Christ: The Perfect Priest

CHRIST: The Perfect Priest

When we see Christ, what will we see?

We will see the perfect Priest. "He was dressed in a long robe and had a gold band around his chest" (Revelation 1:13). The first readers of this message knew the significance of the robe and band. Jesus is wearing the clothing of a priest. A priest presents people to God and God to people.

You have know other priests. There have been others in your life, whether clergy or not, who sought to bring you to God. But they, too, needed a priest. Some needed a priest more than you did. They, like you, were sinful. Not so with Jesus. "Jesus is the kind of high priest we need. He is holy, sinless, pure, not influenced by sinners, and he is raised above the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26).

Jesus is the perfect priest.

He is also pure and purifying: "His head and hair were like white wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like flames of fire" (Revelation 1:14).

What would a person look like if he had never sinned? If no worry wrinkled his brow and no anger shadowed his eyes? If no bitterness snarled his lips and no selfishness bowed his smile? If a person never sinned, how would he appear? We'll know when we see Jesus. What John saw on that Sunday on Patmos was absolutely spotless. He was reminded of the virgin wool of sheep and the untouched snow of winter.

And John was also reminded of fire. Others saw the burning bush, the burning altar, the fiery furnace, or the fiery chariots, but John saw the fiery eyes. And in those eyes he saw a purging blaze which will burn the bacteria of sin and purify the soul. (From When Christ Comes by Max Lucado)

READ Leviticus 6:8-10:20

SITUATION The priests were the official communicators between God and man. God ordained priests as full-time spiritual leaders.

OBSERVATION When God calls and ordains spiritual leaders, they have a special responsibility to live obediently as they walk close to him.

INSPIRATION Let's take a look at the important balance between natural and spiritual leadership. A leader, obviously, must have some God given natural qualities that cause others to respond to his or her influence. At the same time, the Christian leader must possess a marked degree of Spirit-directed humble devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ...lest he fall into the category of a self-appointed, ambitious creature who simply loves the spotlight. It is upon this point I want to camp for a few minutes.

Dr. A. W. Tozer wrote:

A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses and David and the Old Testament prophets. I think there was hardly a great leader from Paul to the present day but was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task, and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to full a position he had little heart for, I believe it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader.

Spiritual leaders, you see are not made by majority vote or ecclesiastical decisions, by conferences or synods. Only God can make them!

For not from the east, nor from the west,
Nor from the desert comes
But God is the Judge:
He puts down one, and
exalts another (Psalm 75:6-7)

This means, then, that God makes it His responsibility to prepare, nurture, train and promote certain people to places of leadership. That's His business, not ours. (From Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life by Charles Swindoll)

APPLICATION Christ desires ALL believers to be priests and therefore spiritual leaders. He wants us to live holy and obedient lives. Which areas of your life are less than totally dependant on him? Write down three ways you can pursue holiness before God and start practicing them.

EXPLORATION Leadership - Numbers 27:15-17; 1 Chronicles 28:1.

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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