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The way and the truth

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Hebrews 4.14


Apologies for unplanned and unannounced absence! A week ago I suffered a relapse of that nasty bug, which is doing the rounds, and had to withdraw from everything. Clawing my way back to operating on all cylinders...


Today our focus in church is on Jesus' destiny to be our great high priest, as indicated by the frankincense which he received from the Magi at his birth. A priest is person who is appointed - and anointed - to stand between God and people. In Israel's temple system a high priest was singled out to enter the "holy of holies" once a year, in order to offer a sacrifice to God for the sins of the whole nation. Of course it was never an adequate sacrifice because the high priest was a sinner, like the rest of us, and the animal he offered, though the best available, was never completely unblemished. Jesus is acclaimed because, uniquely, he never sinned and, on the cross, offered up his perfect life as an adequate sacrifice for the sin of the whole world.


The result is that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament law, thereby removing the barrier between God and sinners. Furthermore, in his resurrection, Jesus confirmed the new life which is available to all who will trust him enough to follow him. He will accompany us in life, through death and into eternity.


How do we trust him? By so investing our lives in him, that his life becomes our life. In God's eyes we longer appear in the filthiness of our sins but re-clothed in the perfection of Jesus. Meanwhile the Holy Spirit floods our being and gently but firmly works within us to nurture the fruit of righteousness, so that we become increasingly like Jesus. None of this is our doing - it is a gift of God and it is available to all who will receive it...

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