But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. Heb 8: 6
Beautiful, majesty, glorious, matchless in every way (chorus)
After a long, intense week in the world, the other day I came home and quietly watched a short cut of The Passion. It brought me back to the sheer immensity of who Christ was, and what he accomplished in such a short period. When we are able to simply gaze on the person of Jesus Christ, and truly put him first, all else falls into place. The positional arguments that each of us has , “Jesus-and,” diminish into inconsequence, our methods, our doctrines all slip quietly away. All we think we might achieve appears marginal when measured against Him. Paul reminds us that even the faith we think we bring, is a gift from God.
For some, they discover the beauty that is Christ and give up their lives for him. Surely, they are the most fulfilled people on earth. Recently I heard of a young man who decided that he would sacrifice a career by taking a more menial job that would allow him to spend more time out in the marketplace, introducing others to this Jesus. So he spends two full days each week on the streets and in the university, bringing Jesus to anyone who God opens up to him. Recently, this person prayed for another non-believer, who was in chronic pain recovering from a broken back, and they were healed.
There is scepticism around signs and wonders, perhaps for good reason. The gifts have been contrived and abused, worse even used to gain wealth, causing hurt to many along the way. Yet we mustn’t be surprised that when we are prepared to sacrifice all for Christ, when he is proclaimed publicly and put in his proper position, that he acts in such a way. Signs and wonders shall surely follow, demons will flee and captives will be set free. As a result, the healed man introduced others, friends of his, to Christ and being as astounded as he by what had happened, they have committed to follow him. He is a better covenant.
This week we were out on the streets, sitting and watching and waiting to see who the Lord might lead us to. We began to talk to a young Spanish couple, John and Annie, here on a working visa. The conversation was fairly typical of many we have with young people with no particular belief. Who made all this? Who decides what is good and evil? God is both Holy as well as loving, what does that mean? As always, the most interesting part is when we come to the person of Jesus Christ. Who he was, why he came, why he had to do what he did and what that means for us; Jesus never fails to intrigue.
There is absolutely no cleverness needed when we explain Jesus, his name alone is sufficient to begin to wring change in people’s lives. People always seem to listen more intently when we get to him. We ended up by blessing John and Annie as we prayed that they would not easily forget the conversation we had. I suspect it won’t be the last.
As I turned to leave, my wife grabbed me round to face a young Chinese student who had been listening into the conversation; he wanted to carry it on. So, for the next half an hour we had the delight of being able to tell more of the Gospel to Michael, a student from China studying at Usyd. Michael had heard the Gospel before, had never responded, but now he isn’t far away. So, in an afternoon, we managed to start the sowing process with a young couple from Spain, who walked away clearly moved yet without responding. Who knows what will happen down the track. Then we were able to carry on, still on the same seat, with another who had heard before. We added seed to the line of sowers God had already used in this young man’s life.
We have since introduced Michael to some believers at Usyd, and sense that he is not far off committing his life to Christ and we are looking forward to meeting him again soon. Hopefully, when he commits we can train him to go and make disciples as well.
Again and again we see the person of Jesus bringing great change in people’s lives. For each of us reading here, we know the impact he has had with us. His grace, his beauty, his power the sheer matchlessness of Jesus makes him a person that cannot and should not be contained. God knows that his Son alone is able to change this world, and so he asks you and me, simple believers, to move in our circles introducing others to this Christ. We don’t need to be articulate, to know a lot, to be well-known or ordained, he simply asks us to go.
Through him, because of him, people everywhere have a better covenant. The age old question that so many have, how can I get close to this God is answered only in Jesus. We must tell people everywhere that times have changed, we no longer need to rely on us to get to God, all we must do is put our faith in another. The door to God is now wide open to all who would believe, good news to all who would hear.