Problem: Hebrews is a letter written to a group of Christians struggling to endure. After coming to faith several years ago, these Christians are beginning to realize that their confession of faith did not put an end to their troubles. Not only are they still being persecuted, they are also facing another problem—they are continuing to sin. Is there any hope?
Intercession: Priests in ancient Israel acted on behalf of the people by offering sacrifices and intercessory prayers. As the final high priest, Jesus offers prayers of intercession for his people: “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Like the Christians who received this letter, we continue to sin, too. Therefore, we need Jesus to “always” intercede for us in the presence of God. He is our hope.
Friends: “To use a workplace metaphor,” comments the Theology of Work Project, “imagine the fear a young engineer might feel when he is called to meet the chief of the state highway department. What will he possibly say to her? Recognizing that the project he is working on is running late and over budget makes him more afraid. But then he learns that his supervisor, a beloved mentor, will also be at the meeting. And it turns out she is great friends with the chief of the highway department from their days back at university. ‘Don’t worry,’ the mentor assures the engineer, ‘I’ll take care of things.’ Won’t the young engineer have much greater confidence to approach the chief in the presence of her friend?”
Prayer: Lord, We confess that our works do not commend us to you—for we are always “running late and over budget”. Do not forgive us on the basis of our righteousness or goodness, but on the basis of Jesus, who always lives to make intercession for us. May our confessions be a sweet aroma to you—for his words about us are words of love before your throne. Amen.
M’Cheyne Weekend Readings: