We have this kind of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that was set up by the Lord and not man. Hebrews 8:1-2
When I get home from being away for an extended time, the monumental task of catching up with household chores, and then catching up with the ministry things that got put aside for a time, is daunting. This is not peculiar to me. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Ron laughs at me because no matter what time I get home (and Saturday night it was 2:30 a.m.), I have to go through the mail. The next day, after a whirlwind 7-8 hours of re-organizing our lives, I say to myself, “Now, I’ll sit down!” There’s nothing quite like the feeling of completion. It calls for a cup of a coffee, sitting in my favorite chair, and surveying the clean and well-ordered landscape.
If this is true for you and me, can you imagine the sense of completeness Jesus felt when he sat down at the right hand of the Father? I can assume that the celebration was a response to His last days on earth; his arrest, torture, and crucifixion. It was not! The joy of a finished mission was not even a response to the thirty-three years He lived among men. The mission of the Lamb of God had been planned before God ever touched earth with His index finger. His incarnation was conceived long before the Spirit hovered and breathed over our dead planet. Before the foundation of the earth was formed, our perfect Lamb had been preparing.
The great events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus were foreshadowed all through the Old Testament. The setting up of the tabernacle was a teaser. The near sacrifice of Isaac and God’s provision of a Lamb was a stunning prediction of what would take place on a hill outside Jerusalem. There could only be one Lamb to take away the sins of the world. All other lambs who were sacrificed down through the ages were only symbolic of the One to come. The death of animals only covered the sins of the people for a brief time. It wouldn’t be long until more sacrifices were required. That’s why there were no chairs in the holy of holies, the place where High Priests sprinkled blood on the Ark of the Covenant. Not one of them sat down to enjoy a ‘once and for all’ sense of completion. They would spend their lives in ritual ~ waiting for the day when the real Lamb of God would ‘once and for all’ die for the sins of the people, ever removing their sins as far as the east is from the west.
Our God-given imagination cannot begin to envision what Jesus’ homecoming was like, both the celebration and then the feelings inside of Jesus when he sat down to rest. Assuming His throne meant that the plan of the ages had been completed. He had anticipated it throughout the centuries, never second guessing it, so great was His love for His creation. The plight of lost humanity with our individual faces on it propelled Him to incarnate without a thought for what lay ahead of Him. Not once did He ever think, “Are they worth it?”
The deeply gratifying sigh of sitting down beside Your Father can be heard in my spirit today. Let me never forget the joy You felt that when my salvation was won. Amen