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Sep 15, 2019

Who Do You Say I Am? Priest

Who Do You Say I Am? Priest

Passage: Luke 22:39-46

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Category: presence, kindness, minister

Keywords: priest, who do you say i am

Jesus is the great High Priest; one who through his actions, through his obedience and his sacrificial love, make us whole. We are modeled after Jesus Christ to go out and be priests to others. Who could you be a priest to?

Scripture:

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground." - Luke 22:42-44 

Devotional:

Often, in discussions regarding the humanity and divinity of Jesus, I find that Christians can become a little anxious. I've noticed an almost apologetic tone that comes in conversations about the human emotions we see in Jesus. I suppose we have some fear that in recognizing these qualities we might appear to lack the appropriate reverence for His holiness. We are quick to follow any acknowledgement of Jesus as a man with the declarative reminders that He was also sinless, powerful, righteous, and perfect. 

Absolutely appropriate to remember, of course, because all of those things are absolutely true. However, I think if we neglect to dig into the human qualities that our Lord displays, we will miss out on the fullest joy and hope that a relationship with Christ can provide.

Some of the most meaningful lessons and most comforting aspects of any relationship come from sharing vulnerabilities. Aren't our most warm and trusting relationships with those friends who are able to meet us where we are? We have the closet connections with those who can share their own stories of struggle, of pain, of fear, and of temptation. We aren't drawn to those who meet us in our weakness with moral superiority and judgment. Friendships thrive when one can say to another, "Me, too, sister."  and then help point us to the hope of Christ. 

This is why I find it so comforting to see Jesus's humanity play out in the Scriptures. I see Him weep when he hears that Lazarus has died. (John 11:35) I see Him show anger at the temple - even flipping the tables of the money changers. (Matthew 21:12-13) I see Him frustrated with the disciples when they fall asleep when He needs them to keep watch and pray. (Mark 14:37-38) I see him so anguished and distraught at the prospect of going to the cross that his tears become blood as he begs the Father to take the burden from Him. And then I see His humble surrender to the ultimate will of God. And I pray that I might have the courage and faith to follow God's will in my own life as well. 

These examples do not dismiss the perfect holiness of Jesus. They, in fact, show us that even in His perfection He humbled Himself to love us and serve us more than we could ever have deserved. He showed us that no matter how difficult the struggle we face, no matter how ugly the sin we've committed, no matter how hopeless the situation appears to us, we can come to Him with no shame and no regret and trust that He can make us well. 

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that "we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way and did not sin."

Our Jesus was "despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." (Isaiah 53:3) There is nothing we could face that He would not understand. He is the most divine authority and the very best companion a guy or girl could ever have. What a friend we have in Jesus. Indeed. 

Prayer:

Holy, gracious, loving Lord. We thank You for seeing us in our weakness and sin and sending Your perfect Son to befriend us. We are blessed that You came to us to hear our every confession, to understand our every hurt, and to love us despite all of our flaws. Thank You for being our most trustworthy, loyal, and loving friend. Amen. 

Written by Jennifer Skinner, member of Arcola Church and a Texan (Texas Longhorn to be specific!) living in beautiful Virginia with her very patient, funny husband, and three very impatient, funny boys/ball players. She is also a blogger, The View From Behind Home Plate, who writes about finding extraordinary grace and blessings among the cleats and dirt and testosterone that fill her ordinary days.