Finding Grace

Finding Grace

Daily Reading: (Hebrews 4:16):

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

“Let us therefore”, this means that something that comes before this text has led to a drastic change. In the Old Testament when people used to live under the Law, they would not have any confidence at all when they would bring their petitions before God. Unfortunately, some believers who are still trying to live under the Law are the same way today. When you do not realize that Jesus fulfilled the Law on your behalf, you will try to work for what you have been freely given in Jesus.

No one could come directly before God except the High Priest and only one time a year during atonement. He did not come boldly- he came fearfully because if he did anything wrong or didn’t properly purify himself he would die. How effective was that? Ok, your sins are removed, but the next day at work you mess up royally and the High Priest isn’t going back in there for another year. Temple sacrifices and stuff but people could never be sure how they stood in their relationship with God before Jesus. Just listen to the way David wrote – a man after God’s own heart.

No one came before God except the High Priest and only one time a year during atonement. He did not come boldly- he came fearfully because if he did anything wrong or didn’t properly purify himself, he would die.

If the High Priest sinned, he brought guilt on his nation, and God would reject the entire nation no matter how law-abiding the people were or how faithful they were in bringing their sacrifices.

Conversely, if their High Priest was without fault and acceptable to God, God would accept the whole nation even if the people were sinful.

Unfortunately, the High Priests of Israel often failed because, like any human being, they were imperfect.

What changed?

 “Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has ascended into Heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14).

We have Jesus as our High Priest. As our High Priest, His standing before God is always right. Jesus is always acceptable and pleasing to the Father. Therefore, we can never lose our acceptance with God because as our High Priest, Jesus only brings righteousness on His people.

In the Old Testament, people would bring their sacrifice and the priest would examine it. During that time the priest wasn’t looking at the person who brought the sacrifice, the priest only looked at the sacrifice.  And today that’s the same thing. God doesn’t look at us, He looks at the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God. God looks at Jesus. If Jesus is accepted, you are accepted. If God sees Jesus perfect, then He sees you perfect. If Jesus is righteous, then you are righteous. And we know that Jesus our High Priest is good, accepted, perfect, and righteous, which means that that is how God sees us! That’s not fair, that’s not deserved, that’s not earned. That’s called grace and that is why, “since we have a great High Priest “Let us [therefore come boldly] unto the [throne of grace].”

Why a throne of grace? Confused people who think our sacrifice is what pleases God, will see a throne of judgment. If you put your faith in Jesus you get to come boldly unto God because you know that the perfect Sacrifice has been made for you and you will find yourself before God’s throne of grace.

Because Jesus is our High Priest something else happens when you pray in your time of need. In Leviticus 1:14-17 we see what happens when we pray as we understand what the High Priest in the Old Testament did with the burnt offering of a bird.

The birds what they represent are our prayers “flying” to the Lord Jesus because we pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. What the High Priest did with the bird sacrifice is He would remove the bird’s feathers after killing it. Jesus removes all that is unclean from our prayers, such as unbelief and self-centeredness.

Then, just as the High Priest offers the bird as a burnt sacrifice, a sweet aroma to the Lord, Jesus our High Priest adds His perfection, beauty, excellence, and fragrance, which the Father delights in, to our prayers. That is how He presents our prayers to the Father. That is how He lives to make intercession for you.

You don’t have to run to a church leader for them to pray “more powerfully” for you. You can pray for yourself. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). You are the righteousness of Christ Jesus so take advantage of Jesus’ intercession for you and know that the promise is that you “find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Advertisement

Adam & Eve & the Pomegranate Tree

Adam and Eve and the Pomegranate Tree | Classic Bible Stories |Jesus is Our Righteousness |Genesis 3 – YouTube

Adam and Eve and the Pomegranate Tree

Daily Reading: (Genesis 3:6):

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

What kind of fruit did they eat? The apple is ingrained in the minds of many and often is people’s answer.

What if I told you that the fruit that Adam and Eve ate probably but wasn’t the apple but instead was a pomegranate revealed thousands of years later in the construction of God’s Temple? The Bible doesn’t mention what they ate, but it opens up a lot of different possibilities.

“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food” (Genesis 2:9a).

The reason we landed on apple instead of pomegranate over the history of Christianity happened in the Catholic church with a translation error in Latin. In the Vulgate—the Latin translation of the Bible— “the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” uses the Latin word mălum meaning evil. However, there is another Latin noun mālum which means apple. The two words are almost identical, they are spelled the same ,just with a different accent mark. Because of this, people years ago made the mistake that Adam and Eve ate from an apple tree.

It could have been an apple tree, it could have been a pomegranate or perhaps something else like a quince. Who knows for sure? But my greatest evidence for the pomegranate, stands on top of a pillar at the entrance that leads into the Holy of Holies. For this we must journey together to 1 Kings 7.

“King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.” Here is a recap of the bronze work Huram did: “The two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars); the ten stands with their ten basins;the Sea and the Sea and the twelve bulls under it the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls. (1 Kings 7:13-14,41-45).

Huram made two life sized trees and Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because the pomegranate is said to have 613 seeds. The number corresponds with the 613 mitzvot or commandments found in the Old Testament Torah (first 5 books of the Bible). So, the pillars are located where? Outside on the porch of the temple before you would enter into God’s Holy Temple. You are instantly reminded in the Old Testament that your sin has separated you from God’s holy presence. The pillars Jachin and Boaz with the pomegranates on them declared Jesus would become our righteousness, granting us access to God’s presence forever. Apart from Him, sin would keep us separated forever. 

Hebrews 6:20 says: “Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Melchizedek means my King is righteous. Jesus is our righteous King. He was able to enter in past the sign of righteousness (the pomegranates), since He fulfilled the Law’s requirements, and once inside, His blood, our sacrifice, cleanses us forever. And because Jesus will continue as our High Priest forever, we have an everlasting righteousness, because Jesus is our High Priest forever.

The Pomegranate on the pillars reminded the Jewish people that in the garden when God gave only one command, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17) we failed. Because there was only one fruit on the pillars and the message they communicated, I believe Adam and Eve ate a pomegranate that day.

There was another message about our righteousness written by the man who commissioned the building of God’s Temple with the pillars of pomegranates. The message of the pomegranate (all 613 commands fulfilled perfectly in Jesus) is that the blessings of Christ are perpetually on your life. The Bible says that “blessings are on the head of the righteous” (Proverbs 10:6), and you are righteous forever!