Day 13

Great High Priest, Come

from the reading plan

Leviticus 9:1-7, Leviticus 16:29-34, Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 5:1-10, Hebrews 10:11-14

Confession can be complicated. On the one hand, we want to hide our flaws and faults from the world and especially our God. We want to be known as blameless, and we spend years honing these versions of ourselves. And yet, at the very same time, keeping up that pretense is exhausting. At some point we just want someone to know our worst mistakes and forgive us for them so that we can be truly accepted. Only then can we silence that nagging voice in our heads that tells us, “If they knew what you’ve done, they’d leave you.” While we’re terrified of revealing our imperfect selves, we long for the burden of our guilt to be taken.

The sacrificial system described in the Old Testament helped alleviate some of this dilemma by providing concrete assurances that a person’s sins were forgiven. However, this was a temporary fix, like a boat crew using buckets to scoop water out of their hole-riddled vessel. A greater solution was needed. 

Jesus is that solution. As the Great High Priest, He has offered the sacrifice to end all sacrifices: Himself. As the author of Hebrews writes, “But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). Nothing more is needed. By His death, He has forever taken away the sin of the world (John 1:29). With Christ’s sacrifice, there is both a release from guilt and restoration in relationship with our Heavenly Father. All of this is the work of our Great High Priest. 

As we approach the celebration of Christ’s birth, let us give thanks to Jesus our Great High Priest. One way that we show our gratitude to Him is through that uncomfortably beautiful practice of confession. As the author of Hebrews exclaims, “Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). When we rightly understand what Jesus has done for us, we confess our sins as those who are deeply loved and accepted, remembering that our Great High Priest’s atoning work is done. During this season of Advent, may we all find assurance in Christ’s finished work.

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