You always have to lose something before you realise what you actually had.
I’m privileged to hardly ever fall ill, but about once in about every three to four years the flu strikes me down. Because I’m so restless at night, I decide to sleep in isolation in one of the children’s bedrooms. In my own little space.
The joy of being on your own disappeared the first day already and I felt very sorry for myself. I missed everything. Missed eating with the rest of the family. Missed touching my wife. Missed chatting to others. Simply missed being with others.
Suddenly you realise what you have and how much you need others in your life.
Why does one have to lose things before you realise what it means to you?
In the same way, we don’t realise what Jesus has done for us. I suspect the author of Hebrews knows how easily we forget. And that’s why he repeatedly describes what Jesus does for us with God.
3The assigned task of a high priest is to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and it’s no different with the priesthood of Jesus.
So, let’s look again at the work that the priests in the Old Testament did. One of their major tasks was to make sacrifices to God so that God doesn’t punish people for their sins.
Instead of people having to die for their sins, an animal was killed. The person’s punishment was paid for by the animal that died. In other words, the animal died in that person’s place.
But this method was not sustainable and the sacrifice had to be repeated again and again.
Then Jesus came as the final high priest and obviously He also had to make sacrifices. But the sacrifice He had to make, had to be the final one. When Jesus made His sacrifice, it shouldn’t have to be necessary to repeat it. And the only sacrifice that qualified was Jesus Himself.
This sacrifice was sufficient. This sacrifice was more than enough. Sufficient enough that it would never have to be repeated. Jesus’ sacrifice paid for the sins of all humankind. Those who came before and those still to come. The most perfect sacrifice.
My debt and yours are paid in full. What wonderful news!
But the question is whether we truly realise what we have here? It’s only when we’re ill, that we truly realise what we have. Then we appreciate it again. But we can’t lose what Jesus did to truly realise what we have.
Maybe we should paint a picture in our minds where Jesus is not the high priest. Then we’ll recognise the pathetic, hopeless place where we are. Hopefully, we will then truly realise what Jesus is doing for us with God. Hopefully, then we will be overcome with gratitude. Hopefully, then we’ll live in a way that others won’t have to lose anything to realise what Jesus is actually doing for us…
What does Jesus, being High Priest, for you?
Does it move your life?
Do you live differently?
Jesus, please help me never ever forget what You’ve done for me. Please help me live Your sacrifice everywhere I go and bring salvation to others. Amen.