Friday, July 10, 2015, 4:28 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Broken and Contrite.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Hebrews 5:1-10 (NASB). He Deals Gently (vv. 1-4) For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. In Old Testament times, God’s people Israel had high priests who served as mediators between the people and God, and who also offered sacrifices for sins for themselves and for the people. Yet, when Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, he became our perfect Lamb sacrifice to take away sins once for all, and he also became our high priest who gave himself as this sacrifice for our sins. Thus, he did away with the need for us to have human priests to mediate between humankind and God, because he became our only mediator; our only high priest. As well, when Jesus Christ died on that cross for our sins, the veil which hung between the holy place and the Holy of Holies was ripped in two. The Holy of Holies was where the Ark of the Covenant was situated, and in which was the presence of Almighty God. Only the priests could go into this sacred place. Yet, Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross for our sins, opened the way for all to go into God’s holy presence, through faith in Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, not only do we now have direct access to God the Father, but the Holy of Holies now dwells within those of us who believe in Jesus. Because Jesus had lived on this earth as fully man, yet fully God, he suffered as we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are tempted, yet without sin. So, he is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses, and to deal gently with us when we sin, because he had, at one time, also lived in a flesh body and was subject to weakness, sickness, injury, pain, and temptation to sin. This does not mean, though, that he now winks at sin, or that he looks the other way when we fall into temptation, but he deals gently with us in how he speaks conviction to our hearts, and in how he prompts us, by his Spirit, to turn away from sin, and to walk in his righteousness and holiness, all in the power of the Spirit within us. Another thought which came to mind this morning, as well, with regard to these priests being able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and who are misguided, is how we, as God’s kingdom priests (all believers), should also deal gently with other believers who have fallen into sin since we are also subject to temptation to sin. This word translated as “deal gently,” “metriopathéō (‘feel with divinely-measured intensity’) expresses discriminating feeling (empathy) which is not too severe or too tolerant” (biblehub.com). Again, dealing gently does not mean tolerance, placating or ignoring sin, but it does mean we should not raise ourselves above others, or try to remove the speck from another’s eye when we have a glaring log in our own. We should first of all remove the log from our own eye, so that we can see clearly to take the speck out of another’s eye, and by doing so, we will show greater empathy. In all things, we should show love to all people. He Learned Obedience (vv. 5-10) So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”; just as He says also in another passage, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. It is hard to imagine that Jesus Christ, God the Son, would need to learn obedience, but he did live in a flesh body when he walked the face of this earth, and he was tempted to sin, so he had to resist Satan and flee temptation and draw near to his Father in heaven, too. Yet, he went through all of this for you and for me so that he could become our sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world, and so he could become our sympathetic and merciful high priest. He prayed to his Father in heaven with loud crying and tears, just like we do sometimes, so he feels with us when we bring our prayers and supplications to God with such loud crying and tears. When we are going through difficult times in our lives, or when we are grieving over the sins of the world, or over our loved ones who are far from God, or over other believers in Christ who have wandered off from pure devotion to Christ, we may bring many such supplications to God with such loud crying and tears on behalf of those we love. And, he is right there to listen, to comfort, to encourage and to urge us to continue in our faith. God the Father heard the prayers of Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, because of Jesus’ piety, i.e. because of his reverent submission and godly respect, walking in the fear of the Lord. Jesus Christ, in coming to earth and taking on human flesh, and by going through many of the things we go through in life, set the example for us in how we should live, not in our own power and strength, and not according to our own fleshly works, but in the power and under the control of the Holy Spirit who now lives within those who believe in Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ, God the Son, had to learn obedience through suffering, and if he was in submission to his Father, and walked in the fear of the Lord, why is it that we, mere humans, think God the Father does not require any of this of us? Oh, how arrogant of human beings to think they are not required of God to show God such respect and honor. Because of what Jesus Christ went through on the cross for you and for me, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, not for all who pray some prayer and think they can live however they want and still have their ticket into heaven. Oh, what arrogance and mockery of what Jesus Christ did for us to think we can treat him and what he did for us in dying for our sins with such disdain and blatant disregard. Jesus Christ died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us. He died that we might no longer walk according to the flesh, but that we might conduct our lives now according to (in agreement with) the Spirit. If he, the Son of God, had to learn obedience, we need to learn to obey him, too. Broken and Contrite / An Original Work / May 13, 2012 I come before You, Lord, my Savior, With humble heart and crushed in spirit. I bow before You, I implore You, Heal my broken heart, I pray. Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master, You are the King of my heart. Lord, purify my heart within me; Sanctify me, whole within. Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit. I pray You give me grace and mercy, Strength and wisdom to obey. Father God, my heart’s desire, Won’t You set my heart on fire? Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders My walk with You, now I pray. Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy, My heart cries out for understanding. I want to follow You in all ways, Never straying from Your truth. Holy Spirit, come in power, Fill me with Your love today. Lord, mold and make me; Your hands formed me; Live Your life through me, I pray.