The Soaring Eagle

Only your body is limited. Your spirit can 'mount up on wings like eagles'


Leave a comment

Hold on to God

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith … Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful …. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds”
(Hebrews 10:22-24)

 

Reflection:
In the Temple worship access into the Holy of Holies was ‘forbidden except for one person (the high priest) on one occasion (the Day of Atonement) on one condition (that he took with him the blood of a sacrifice)’ (John Stott). Jesus Christ fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and accordingly through Him access into the presence of God Almighty is now open to all believers all of the time.

As a result the writer of this letter urges his readers to respond in three ways.

“Let us draw near to God.” There is no barrier and we are called to enter into and remain in God’s presence through our faith in Jesus Christ and all that He has achieved for us.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess.” Notwithstanding the fact that many have fallen away and the world has turned away we hold onto our sure expectation that the Lord will come again in all His glory – and that we will be with Him. He has promised it and He is faithful.

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on.” Encouragement and example are great attractions. As we remain faithful in worship and ministry, and invite others to join in or stay with us it may keep them from falling away or bring them back. Relationships are a greater attraction than legalisms!

Response:
Be a witness through faith, hope and love in all the stages of life.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus help me please to remain faithful and true to You at all times and to encourage others in the same way. Amen.

————————–

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Jesus Waiting

“But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time
 he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool”
(Hebrews 10:12-13)

Reflection:
Jesus resting – from His labours; Jesus reigning – in majesty and power; and now Jesus waiting.

This understanding was first stated in Psalm 110 and Jesus referred it to Himself. It contains all the elements of resting, reigning and waiting.

  • “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” (Psalm 110:1)

Whilst He rests and reigns He also waits in the confidant assurance that all His enemies will be subdued and His kingdom will come in all its fullness. It is also clear that this waiting is not a blind and careless assumption that evil will eventually wear itself out. On the contrary the Godhead continues to act.

  • “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit …. until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet” (Psalm 110:1)

So God continues to work in and through and around our lives and situations to answer the prayer that He taught us.

  • “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)

The Revelation given by the Father to the Son, by the Son to John, and by John to the Church, leaves us in no doubt whatsoever.

Prayer:

Lord establish Your Kingdom rule and authority in my life so that I may be a part of the answer to Your prayer. Amen.

—————————-

 


Leave a comment

Jesus Reigns

“He sat down at the right hand of God”
(Hebrews 10:12)

Reflection:
The second insight we gain from this scripture comes from where Jesus is sitting. He sits at the right hand of God – in the place of the highest possible honour. It is the supreme place of majesty, power and authority in the entire created order. And from here Jesus reigns.

  • God “raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” (Ephesians 1:20-22)

It is from here that

  • Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to His people on the Day of Pentecost
  • Jesus continues to send out His people on mission and ministry to the lost and suffering
  • Jesus continues to give light, life and power to His teaching through the Holy Spirit

Although the powers of evil have not yet surrendered Jesus showed quite clearly during His earthly ministry that He is able to exercise authority over them. When He decides that the time has come He will exercise that authority fully and finally.

Prayer:

 Lord the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours now and forever. Amen

———————- 


Leave a comment

Jesus sat down

“But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of God”
(Hebrews 10:12)

Reflection:
When Jesus had ascended into heaven – after His death and resurrection –  He sat down at the right hand of God.

The first insight we get from this is that He – like God on the seventh day of creation – was now resting. He had done what He had set out to do and, as He had said from the cross, it was now finished.

 “After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 1:3)

The priests of Israel continued their ministry every day of the year and, as no chairs were provided in the temple, they stood at all times. Jesus, our great high priest, having offered the one, perfect and sufficient sacrifice of Himself, was not required to do anything further in this regard– and so He sat down.

What God had taught us through the prophet Isaiah was shown to be true of the Living Word, Jesus Christ.

“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11)

Prayer:

Thank You Father that no further action is required on Your part to provide for the forgiveness of our sins and to open the way for us to come into Your presence. It has been done. Amen.

———————-


Leave a comment

Jesus our Priest

“Now there have been many of those priests,
since death prevented them from continuing in office;
but because Jesus lives for ever,
he has a permanent priesthood”
(Hebrews 7:23-24)

Reflection:
High Priest is one of Jesus many titles and descriptions of His ministry.

