Day 9: Our High Priest
"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." - Hebrews 4:14-16
Text: John 17:1-26
The office of the High Priest is a high and holy one, but is not an office to be far removed from the people. The role of the High Priest is to represent his people to God. He was to sympathize with his people and have compassion for them. He brings the needs of his people before God and intercedes with Him on their behalf. In fact, he bore the names of the twelve tribes as part of his priestly raiment, symbolizing his deep and abiding connection with his people. Wherever he went and however he ministered, the people were always with him, in a sense. As we discussed in previous devotions, this all a shadow of the reality that is in Jesus. This is how Jesus cares for us as His people. He ministers to us as a High Priest, lifting us up to God and interceding for us. We get a brief glimpse of this ministry in what has become know as Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer from John 17. Lets turn to look at a few things Jesus for which prays for us.
That We Know the Father
"When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. " - John 17:1-3
Jesus begins this amazing prayer with an amazing request. Our Savior is going to the cross; He knows that His hour has come, and He asks the Father to raise Him up and glorify Him so He might glorify the Father by winning salvation and eternal life for the people whom the Father has given Him. He then clarifies what is eternal life: that we know the Father and the Son. Jesus is praying that every believer come to know Him and, through knowing Him, know the Father.
That the Father Guard Us
"And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. " – John 17:11-12
In this next section, Jesus prays specifically for the disciples. They are at the forefront of His mind. He has made sure that they have stayed close to Him. He has guarded them so that they did not fall away into unbelief. But now He is leaving the world, and He the Father to keep the disciples in His name. But, though Jesus begins asking the Father for this on behalf of His disciples, He is not content to leave it there, though. He quickly broadens the group to which He’s referring: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” (John 17:20) Jesus asks the Father here to guard all of the brothers and sisters given to Him from falling away. Jesus prays here that you and I be kept from falling away.
That We Be United
"That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. " – John 17:21-24
Jesus draws His prayer to a close with this amazing ask: that we would be one, as He and the Father are one. Jesus here is talking about our Union with each other and our Union with Him. They are really one in the same. We are united with each other precisely because we are united with Him. He longs for the reality and consummation of this Union. He wants believers to be so united with Him that He can call us His Body here on earth. He wants us to be one with Him as He is with the Father. And Jesus asks the Father that we be allowed to see the glory He had before the foundation of the world. That is, He wants us to be with Him in eternity. What an amazing prayer for His people!
Believer, Jesus’ always prays according to the will of the Father, because He and the Father are one. Jesus’ prayers are also effectual: the Father grants what Jesus asks. That means that Jesus prayed for you to know Him, to be kept from falling away, and for you to be with Him in eternity. Trust Him for these things
More in Lent Devotionals 2023
March 17, 2023Day 21: The Old Made New
March 16, 2023Day 20: Born Again
March 15, 2023Day 19: Heirs