By humility and fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.(Proverbs 22:4)
This week, following the theme of Priesthood, we’re gonna be looking at what it truly means for Jesus Christ to be our High Priest, our Mediator and Intercessor! There’s some radical, controversial, yet sweet truth the Holy Spirit is showing us here, so let’s roll!
At the end of His long discourse, Jesus teaches His disciples about eternal life. He issues three warnings, and a challenge: 1) the entrance to eternal life is exclusive, and the way is hard; 2) there will be false guides/influences along the way; 3) only those who do God’s will by having faith in Him can enter. But, if they heed His teachings and build their lives around them, they’ll be set when the storms of life come! By the end of all this, the crowds are astounded because Jesus isn’t just interpreting and teaching like the scribes, He’s bringing a new, authoritative Word from God!
What is Jesus talking about when He says “eternal life?” Seems pretty self-explanatory, He means living forever, right? Not exactly. Eternal life is God’s own life; it’s life that’s filled with His presence! Sin separated us from God, which is the essence of death, separation from God. Therefore, when Jesus brings us back to God through His death and resurrection, He’s offering us eternal life, life spent in fellowship and relationship with God! (John 17:3) Therefore, “life” in the Bible is more than just breathing or not being dead, it’s about being in relationship with God through Jesus Christ forever.
So, how do we have that kind of life, a personal relationship with God? I’m glad you asked. Jesus made it very clear that He is the only Way to the Father, and no one can come to Him unless they go through Him! In other words, the only way to truly know God in relationship, to experience eternal life, is to humbly receive it as a free gift that Christ already secured for us! (Romans 6:23) According to Jesus and the Apostles, humility is critical to receiving and experiencing eternal life. It’s only through faith and repentance (turning from our way and turning to God’s way) that we can receive Christ as our Savior, and everything He’s done on our behalf is attributed to us! If eternal life is knowing God and His Son in loving fellowship, and we can only know Him when we come in humble faith/repentance to the Gospel, then humility is the way to life in Christ!
As Paul is writing to the Corinthians, he refers to himself with language that refers to a captive who’s being led behind a victorious king riding into his capitol city, and the sweet incense that’s offered as a sign of the king’s victory. Paul’s saying that his ministry as an apostle is the evidence of the Messiah’s victory over sin and death! He had experienced the gift of eternal life by God’s grace, and now the Lord is using him to spread the aroma of this Good News. (2 Cor. 2:14-17)
- The Kingdom of God, eternal life, is open to all who come to Him in humility through Jesus Christ, the King. Because He gave Himself in our place to pay our infinite debt as our Advocate, we can receive the free gift of life by simply humbling ourselves, realizing that we can’t save ourselves from destruction, and receiving Him as our sufficient Savior. It’s not easy, but because of Jesus, it’s just that simple. And not only that, but when you experience the glory and joy of eternal life, He can use you to diffuse the fragrance of His love and victory!
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.(James 4:10)