He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Heb 2:14-18, NKJV). These are unusual and exciting times to live in Nigeria. This is not because of any perceived or visible change in the fortunes and welfare of Nigerians but because of the season we are in as a nation – the countdown to 2011 general elections or more appropriately, s-elections, as has been our experiences in the past. Although the grand rules for the 2011 s-elections is yet to be put in place and a new umpire yet to be appointed, many of the players have already kicked off the 2011 games. These political office contestants are the most caring Nigerians among us. Now the political skeptics will cry foul at this statement, but the truth is that no one had ever come out to run for a political office in Nigeria with the promise that he/she is coming out to run in order to better his/her lot and that of his family and cronies, NEVER! The only reason Nigerian politicians, (the caring champions of the common man), venture out of their comfortable, opulent and decadent lives is because of the unbearable ache in their “dirty hearts” for the plight of the poor Nigerian, (alias common man).
The poor Nigerian has become so important, (as is always the case in seasons like this), that he/she is the reason these most caring Nigerians are gearing up to run for various political offices, to put an end to his/her plight and deliver to him/her the proverbial dividends of democracy and permanently give poverty, (which is the most malignant disease afflicting the poor), a one-way, no return ticket out of Nigeria. These most caring Nigerians have already started spending many sleepless nights wrestling with the problems of the poor and how to solve them. The fear of our national network of death traps, otherwise known as roads will not deter them from their single minded commitment to fight the cause or for the curse of this most “un-endangered” specie of Nigerian Homo sapiens. For example, why else will the likes of former President Ibrahim Babangida and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar join the 2011 presidential race if not to assuage, alleviate and eradicate poverty in Nigeria. I don’t suppose they are aspiring to be president of Nigeria to get richer and more powerful, do you? Besides, don’t bet that your vote will stop them from achieving their goal, except of course if Nigeria’s goodluck did not end on May 29, 2011. This statement should not be construed as an incentive for voter apathy or self disenfranchisement in 2011 general elections. Endeavor to cast your vote; it may count to your surprise.
Now let me turn your attention to another champion of the poor. The Bible presents us with many pictures of who Jesus Christ is to believers. One of my favorite biblical portraits of Jesus Christ is His role as our Great High Priest. The High Priest can be summed up as God’s representative before men and men’s representative before God. However, the High Priesthood of Jesus epitomizes adequate and effective representation contrary to the claims of our politicians to be our representatives. It is stating the obvious to say that our political leaders, (both temporal and spiritual), care very little about the masses and their plight, even though that is the ostensible reason they give as their motivation for aspiring to elective offices. Let me show you why you must not hesitate to trust and depend on Jesus Christ as your representative before God. Unlike our human representatives who pretend to champion our causes without knowing who we are, where we are and what our plights and problems are, our bible text tells us that Jesus Christ incarnated so that He can truly represent us. Although He was and is God, He did not use divine fiat to address our needs, though He could have done so if He wanted to do what was convenient for Him. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. (Phil 2:6-7, NLT). 1. As our Great High Priest, Jesus decided to come to where we are and experience our plight with sin and death. Because God’s children are human beings — made of flesh and blood — Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. (Heb. 2:14-15, NLT ).
2. As our Great High Priest, He became EVERYTHING that we are and was not ashamed to identify with us, even in our worst state of sinfulness. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. (2:17, NLT). And it was only right that God — who made everything and for whom everything was made — should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation. So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. (Heb 2:10-11). 3. As our Great High Priest, He can help you out of EVERY HUMAN PROBLEM because He has suffered them all and is in a perfect position to come to your help. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted. (2:18, NLT). As children of God, we carry around today a lot of needless burdens and sorrows, because we are yet to appreciate and appropriate the present day ministry of Jesus Christ as our Great High Priest. It doesn’t matter what the devil has used to intimidate your life as a child of God, it doesn’t matter what fears that are assailing your life, you have a Great High Priest, who has been where you are now. But Jesus remains a priest forever; his priesthood will never end. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf. (Heb 7:24-25; NLT). There is a perfect representative!
4. Consequent upon the foregoing let me renew again this month your standing invitation to come to our Great High Priest. That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. (Heb 4:14-16, NLT). You have been invited to come boldly to the throne of God’s grace. There is MERCY waiting for you for ALL your failures and shortcomings. There is GRACE to renew, empower, and invigorate your Christian life and take you to a new level of relationship with God this month. There is HELP for your every need. I like how the Amplified Bible rendered this invitation: Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favour to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it]. (Heb 4:16, AMP). It is my prayer that the God of peace Himself, [our Great High Priest], sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless [by His eternally efficacious BLOOD] at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. May His ever abiding faithfulness be your portion on every side and in every situation this month in Jesus name, Amen!