READ: Exodus 28
THINK: Have you ever been in trouble or in need of help, then someone came to your defense and made a way for you to get through the situation? Or perhaps you've had a quarrel or dispute with a friend, and someone stepped in and helped resolve the conflict. That's what a mediator does. He or she is a "go-between"-representing each side to the other-working to bring resolution and restore relationships. The Old Testament priests filled such a role between people and God. But those priests-as all of us-had issues of their own with God. So there was still the need for a perfect Mediator between God and people. That role was fulfilled by God's Son: Jesus Christ. Under the new covenant-God's relational "life agreement" with those who entrust their lives to Him-Jesus is the High Priest. He initiated and sealed that covenant through His own death, offering himself as the perfect sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 9:15-28). Having lived as a man, Jesus relates to our struggles and understands our weaknesses. For that reason, He's able to represent us to God-no one else can do that-and continually intercede to His Father on our behalf. He's the only One who can make our relationship with God complete and give us continual access to Him.
RESPOND: How would you describe the role and duties of the Old Testament priests? (See 28:1 note.) In what way did the priests relate to God? In what ways did they relate to the people? (See 28:1 note, subpoint 2.) What did a priest do in regard to the people's sin against God, and how did this relate to a priest's own life? Who is the High Priest of the New Covenant, and how does He fulfill this role? (See 28:1 note, subpoint 3.) What do Aaron's actions as high priest symbolize for us today? (See 28:29 note.) In what way is Jesus vastly different from and superior to the Old Testament priests?
PRAY: Give Jesus thanks for being your High Priest-for providing forgiveness and for mediating your relationship with God the Father. Then take advantage of the access you have to God through Jesus. Ask for and accept the mercy, help and guidance you need in specific situations of your life. Then thank Him for the answers.
ACT: Although your pastors and spiritual leaders cannot mediate or facilitate your relationship with God (i.e., you don't need for them to go between you and God), they still invest in your life in a way that challenges, encourages and helps to develop you spiritually. Take time to thank these leaders through a personal call, email or written note. Thank them in person as well, and consider doing something practical and tangible to show your appreciation.
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