The Levitical priests of Israel were appointed in terms of the Law. Their appointment was temporary as they would in due course die. One would be selected as the high priest. He would enter the Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement to place the blood of the sacrifice on the Ark of the Covenant as God had prescribed.

In addition, and because of the sinful character of both priests and people, there were a number of sacrifices prescribed by the Law.  Some of these had to be repeated daily. They were temporary expedients because of the ongoing sin. But they were also a continual reminder that only the sacrifice of blood could deal with sin, and this would involve more than just the death of an animal.

“But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3-4)

Jesus was appointed apart from the Law. He lives forever and so His appointment is permanent and eternal.

Like the Levitical priests He was ordained to offer a sacrifice to God – to satisfy the provisions of the Law. However, where their sacrifices had to be repeated daily because of their own ongoing sinfulness, His sacrifice of Himself for our sins was a one, perfect and sufficient sacrifice. It gained eternal redemption and salvation for those who put their faith and trust in Him.

“He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:25-26)

Jesus is the fulfilment of the priesthood in every way. His life was sinless, His sacrificial death complete and His intercession on our behalf eternal. He is forever in the Holy Presence of God Himself.

Prayer:

Thank You Lord Jesus for being both our sacrifice and our high priest – holding us before the Lord God Almighty and enabling us to come into His presence. Amen.

————————-


Leave a comment

Jesus Then and Then

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God”
(Luke 1:35)

Reflection:
To summarise Jesus humanity and His Divinity.

  • Jesus was a human led by the Holy Spirit.
    • He was born by a human mother through the action of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35)
    • His human ancestry reached back to David, Abraham and Adam (Matthew 1:1-17)
    • He grew up, learned and submitted to His human parents (Luke 2:51-52)
    • He knew human hunger and thirst, suffering and pain.
    • He experienced temptation (Luke 4:1-13)
    • He died and was buried like humans
  • Jesus was God in human flesh
    • The Virgin birth was not His beginning but the way in which God became flesh          (John 1:14)
    • He existed before creation (John 1:1)
    • Through Him all things were made (John 1:3)
    • He is the full expression of the Father (John 14:9)
    • He and the Father are one (John 10:31)
    • He is in nature God and equal to God (Philippians 2:6)
    • His deity is revealed in His moral perfection and holiness, and His power and authority
    • Jesus is Immanuel – God with us (Matthew 1:23)

By Almighty God’s great act of love His divine Son received our human nature from the Virgin Mary, His mother. He became human so that in Him human beings might be adopted as children of God, and inheritors of the Kingdom of God. It is through Him, and Him alone, that we receive the forgiveness of sins and life eternal with God.

“For God so loved the world that
he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life”
(John 3:16)

Response:
God did this for me

Prayer:

Lord help me to spend time contemplating all of this and the depth of its significance for You, for me, and for us all. Amen.

————————

(Picture: Nicolas Poussin, The Annunciation, 1657, National Gallery, London)


Leave a comment

Jesus and Death

“But we see Jesus,
who was made a little lower than the angels,
now crowned with glory and honour
because he suffered death,
so that by the grace of God
he might taste death for everyone”
(Hebrews 2:9)

Reflection:
Jesus entered into our humanity, our temptations, our sufferings – and now our death.

Jesus did not need to die. The wages of sin is death, and Jesus had no sin of His own. Instead He died for our sins, taking their guilt and stain away from us and into Himself. Or as Scriptures tells us,

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”
(2 Corinthians 5:21)

And it was John the Baptist who prophetically pointed to Him and said,

“Look, the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world!”
(John 1:29)

This was the cup that He prayed about in the Garden of Gethsemane – when He was in such an agony that His sweat became drops of blood that fell to the ground.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground”
(Luke 22:42-44)

And after this He was taken away and condemned, flogged and crucified until His body died and was buried. All this lay in store for the Baby born at Bethlehem – come for you and come for me.

Response:
Lord help me to not hold on to my sins but to relinquish them to You.

Prayer:

Lamb of God You take away the sins of the world – have mercy on me, and on us. Amen.

————————-