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Tag Archives: high priest

Escaping Loneliness

Abandonment, isolation and rejection are just a few words that reflect the feelings within a lonely heart.  Loneliness can be self inflicted when alienated, busy or distracted by your own self interests.  Yet, most lonely people are haunted by broken relationships, a loss of confidence or low self esteem which often leads to withdrawing from family and friends.  For anyone who finds themselves in this predicament, the quicker you can escape loneliness, the better.

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment], Hebrews 4:15-16.

The author of Hebrews suggests that not even Jesus was immune to loneliness.  Referred to as the great high priest, Jesus is able to sympathize and understand human weaknesses and temptations.  No verse in the Bible highlights this fact than the passage below.  On the verge of fulfilling God’s will, Jesus felt forsaken, abandoned by his heavenly father.  Despite the raw emotions expiressed, Jesus prepared himself for this moment by praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before..

Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.). 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud [agonized] voice,Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” – Matthew 27:45-46

As a highly motivated individual, pursuing my own dreams and goals can result in isolation.  Unless I slow down to invite others into my life, invisible walls are built to shield myself from those who care about me.  Thus, before I find myself heading toward a lone ranger syndrome, I need to take a step back before speeding ahead.  The best way I have found to escape loneliness is by spending time meditating upon God’s Word.  When I do, the Holy Spirit puts everything into perspective by prompting me to  restore relationships that need to be healed.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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The Good Things of Christ

There are four books of the Bible known as the gospels according to Jesus Christ.  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give an account of the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.  However, gospel originates from the Old English term godspel.  This word has two meanings, referring to good tidings or good news.  Thus, inside these four New Testament books contain the good things of Christ.

But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation, Hebrews 9:11.

According to Hebrews, Jesus came down to earth to be a physical great high priest.  Within the four gospels you will find verses that highlight this great news.  The inspiration behind this selfish act was love.  Trying to restore that which was lost, Jesus resists temptation to become the perfect lamb of God.  Following the disappointment of Jesus’ death on the cross, Sunday’s resurrection rejuvenated those who had lost hope.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, John 3:16-17.

Today, some members of the media are trying to rewrite history, suggesting the resurrection was a hoax.  Using the conspiracy theory first conceived in Matthew 28:12-15, film makers have created moderns movies to deceive Christians.  Yet, like anything else in life, you have to surround yourself with positive people, fleeing from negative influences.  As another Resurrection Sunday approaches, may the good things about Christ lift you up and draw you closer to a risen Savior during this season of miracles.

by Jay Mankus

 

Matters Related to God

Since Adam failed to demonstrate leadership and Eve fell for the Devil’s trap, God’s perfect world vanished.  Thus, one of God’s first course of actions was to send a second Adam to restore that which was lost.  A temporary plan was put into practice, using a high priest to atone for the sins of Israel.  However, the Lord allowed time to pass before his resolution was unveiled.

Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins, Hebrews 5:1.

John the Baptist was chosen to serve as a messenger to communicate this matter.  One of the first objectives was to make a stark contracts between the God of the Old and New Testament.  The Lord was willing to offer His one and only son, not to condemn the world, but to save it.  Protected by angels and guided by the Holy Spirit, Jesus invested the last three years of his earthly life setting the stage for the modern church.  The only thing remaining was for the Father of life to stand by, allowing Jesus to become the perfect Lamb of God.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, John 3:17.

Unfortunately, today many Christians are distracted by deception philosophy and human traditions.  Making the complex simple, matters related to God can be summed up in three biblical principles.  Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.  Love you neighbor as yourself and pray for those who persecute you.  By doing this you will emulate the love of Christ and remind the world of a gracious and merciful God waiting to save those tangled by sin.

by Jay Mankus

A Different Kind of Free

Paradise didn’t last long until temptation entered the conversation.  Since Adam and Eve were caught red handed with forbidden fruit in their possession, freedom has gone down hill.  Sure, freewill still exists, yet a different kind of free is necessary to escape guilt, shame and regret.

In their 2003 hit song Different Kind of Free, Zoe Girl raises this question.  Despite the pain of historic blunders, the future does hold the key to obtain a spiritual freedom.  While the world is busy keeping score, 1 Corinthians 13:4, God hits the reset button every morning, Lamentations 3:22-23.  The focus shouldn’t be on whether or not the Lord will forgive you for your transgressions in life.  Rather, will you let go of failure to forgive yourself or are you going to continue to beat yourself over previous mistakes?

The New Testament expresses a kinder and gentler God, full of grace and love, Romans 5:8.  Instead of shedding blood to atone for every time you mess up, the Lord has sent a different kind of high priest, Hebrews 4:15-16.  To replace this Jewish tradition, a human was led to the slaughter to die once and for all, 1 Peter 4:1.  Although no one deserves a second chance, a different kind of free is now available through Jesus, John 3:3-17.  Don’t wait to taste this everlasting fruit, Psalm 34:8.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Unlikely Sources of Intelligence

There was a time in this country when a high school diploma meant something.  Today, in an age of endless education, you have to acquire this certification and that degree along with these essential skills to get away where or be anyone.  Unless of course, you are drawn toward an unlikely source of intelligence.

During the first century, there were 2 main classes, the elite and peasants.  Thus, only the wealthy could afford higher education.  The poor endured the school of hard knocks, entering lesser trades like fishing.  This is the backdrop of Acts 4, where the upper class attempt to scold 2 unschooled fishermen.

Following their Rabbinical School Teaching, the high priest, elders and teachers of the law were set in their minds to punish Peter and John for not obeying cultural traditions as each spent one night in jail prior to their public hearing.  Relying on superior intellect, Peter and John had the deck stacked against until Peter became plugged into a source out of this world, Acts 4:8.  After this the religious leaders never had a prayer, over matched according to Acts 4:13-14.

I can relate to this event due to an unusual twist of fate.  My parents are both Ivy League graduates, attending the University of Pennsylvania, with my dad earning his masters from the Wharton School of Business.  On the other hand, my 2 older sisters and I were average B students, wondering when or if the IQ of our parents might ever be passed on to us.  Like Peter and John, I felt over matched until I began to mediate on and study God’s word, Joshua 1:8.  Similar to the Holy Spirit, this unlikely source from a worldly perspective has even astonished me at times.  If you feel as if you are lacking the knowledge you need, get plugged into God today!

by Jay Mankus

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