Hebrews 5:5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father.
The main purpose of a priest is to make prayers before God on behalf of the people. Mostly all religions appoint holy men and women to intercede between their deity and the community at large. Festivals and feasts, holy days and religious celebrations from all over the world have this in common: at the center of the event, prayers are made to God, as well as petitions, confessions, and thanksgivings.
As Presbyterians, we practice the priesthood of all believers which is why we make our prayers of intercession and confession together in church. The only High Priest that we recognize is Jesus Himself and so we offer our prayers in Christ’s Name. Some people say that we miss out the ‘middlemen,’ but that’s not really what we do. Our prayers are always sacred and so we make them sincerely to Jesus, in the confidence and knowledge that He is always in the presence of God, His Father.
When Jesus left Heaven to come to Earth, He did not feel entitled to His appointment as the Chosen One. He still had to be given that High Office directly from God. This is why we read several times in the Gospels about God declaring and proclaiming that Christ is His Son. It is not just a public statement made in the presence of the disciples and other witnesses, it is a genuine calling from God to Jesus. It is the act of a High King conferring the title of Crown Prince on his son; it is the divine deed of the Creator bestowing the highest honor upon His child.
Today, we will all say prayers. We will make confessions about our mistakes, as well as intercessions about our circumstances. Whatever the case, and whenever we pray, we all need to remember this: our prayers are made to Christ and we send them to Him because He can then take them on our behalf and bring them before God. This is what our High Priest does; this is Christ’s duty as the Crown Prince of all Creation.
Questions for personal reflection
What am I praying for today? Am I truly giving my prayers to Christ?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we worship You as our High Priest and Heavenly King. We praise You as the Crown Prince of all Creation and the Lord of all our lives. Thank You for receiving our prayers, as well as for interceding each day on our behalf. May we serve, glorify, and honor You forever. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask a question or make a comment about today’s message, please send him an email to email@example.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Holy Week drawings. It’s called “Tormented Sky,’ which depicts Christ in silhouette carrying His Cross to Calvary. If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7280/13367529973_4ea429584b_b.jpg