Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from October 31-November 6 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church, Los Angeles. Charles, a graduate of UC Riverside and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, and they have three children: Chloe, Noah, and Camden.
Devotional Thought for Today
So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you” (verse 5).
The expression “to have your cake and eat it too” has always been one of my favorites. The idea is that you get two good things at the same time, especially two things that are not usually possible; when it happens, there is a sense of being a fortuitous recipient. In many ways that is what Jesus is to us. He is both the sacrifice, and He is the One who makes the sacrifice, like that of the High Priest—two things come together in the person of Jesus Christ.
The author of Hebrews begins chapter 5 with details of the office of the high priest. This is done so that his readers will make their own contrast between the high priest of the Old Covenant, and Christ, the great High Priest of the New Covenant. The two may have the same function, but the most significant difference is that Jesus does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when He offered Himself.
This is all possible because the Sonship and Priesthood come together in Jesus. For salvation in God’s economy, the Son has to be the High Priest, and vice versa. God is under no obligation to save us, but once He chose to save us, it had to be through His Son, who would become both sacrifice and the great High Priest.
Jesus willingly submitted to His Father in order to secure our salvation. Though our sacrifice will never compare, we are also at times called to submit to our spiritual leaders, to our parents, to the authority in our workplaces, and even towards our government leaders, to advance the kingdom. Ask God to help you obey where submission is commanded by Scripture.
Dear Jesus, You are the Son of God and our High Priest. In You, I have access to the Father. I thank You for making a way. I thank for Your great sacrifice. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Mark 9
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 27:45-54: From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him. 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[c] went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
Questions to Consider
- When Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He said some of the most profoundly mysterious words in the entire Bible. Why did He cry out to His Father this way?
- The curtain between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was an elaborately woven fabric, where no one was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place behind the curtain—except the high priest, only once a year, on the Day of Atonement. What does tearing of the curtain signify?
- We have access to God through Jesus Christ. How are you going before God’s throne these days?
- In some real way Jesus had to be cut off from the fellowship with the Father that had been His eternally. Bearing the sins of humanity brought forth God’s wrath.
- The tearing of the curtain signifies the removal of the barrier between a holy God and sinful people. This is how Jesus becomes the ultimate High Priest for us.
As you spent the day with work and play, were you able to take time to access the presence of God in a genuine way?