings, His love for us never changes and He wants us to fill us with effortless faith to see all our needs met through His Son, Jesus Christ. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8)
Exodus 28: 15-21
You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it. It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold settings. And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the ENGRAVINGS of a signet, each one with its own name…
This passage from Exodus above is God describing to Moses the particular detailed design He wanted the priest of Israel to wear in His presence when they ministered to Him in the tabernacle of meeting. (Exodus 28:1) These garments of the High Priest reflect who Jesus is and how Jesus TODAY presents us to God the Father. (Hebrews 4:14). Both the Apostle Paul and Jesus in the New Testament explain that these events in Old Testament reflect types or pictures of Jesus and His grace. By seeing Jesus in such pictures, we see God’s heart of love for us and also knowing this truth makes the Bible exciting to read!
A priest is defined as someone who ministers to God on behalf of people, a representative for people. A prophet on the other hand, comes ministering to people on behalf of God. Jesus came to earth not only to save us (John 3:16) but to be able to go back to Heaven now as our representative, our GREAT High Priest before God. Another picture given in 1 John 2:1 is Jesus Christ the Righteous, our Advocate before the Father. He represents us and defends us as eternally righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:12)
The most outstanding feature of the High Priest’s garments is the breastplate which is covered in gold and has precious stones or gems all over it. ‘Judgement’ in the context of the passage above, means how God deems or values us.1 The names of Israel engraved on the stones represent all of our names, the spiritual Israel in Christ. (Romans 4:16) God deems us as precious and valuable gems! Engraved FOREVER on His Heart of Love!
Yours and my name cannot be removed from Jesus’ heart. God says that He also engraves our names on the palms of His hands. (Isaiah 41:16) He really does love us! We are all of the same standing, all equally precious to Him. We are all unique and He places us as close to Him as close can be, on His heart. He wants us to hear His heartbeat of love for us!1
Jesus is so gracious towards us, for He is Grace itself. (John 1:17). He says that all we ever need is the tiniest amount of faith to believe in His goodness and He can work with that. A ‘mustard-seed amount of faith’, Jesus calls it in Matthew (17:20). Mustard seeds are pretty tiny, only around 1-2mm in diameter!
Jesus, our GREAT High Priest is encouraging us today that we are so precious, valuable and close to His heart and even though the amount of faith we may have right now is only tiny, we can come boldly to His throne of grace with ALL our needs and He will give us grace – favour for each and every circumstance. (Hebrews 4:16) He loves you and I. Come near to Him (Genesis 45:4) for you are already on His heart. Amen.
1. The Love Secret of The High Priest’s Garments. Joseph Prince. 2006.