Friday, November 14, 2008

The Table of Considering Him

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 3:1)
In Hebrew 3, the author compares the Lord Jesus to Moses. Moses was the “apostle” of the Old Testament. The Law and the pattern for the Tabernacle were given through him. As John notes, “The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:14). The Lord Jesus is the Apostle of the New Covenant. Not only the Apostle, but also the High Priest, for as the author of Hebrews later tells us, “He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). Indeed, He is the sacrifice on which that covenant is based, as He declared at the Last Supper: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).

It is this Jesus whom we are called to “consider.” The Greek word speaks of a fixed attention to Him. It is not a passing thought or acknowledgment but a sustained focus. In Him, we are made “holy brethren” (to be holy means to be set apart for God’s will and desire). In Him, we are partakers of the “heavenly calling.” For we were born, “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). We belong to Him.

He is called the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. The Greek noun comes from the verb homologeo, which means to speak the “same word.” It is a word of agreement. In this case, it is about agreeing with God about Jesus Christ. Everything He has promised is fulfilled for us in Christ, who is the mediator of the new and better covenant we have with God.

At the Table of the Lord, we focus all our attention on the Lord Jesus, His body and blood given for us, and with it, all the blessing and promise of God. We confess Him, that He is our Lord, our salvation, our resurrection and our life. In Him, we are made holy and called brothers. In Him, we partake of the heavenly calling, which speaks of divine initiative and living life on a new and higher basis — the reality of heaven becomes ours.

Come to the Table of the Lord and consider, in a sustained and sustaining way, the Apostle and High Priest whom we confess as our own.