Hello everyone. Last week, I talked about Jesus’ ascension to heaven. This week I will talk about what Jesus is doing in heaven right now.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is functioning as our “great high priest” in heaven (Hebrews 4:14 KJV). If you refer back to this blogpost, you will be able to find the section in which there is a hyperlink for references to high priests during the times of the Old testament sanctuary system. The Old testament high priests (and the high priests in the New testament who continued to minister before Jesus ‘ death on the cross) gave an example of what Jesus, the true High Priest, would eventually do in heaven.
The earthly high priests would once a year enter a very sacred part of the sanctuary of temple called “the Most Holy Place ” (also called “the holy place within the vail” in Leviticus 16:2 KJV). This place was VERY sacred.
“Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people…” Hebrews 9:6-7 (KJV).
Even though the high priest was the only one allowed into the Most Holy Place, even he could not enter except for at the times when God specified that he should. If he disobeyed God and entered at the wrong times, he would die (Leviticus 16:2). This shows you how holy and sacred this part of the sanctuary was.
The high priest wore a beautiful, majestic outfit that no one besides him could wear. You can read about this outfit in Leviticus 28:2-39. In this chapter, you will also notice the name of the first earthly high priest. His name was “Aaron”.
I would like to now take a moment to talk about reverence. It seems to me that my generation of Christians (I will soon be 24) does not so generally have the sense of reverence for God that we would be very blessed to have. We are sometimes too common with Jesus and we often treat Him somewhat as if He were merely another human being that is better than us, but oh! He is so much more than this! He is God, and this is why He has the power to read minds and change hearts. When we have a lower sense of reverence and awe towards God, we can forget that our beautiful, loving God is entitled to more than our ardent and loyal affections; He is also entitled to our loving and loyal respect and obedience. Jesus is our Great High Priest and if the earthly high priests, who were to reflect and point us towards Him, held such a noble, dignified and impressive position, how much more noble, dignified and impressive Jesus, our Great High Priest must be!
We all have a God-given urge to worship. Why don’t we, instead of worshiping movie stars, sports stars, rocks stars etc., worship our loving Jesus, the “bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16 KJV)?
Back to our main flow of thought, the most serious and significant thing about the role of the high priest is that it is a role that deals with doing away with sin. While an earthly high priest was performing the rituals that God had commanded him to (they are found in Leviticus 16) on behalf of his people- behind a curtain, in a room in which no one but he could enter, he was performing a sacred work which represented the work that Jesus would eventually do as our Great High Priest in order to blot out sin and make people right with God.
This was a serious matter: this was not a joke. A high priest was in the Most Holy Place, presenting the sins of his people before God and seeking for His promised forgiveness and cleansing.
Likewise, as I write, Jesus is in the Most Holy Place in heaven performing the duties of His role as our Great High Priest. While He does this, many Christians who claim to love and serve God are not living surrendered, godly lives. Many Christians are not prayerfully searching their hearts and decidedly cooperating with God in the life long work of putting away the sins in their lives and accepting His peaceful and pure righteousness instead (Philippians 2:12-12; Isaiah 32:17).
And all the while, Jesus’ heart breaks with longing and pity as He continues the work that He knows will one day seal their doom if they continue to play around with His blood bought offer of salvation.
What I am saying is not a joke. Jesus is doing a very sacred work right now in the Most Holy Place of heaven. There will come a day when He has completed this work. When that day comes, He will stand up with a heart filled with the conflicting emotions of joy and sorrow: joy for the ones whose loving and unselfish hearts are knit with His and sorrow for those whose self loving, self centered hearts are now fully knit with sin. He will then pronounce a sobering declaration which is both musical and ominous :
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”” Revelation 22:11-15 (KJV)
When this time comes, those who have truly accepted Jesus’ loving, blood bought offer of salvation will have the hope of a beautiful eternal life with Jesus in a place filled with pure unselfish love. At the same time, those who have either never truly accepted Jesus’ loving, blood bought offer of salvation or who once had but who later rejected it, will have the destiny of being eventually destroyed by God: never to live again.
Such is the price of cherished sin. It is deadly business. God is VERY longsuffering and merciful (2 Peter 3:9), but He will eventually have to destroy sin, and His heart will break as those who have clung to sin are destroyed with it (Nahum 1:8-10). God is not looking forward to seeing the people He loves so much being burned to ashes. He will do this work as swiftly as possible in His great mercy because He hates seeing people being tortured (Isaiah 28:21-22; Ezekiel 18:32).
But now I must return to hope; “…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Hebrews 3:15 (KJV)
There is hope for you now...today. Jesus loves you. He doesn’t hate you; He never has and He never will. The one thing you can choose to do that will break His heart so much is the following: to reject His loving offer of salvation. Even if you have once loved and served Him, but you now have turned your back on Him, you will only hurt His heart by entertaining the thought that He doesn’t want you back now. The devil and your own heart are lying to you if you believe this! Jesus is ACHING for you to come back (Romans 10:20-21; Ezekiel 18:31-32; John 6:37)!
So, whoever you are, whatever you have done, whatever you look like, however you smell, no matter what other people say and/or think about you, please do come to Jesus.
“…I invite you to just come to Him as you are, as I have. You may feel scared and ashamed, but Jesus’ arms are open to you. He will not refuse you if you come. He promises not to cast you out if you come (John 6:37). He promises to give you rest if you will come (Matthew 11:28-30). He promises to forgive you of your sins and to cleanse you from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
If you don’t know how to pray, that is okay. Here is a sample prayer that you can use, but it is okay and right for you to talk to Jesus as you would respectfully talk to a close friend.
I want to know You. I know that I am a sinner and I ask Your forgiveness for my sins. Please give me a new heart and help me to be like You. Please help me to know You.
In Jesus Name Amen
I promise you that Jesus will hear your prayer, and that He will help you.
God says that He loves you (Jeremiah 31:3). He says that He wants to save you and that He can save you (John 3:16). He says that He has created you for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). He says that even when you have messed up, He still wants to sanctify Himself before those who have seen your messes, by living out His holy life through you. This will happens as He changes your heart (Ezekiel 36: 23-27). God says that there will be people from every people group in heaven (Revelation 5:9-10). I welcome you to hold your head high in humble humility. You have the privilege of believing what God says about you… and ultimately…. what He says about you is what really matters” (copied and pasted from this blogpost).
Courage, courage, courage! I just prayed for all of the people who will read this blog-post and I would appreciate it if you all would pray for me too. Satan is strong, unloving and evil, but Jesus is much stronger and He is loving and good.
In closing, here are some songs for contemplation. The first song explains what Jesus is doing for us now. The second song offers a touching and sobering appeal. Please respond to Jesus now before it is too late. He loves you…very, very much.
For more information about what Jesus is doing now, please refer to this article.
Photo credit: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/jesus-reaching-out-gm182707450-12497376