“But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises.” ( Hebrews 8:6 from Hebrews 8:1-13)
Paul is continuing his theme of Jesus as high priest. And because Pal was very skilled in composing letters that both address and support his audience’s needs and theological perspectives, I am tempted to believer that this Hebrew audience clung to the need for a high priest to offer sacrifices and atonement. I have known contemporary Christians who also look to Jesus for this blessing. In fact, as Paul pointed out in yesterday’s scripture passage, for some this is Jesus’ primary purpose.
While I may believe it is a stilted view of Jesus, this theology is not without its profess-ers and supporters. Being at-one-ment with God and Christ is very important. And the belief that this can only be accomplished by Christ’s sacrifice is a valid one. As I said yesterday though, it is not all that Jesus is about. But there is no question that if one wants to be at-one-ment with God, having Christ accomplish it is the best option. And the one that is most likely to place one in right relationship with God, access a merciful justice, and in due time achieve shalom.
But that is not all there is to the Christian life. This year’s triune theme of right relationship, justice, and shalom covers and is appropriate for many scripture passages and theological issues. But it is not everything! Multifaceted Christianity can not be pinned down to one set of issues. Not even Paul addressed the same lineup of issues in each of his letters.
Christianity is like a bottomless endless pool (or well) of living water that is sufficient to sustain all of humanity. If one person wants to dip in and bring up a certain flavor of “living water” be he/she be blessed through it. But not think because Paul says Jesus “high priest” ministry is “more excellent” that it is the only one.
May you gentle reader be ministered to and blessed by Jesus the highest of priests. But may you also know Jesus in different roles, each most excellent! Selah! And shalom for your day.