During this Advent season we have been tracing the footprint of Jesus our King through some Psalms. We began in Psalm 2 with God’s Son, being established King on Zion’s hill. And even though the nations raged, the Bible says that God laughed. But this Christ who is to come is not simply a King to rule, he is also a groom looking for a bride (see Ps. 45). Christ comes to woo us and win us in love.
This Lord’s Day we will see even more clearly how this is possible. For God’s Son, is the ‘Priestly King enthroned forever.’ This Sunday we will consider Psalm 110, the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament. To ready your heart to marvel at the beauty and wonder of the Priestly King, you must go back to the beginning and first hear graphic words of despair.
In Genesis 6:5 we read: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”
Perhaps even more shocking is the profoundly personal nature of the verse, describing such divine heartbreak. Can you imagine tears streaming from the Creator as he surveys the creatures he so lovingly designed, plunging the world into chaos driven by selfish pursuit of pleasure?
What could be so significant to evoke a response like this from the Father of the children of the world? A personal betrayal of relational love.
Whether you know it or not, all of us are lovers; God hardwired us to love. Everything we do, have done, and will do in our life is motivated by love.
Our first and only love was meant to be for our Creator. Jesus says that the great and first commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:36).
Out of that love for God comes obedience to the rest of his commands. Because we love God the lawgiver, we find joy in staying within his boundaries.
But something horrible happened. After the Fall, a seductive, powerful, and deceptive love replaced the love we were meant to have exclusively for God: the love of self.
When we choose to love ourselves, it becomes very easy for us to overstep God’s boundaries because our hearts aren’t motivated by love for him anymore. When we violate his law, designed to give us life, evil thrives in a way that Genesis 6:5 describes.
And so, humanity needed to be rescued. Someone was required to do what we could not do for ourselves: defeat the love of self and restore the love of God in our hearts. The writer to the Hebrews, quoting Psalm 110, tells us that because Jesus is the Priestly King forever, “he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “he is able to save to the uttermost” because “[Jesus] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
This Advent season celebrate the baby who came as the Priestly King to deliver betraying lovers like me and you back to our original love. But also remember that the rescuing work of the Messiah is both an event and a process.
By grace, we are no longer slaves to the love of self, free to experience the soul-satisfying love of God. Yet the love of self remains, so we must be aware that the battle of love rages in our hearts.
Every situation, location, and relationship in our everyday life is a warzone, where the love of God and love of self fight for control of our heart. Are you aware of this raging battle?
This Advent celebrate the coming of our Priestly King who “always lives to make intercession for [us]” in this raging battle ensuring our victory.
One day, Thanks be to God, because that baby came, every cell of our heart will be captivated by the love of God, and we’ll live joyfully inside his boundaries forever and ever.
Now that is a reason to celebrate Christmas this year!
So, come out and join us to worship in person with the body of Jesus Christ at Redeemer. We look forward to seeing you this Lord’s Day.
For Our King,