Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
"What is Jesus doing now?" is a question many believers in Him ask. Since He is the Son of God who suffered unspeakable agony on this planet when He was crucified, it seems only fair that He is entitled to a long "vacation" after such a terrible ordeal. He did His duty heroically; now He can rest, and enjoy the plaudits of the heavenly hosts, and the praise of at least some of earth's inhabitants.
But the Book of Hebrews does not reveal Him as taking an extended rest; He is working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year "continually" as our great High Priest--a full time job for the infinite Son of God. And the Holy Spirit is the grand, authentic "vicar of Christ" who is ministering constantly to millions and billions of human beings who long for salvation. If the Queen of England or the president of the United States deserves a full-time physician on duty, Christ as infinite High Priest is the full time Physician of our souls on duty to minister to every one who has faith in Him, giving His full attention as though there were not another "patient."
Hebrews zeroes in on the two-phase ministry of that heavenly High Priest as symbolized by the two apartments in the earthly sanctuary prototype (Heb. 9:1-14). As there was an annual "day of atonement" (Yom Kippur) in the "earthly" Hebrew sanctuary, so there must be a cosmic or antitypical Day of Atonement in the heavenly sanctuary. The ancient Yom Kippur symbolized the removal of all the sins of Israel from the sanctuary where they had been recorded, and their expulsion as so much trash. Each earthly day of atonement resulted in a full or complete "atonement" for Israel, all sins blotted out and a total reconciliation with God, the scapegoat symbolizing Satan forever banished from the camp of Israel.
Since the heavenly high priestly ministry is the grand antitype, what is the difference between Christ's first-apartment ministry and His second-apartment ministry? Hebrews 9 makes it clear: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (vs. 27); this gives us a glimpse of His first-apartment ministry--preparing people to die, ready for "the judgment." This has been His ministry in most of the nearly 2000 years since His sacrifice. But "unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation" (vs. 28). His cosmic Day of Atonement ministry is concentrated on preparing a people for translation at His second coming. But what about those who die during this time? In the ancient service, the first-apartment ministry continued through the final day of atonement; so it is today. We must not forget or frustrate Christ's primary goal for today!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 24, 2000.
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