‘And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan … is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?’ Zechariah 3:1–2
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 13:10–16
Who are the priests? Why, every humble man and woman that knows the power of Jesus Christ in his own soul, to purge and cleanse him from dead works, is appointed to serve as a priest unto God. I say every humble man and every humble woman too, for in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female, but we are all one in him. We offer prayer unto God, knowing that it ascends to heaven like sweet odours before the throne; we offer praise, believing that ‘whoso offereth praise, glorifieth God.’ Jesus has made us priests and kings unto God, and even here upon earth we exercise the priesthood of consecrated living and hallowed service, and hope to exercise it till the Lord shall come. When I see Joshua the high priest, I do but see a picture of each and every child of God, who has been made nigh by the blood of Christ, and has been taught to minister in holy things, and enter into that which is within the veil. But observe where this High Priest is: he is said to be ‘standing before the angel of the Lord,’ that is, standing to minister. This should be the perpetual position of every true believer. I have no business on the bed of sloth; I have no right to be wandering abroad after private business; I can claim no time which I may set apart for my own follies, or to my own aggrandisement. My true position as a Christian is to be always ministering to God, always standing before his altar. Do I hear you ask how this can be, with your farms and with your merchandise? Know you not, brethren, that whether you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, you may do it all to the glory of God?
For meditation: Our Great High Priest has completed his one sacrifice for our salvation and has sat down (Hebrews 10:12). Our sacrifices in his service are to be continual and in all our walks of life (Hebrews 13:15–16) and require us to stand against the enemy (Ephesians 6:11,13–14).
Sermon no. 611
22 January (1865)