The Powerful Present Tense
Today’s Bible reading is Nehemiah 4 and Hebrews 8.
Now the point in what we are saying is this… (Heb 8:1a)
The Letter to the Hebrews was written nearly 2,000 years ago. That’s an old letter. But notice the power of the present tense.
…we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. (Heb 8:1b-2)
But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. (Heb 8:6)
We don’t simply study the life and teachings of a man who lived a long, long time ago. This morning, we have—present tense–a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.
We don’t hope against hope that someone will eventually discover some way to atone for our sins and somehow reconcile us to our holy Creator. This afternoon, he mediates—present tense–on behalf of his brothers and sisters, inviting us to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace in his name.
We’ve not been left in the dark as to how our story ends, vainly wishing upon a cold, unresponsive star that good will someday triumph over evil. This evening, our King is seated—present tense–at the throne of the Majesty in heaven.
God’s people unashamedly read very old letters. Why? Because what was true 2,000 years ago is just as current as the latest breaking news. Those ancient letters, breathed out by God, are living and active (Heb 4:12). Christians have been born again to a living hope (1 Pet 1:3), not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God (1 Pet 1:23).
He mediates. We have. He reigns. The powerful present tense.
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