Order Your Complimentary Copy of the Spring Devotional – Encouragement in Christ

Advent Devotional 2021 – December 20th

PRAYER

Take a moment to become still, aware of God’s presence, and then pray.

O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we long to know yet more of your boundless love and grace. Beyond the written word we seek the living Word, Jesus. Reveal to us by Your Spirit the glories of Your incarnate Son so that we might more perfectly love and follow Him. Amen

REFLECTION

Consequently, he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
Hebrews 7:25-26

Have you ever thought of the only man-made thing you will see in heaven? Well, it’s the scars in Jesus’ hands, side, and feet! The scars of the Savior are not incidental but so fundamental that He took them home with Him. They are forever a memorial that we are saved by those scars. Thomas doubted until he saw those scars, then bowed in worship exclaiming, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). And so will we one day when we see Him face to face!

The scars on our risen, now glorified Lord, emphasize that the Incarnation never ends. The Son of God taking on our humanity was not just an episode in His life, but God’s decision to forever be one with us. Karl Barth rightly described the eternal Word becoming human as “clothing which He does not put off. It is His temple which He does not leave. It is a form which He does not lose.” (Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/2) When Jesus died, He died as one of us. When Jesus was raised, He was raised as one of us; and when He ascended to glory He did so as one of us. There sits enthroned at the right hand of glory a human being still like us, except for sin.

Scottish reformer John Knox liked to speak of the Lord Jesus as our “Fore-speaker”. By that he meant that Jesus is in heaven right now speaking on our behalf before the Throne as a human being. Today’s scripture exults in Jesus as our High Priest representing believers in the presence of God as “he always lives to make intercession for them.” He reigns as the Priest-King asking of the Father who always hears and grants His Son’s requests. In His intercession for us Jesus identifies with us in prayer and worship. He speaks for us! He is truly our “Fore-speaker” and “able for all time to save those who approach God through him.”

Because Jesus ever lives and intercedes for us, He has power to save us not only from sin and death, but also for the supreme joy of living in God’s life and glory. Jesus will see through to completion the work of salvation He has begun in us. “Through all eternity, Jesus will sit at the Father’s right hand, and He will share with us all that He is and has and experiences with His Father in the fellowship of the Spirit.” (C. Baxter Kruger, Jesus and the Undoing of Adam) This means that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39b).

At the throne of God “Christ wears our human life, and it is in our name that He is there at the right hand of God the Father Almighty for us.” (Thomas Torrance, Scottish Theology from John Knox to John McLeod Campbell) In the Man, Christ Jesus, we have one who is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses,” and “one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). We can therefore go to Jesus with boldness, “so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus’ scars are our witness!

WORSHIP

Think back over the past 24 hours and note when you experienced a “high” and a “low”. Share with God how the humanity of Jesus might speak to you in what you experienced.

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