There is no umpire between us, who may lay his hand upon us both.
Our 21st-century evangelical mind-set has made the idea of a priest seem as out of date as the Edsel. Why would we need a go-between between us and God? After all, we are Americans. We are all equal. Aren’t we free to come to God anytime and any way we want? The idea that we do not need a priest is not only inaccurate, but it is also unbiblical. In our attempt to make God more accessible to people, we have forgotten a basic truth: There is a great separation between God and us. We need a priest.
Job understood that. Remember, he had a particularly bad day. A freak windstorm caused his roof to collapse and kill his children. Then he lost all his possessions. Then he began to lose his health. In Job 9:32-33, he said, “For [God] is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, that we may go to court together. There is no umpire between us, who may lay his hand upon us both.” Job could not understand the ways of God. God was acting against him, or so he thought. He needed somebody to settle the difference between God and him. He needed a priest. We all need such a priest. And the good news is we have a priest! His name is Jesus Christ.
You will never fully appreciate your need for a priest–and the significance of Jesus Christ being that priest–until you understand three important truths.
The first truth you need to understand is your need for God. If everything is going well for you, then you probably are not too concerned about God right now. But maybe you are facing a major problem. Or maybe as you have gotten older you have begun thinking about where you are going to spend eternity. Or maybe the mundane routine of life has you longing for something more. You will never understand your need for a priest until you understand your need for God.
As you begin to understand your need for God, that will lead you to a second truth, and that is the holiness of God. God is not like we are. He is wholly different. That word “holy” means “a cut above.” God is separate from us. Only when you understand that holiness, that differentness, of God will you come to a place that you understand your need for a go-between.
Finally, to appreciate your need for a priest, you have to understand your own sinfulness. It is a great paradox that the closer you move to God, the more you are aware of your own sinfulness. Think of the Apostle Peter. When he finally realized who Jesus was, he fell down at His feet and said, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Only when you realize your need for God, the holiness of God, and your sinfulness will you understand your need for a priest. Who needs a priest? Every one of us.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Who Needs A Priest?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2018.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.