The grand secret of daily comfort in Christianity!
(J.C. Ryle, "Do You Have a Priest?")
"We have a great High Priest who has entered Heaven, Jesus the Son of God." Hebrews 4:14
Christ, the great High Priest in Heaven, is ever doing the work of a Friend, a Protector, a Counselor, and an Advocate, on behalf of His redeemed people. He is ever watching over the interests of His people, and providing a continual supply of all that they need. To . . .
sympathize with them in all their troubles,
guide them in their perplexities,
strengthen them for their duties,
preserve them in their temptations —
all this is part of Christ's present priestly office.
Note His tenderness and sympathy — so that He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Note His forbearance and patience — so that He can bear with our weaknesses and pity our mistakes. Note His wisdom, His faithfulness, His readiness to aid — who can describe or number up these things?
Christ, as our great High Priest, is ever interceding for us in Heaven. It is written, "He is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him, because He ever lives to make intercession for them!" (Hebrews 7:25.) It is asked by Paul, "Who then is the one who condemns? No one! Christ Jesus who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us!" (Romans 8:34.) Jesus is carrying believers safely from grace to glory, by His almighty intercession!
Reader, let us thank God daily that Christ is doing the work of a Priest for us in Heaven. Let us be thankful for the "precious blood" of Christ — but let us not be less thankful for His precious intercession.
Christ's continual Priesthood is the grand secret of a saint's perseverance to the end. Left to ourselves, there would be little likelihood of our getting safely home to Heaven. We might begin well — and end ill.
So weak are our hearts,
so busy is the devil,
so many and ensnaring are the temptations of the world
— that nothing could prevent our making shipwreck!
But, thanks be to God, the Priesthood of Christ secures our safety. He who never slumbers and never sleeps is continually watching over our interests, and providing for our needs. While Satan pours water on the fire of grace, and strives to quench it — Christ pours on oil, and makes it burn more brightly.
Christ's continual Priesthood is the grand secret of daily comfort in Christianity. Oh, what an unspeakable comfort it is to remember that we have a great High Priest in Heaven, who never forgets us night or day, and is continually interceding for us, and providing for our safety! Christian, that great High Priest who died for you and intercedes for you — will never forget His people, or allow one lamb of His flock to perish! The merciful and faithful High Priest who began a work for you on the cross, will bring that work to a triumphant conclusion.
Reader, think of Jesus Christ as a loving Friend, to whom you may go morning, noon, and night, and receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. Of all the offices that Christ exercises on behalf of His people, none will repay thought and study so richly, as that of His present priesthood.