Jesus Is Better: Better Access
We'll continue our series, "Jesus Is Better," this week with an emphasis on "Better Access" from Hebrews 4 and 5. I'd encourage you to read 4:14-5:10 and begin to meditate on it in your hearts as you prepare for worship this week.
"O God Beyond All Praising"
This hymn gives us the perfect opportunity to respond to our call to worship. In it, we affirm who we come for and why we come, "O God beyond all praising we worship you today." Our hope is that after declaring that this is our intent, the rest of that first verse will be used to explain what we'll do for the rest of the service; namely, to worship and hear the word preached. "...and sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay; for we can only wonder at every gift you send, at blessings without number and mercies without end: we lift our hearts before you and wait upon your word, we honor and adore you, our great and mighty Lord."
"My Redeemer's Love"
We'll then sing together the new song that we began to learn last week by the good folks at Sovereign Grace. Our sermon text for the morning talks about Jesus as our Great High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, and because he intercedes for us, we can draw near to the throne of grace with boldness and confidence. And not only that! When we do draw near, we find not the wrath of God, but his mercy and grace. "My Redeemer's love is deeper than the depths of sin and hell. He who was enthroned in glory came to bring us to himself. My Redeemer's love is wider than the breach my sins had made, he reached down into my darkness, he alone has power to save."
"All I Have Is Christ"
This song follows that idea to its logical conclusion. When we stand before God on that last day and give account for all we've done, our only plea will be Christ. Because he now intercedes and offers the sacrifice for our sins, we have the great assurance that we will be forgiven. The Great High Priest has paid our sacrifice on our behalf. "...and I beheld God's love displayed, you suffered in my place. You bore the wrath reserved for me, now all I know is grace. Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!"
Response – "Before the Throne of God Above"
As we've already shown, the preaching text for the morning speaks of Jesus as our Great High Priest. This song gives us the ability to put this text on our lips as we are sent back into the world to be the hands and feet of Christ. May we go as children redeemed and with the great assurance that our priest "ever lives to plead for me." "Before the throne of God above I have a strong and perfect plea, a Great High Priest whose name is, 'Love,' who ever lives and pleads for me. My name is graven on his hands, my name is written on his heart. I know that while in heaven he stands no tongue can bid me thence depart, no tongue can bid me thence depart."