She walked out of our worship service crying.
I confess, I was not expecting someone to walk out of our worship service with tears streaming down her face. I am blessed to serve at a church that is joyful, with so many lingering after the service to not only catch up with family and friends, but they make a special effort to speak with those who are visiting our church. We have a lot of laughter at our church, and it brings joy to my heart.
But here she was, one of our senior adult ladies, who possesses a blessed combination of joy in Christ and a determination to face the many struggles that have beset her over the two years I’ve been here at this church, and here she was.
What brought this on? The Lord led me to preach on how God is for us through Jesus, our great high priest. I preached on how Jesus was from the order of Melchizedek, a priest who showed himself to Abram after a victory to try to rescue his nephew Lot (Genesis 14:17-20). He was a priest of God, and Abram show him honor and gave him a tenth of everything. We see that the Messiah would come from the order of Melchizedek in Psalm 110. And we saw how this Melchizedek was different from Aaron, in that he had no earthly lineage and therefore no beginning nor end, and that he came with a different law that dealt with an indestructible life rather then a law that made us aware of sin and thus led to death (Hebrews 7).
So Christ, through his weakness in being tempted as we were, and yet without sin, not only served as our great high priest through offering the sacrifice to atone for sin , but that he himself was the sacrifice for sin. And because of this, we can approach the throne of grace with confidence. For the Jew, this would be difficult to overcome in their psyche. They remembered from Moses that God told him that no one could see his face and live (Exodus 33:20). They even saw in the book of Judges that one Manoah was approached by the angel of the Lord regarding his son, and soon to be judged Samson, he went home to his wife and knew that he was a dead man because he saw the Lord (Judges 13:23). And when the Apostle John saw the resurrected Christ on the Isle of Patmos, revelations chapter 1 says that he fell at his feet as though dead (Revelation 1:17).
We approach the throne of grace of confidence? It’s because of what Jesus already accomplished on our behalf. He made us ready through his intercession and sacrifice, through his obedience and his ascension to the right hand of the Father. He is sitting at the right hand of the Father. Sitting. Not standing. Should he still be standing, that would mean that work still needed to be done for our redemption. But he sits. It is finished.
And this, my friends, is why she was crying. I asked her, and she said, ” He did all that for me.”
When was the last time the thought of his sacrifice on the cross for us moved us?