By: Gary L. Hutchens
Without question, the greatest blessing offered to mankind is eternal salvation. While there is no way man can earn that blessing, it certainly cost God a great deal to offer it to man. Sin separated man from God (Isa. 59:2). The requirement of sin is death (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23). But since God created man in His own image and gave him dominion over all else He had created on this earth (Gen. 1:26-28), there was no living thing on this earth the death of which could suffice to cover for the guilt of man’s sin (Heb. 10:1). And man, guilty in his own sin, certainly could never do anything to bring himself forgiveness. God had to give up the life of His own Son on the cross to redeem man from the guilt of sin (Heb. 9:27-28). Jesus died on the cross to pay a debt that man could never pay himself and a debt that Jesus certainly did not owe. That is why He is our Savior!
But Jesus is not only our Savior. He also fills other vital roles that allow Him to serve more effectively in the overall role of Savior. He is our High Priest (Heb. 4:14-15). We probably do not relate well to Jesus’ role as high priest. A high priest is a spiritual representative for man to God (Heb. 5:1). As High Priest, Jesus walks with us in our Christian walk, and in a far more personal way than most people might realize. He is a High Priest Who knows exactly what we go through, exactly what we experience and exactly what we need. He knows all of this because He lived in this world as a man and went through it all Himself (Heb. 2:17-18). We can know, when we pray to God for forgiveness and strength through Jesus’ name, that our Lord is in God’s presence mediating our prayer, knowing personally what we are experiencing because He experienced the same kinds of things Himself. He not only can sympathize with us, He can also empathize with us. He personally offers us the strength we need to go on (Phlp. 4:13).
In addition to being our High Priest, Jesus also serves as our Advocate (1 Jn. 2:1). An advocate is a legal representative that pleads a case for someone else. It is thrilling to think of Jesus as our legal representative before the throne of God in Spiritual matters. Better yet, He represents us at the right hand of God’s throne (Acts 2:33). In that role, He offers Himself as a cover, or propitiation, for us (1 Jn. 2:2). He asks God to count us righteous through His righteousness.
Savior, High Priest, Advocate, propitiation all rolled into one. What a marvelous Lord we have! Now, what is our responsibility to Him? Lifelong faithfulness, to be sure (Rev. 2:10). But more basic than that, we owe it to our Lord to not quit. We’re going to be weak and confused at times, but that’s where He aids us as our High Priest. We’re going to stumble at times, but that’s where He steps in as our Advocate. We’re going to feel a special need for love at times, but that’s when we can remember Him as our Savior.
Don’t quit. Jesus did not go to the cross and take on all of these special roles on our behalf for you to quit on Him. When you feel down, turn to Jesus. When you need direction, turn to Jesus. When you stumble and make mistakes, turn to Jesus. When you are weak and need a boost of strength, turn to Jesus. But don’t quit. Don’t ever quit. Don’t quit on Jesus!…
Gary L. Hutchens