The Perfect Man
Mighty God, with the psalmist, my heart clamors for Your courts and to be in Your presence.
Read Hebrews 8:1-6
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52). What an amazing truth, and sure hope!
Hebrews emphasizes the humanity of Jesus as well as his deity (2:14), and the ascension as well as the cross (1:3). Having lived a human life without sin, and having sacrificed himself for our sin, Jesus, in his risen, indestructible humanity, enters the Father’s presence in his own right and on our behalf. Real, risen human flesh arrives in heaven.
Jesus is presented in two complementary ways. His “once for all” work for our salvation is symbolized by his sitting. He “sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (1), implying something done once, and now complete. He is also described as serving (2), something ongoing. The Greek word translated as “serves” gives us our word “liturgy.” Hebrews has earlier described Jesus as leading the worship of heaven, by putting the words of Psalm 22:22 on his lips. He is the one human who can offer perfect and acceptable worship. In his perfect humanity, the Son of God is worshiping the Father. What else would a perfect human do?
The writer takes up a theme from Jewish thought. The earthly sanctuary, the tabernacle, then the temple, foreshadows the heavenly one. Worship on earth foreshadows worship in heaven. But Christians are granted the privilege of participating in Jesus’ worship, and can enter the real, heavenly sanctuary through him. We are not yet there at his side, but through him we have access now. It is essential to take both Jesus’ humanity and our humanity seriously. There is a perfect man in the presence of God! Our heavenly destiny is as embodied humans, like Jesus and with Jesus. What we do in our bodies matters both now and for the future. Our worship now and our physical lives, as part of that worship, participate in the worship of heaven in advance.
Jesus’ transformed human flesh is in heaven, and you are promised the same. Do you think of your body in a Christian way?
Gracious God, I’m grateful that I am not an orphan adrift in the cosmos. I am a child of God with a hope and a wonderful destiny.