Wednesday, July 15
Apostles' Creed Focus
“He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.”
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” - Hebrews 7:25
Growing up with three siblings, I often found myself in the position of intermediary. When one of us kids wanted something, I was recruited to go and plead the case with our parents. My mischievous brother thought his obedience track record might lower his odds, so he sent the rule-follower as a go-between. While sometimes our requests for later bedtimes, extra treats, or an outing were granted, many times they were not. Perhaps I wasn’t the best mediator.
When we can’t go directly to the source to make an appeal, we need an intercessor who will plead on our behalf. You and I were born with a problem. We were created for connection with our Creator, but sin blocked the direct access to God that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden. God’s holiness cannot abide sin’s stain. Rather than abandon us, God established a priesthood to serve as intermediaries who would atone for sin through the sacrificial system found in Leviticus.
All those offerings were just a shadow pointing to the day when the ultimate sacrifice would be made. Christ became the only Priest necessary to mediate between God and people through His shed blood. This enables us to come close to God in spite of our sin. Romans 8:34 says, “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.” This verse echoes Hebrews 7:25 in establishing that Jesus saves us completely so we can boldly come into relationship with a Holy God through Christ.
When we read that Christ is pleading for us, we ought not picture Jesus in a begging posture before the Father. He is seated next to Him, and His victory on the cross constitutes His effective intercession for us. His life, death, and resurrection provides the mediation we need to boldly approach God’s throne. (Hebrews 4:16)
Today as we battle shame, cry out for help, or look for direction, we can go straight to God because of Christ. The only go-between we need is Jesus! He sits next to the Father in a place of authority on His throne in heaven interceding for us.
Lord, help me to remember that because of You, there is no one to condemn me. You are my high priest, and I find peace knowing that you are seated next to the Father thinking of me. Help me not to take your sacrifice for granted. Stamp eternity in my eyes so that I can focus on things that matter rather than getting caught up in today’s minutia.
Verses for Further Reflection
Leviticus 21-22; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 10
The Bible tells us that Jesus is our mediator. What do you think mediator means? A mediator is a go-between; someone who stands in the middle of two people or two parties and settles a dispute. A mediator is a peace-maker. Before Jesus came to Earth, the people of God had to go to a High Priest to have their sins forgiven. But now, the Bible tells us that Jesus has made peace with God by dying on the cross to cleanse us of our sins (Colossians 1:22-23). By dying for us, He has made it possible for us to go directly to God when we pray. We no longer have to pray to anyone else, or to anything else, to have our prayers heard.
Read: 1 Timothy 2:1-5
Have each family member write a prayer on a separate post-it note. Tell the kids that their prayers can be praise and thanksgiving prayers to God, they can be confessions, they can be about themselves, or about others. No one else needs to read your prayer. (Younger kids may need help to write their prayer or could draw their prayer.)
Draw or build a cross in the middle of your table to represent Jesus, our Mediator; we will take our prayers directly to Him. Have everyone in the family put their post-it prayer on the cross as a reminder of how Jesus takes our prayers to God for us!!