"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—

"We have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens." Hebrews 4:14

We never can recline too often or too devoutly under this Palm-shade of most divine comfort. The great Apostle felt the special delight of reposing under its fronds. He speaks of other favorite trees in the sacred grove under which he loved to repose; but he would seem to reserve this for the last in the enumeration; singling it out with peculiar emphasis amid its peers—"Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (Rom. 8:34). Elevating and delightful, truly, is the contemplation of Jesus seated "at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man" (Heb. 8:2); pleading the merits of His obedience and death on behalf of His Church and people!

The Temple-service of old was the shadow of these sublime heavenly things. The Jewish High Priest, having offered on the great day of Atonement the sacrificial offering on the altar of burned-offering, attired himself in a dress of pure white linen—linen robes, and linen girdle, and linen mitre, white from head to foot. Thus arrayed, he carried the blood in one hand, and the censer of live coals in the other, into the Most Holy place. Beating small some fragrant incense, he mixed it with the burning coals. A grateful cloud arose; the whole Temple-court was fragrant with the perfume, and enveloped in smoke.

Significant type, surely, of Him who has entered, through the rent veil of His own crucified body, into the Holiest of all; carrying with Him the memorials of His precious blood-shedding and the fragrant incense of His adorable merits! As the Jewish High Priest sprinkled the blood on the pavement before the mercy-seat, as well as on the mercy-seat; so, our Divine Intercessor sprinkled His blood first on the floor of earth where He shed it, and now He sprinkles it on the throne of heaven. There, with the true incense and fire, He pleads. Attired in the white linen vesture of His perfect obedience and righteousness, He confesses His people's sins—He stands between the congregation in the outer court of earth and the Divine Shekinah glory. He waves the fragrant censer—and the whole heavenly house is filled with the odor of the incense. Him "the Father always hears" (John 11:42). They are His own remarkable words, "In that day you will no longer ask Me anything. I tell you the truth, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name" (John 16:23). How prevailing that 'Name' and that plea must be, when we look to the host of petitioners who are warranted to use it!

It is a beautiful part of the vision of the Covenant-angel in Revelation, with "the censer full of much incense" in His hand, that they are "the prayers of ALL saints," which, perfumed with His spotless merits, ascend before God's throne and are accepted! (Rev. 8:3.) It is not merely the pleadings of patriarchs and prophets, apostles and martyrs—men strong in faith giving glory to God; but the groan, the glance, the tear, the tremulous aspiration of smitten penitents, the very lisping of infant tongues; the unlettered morning and evening petitions of the cottage home, where the earthen floor is knelt upon—where the only altar is the altar of the lowly heart, and the sacrifice that of a broken and contrite spirit.

It may be affirmed of the Father, regarding one and all of these pleas of the Divine Intercessor, in the prophetic words of the Psalmist—"You have given Him His heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of His lips" (Ps. 21:2). Yes, He has a loving regard for each separate child of His redeemed family; He carries the case of each before God. The one hundred and forty-four thousand harpers on the sea of glass—the representatives of the Church of the glorified—do not exclude His tender concern in those who are still suppliants in the outer courts. He has the name of each separate believer imperishably engraved on His heart. He, the Gracious Shepherd, seated on the Everlasting Hills, and looking down on the earthly pastures, "calls His own sheep by name and leads them out." And that personal intercession will never cease, from the hour when the believer is first brought a lowly suppliant to the foot of the cross, until the final petition (unheard by weeping relatives in the death-chamber on earth) ascends from the lips of the Great Intercessor in heaven—"Father, I want those You have given Me, to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory."

The Jewish High Priest acted as the nation's Intercessor for one day only—once every year—and for only a part of that one day. But, day and night is our Intercessor pleading. He never ceases His intercessions; His love never cools; His ardor never decays! The true Moses on the Heavenly Rephidim, His hands never grow heavy; for of Him it is sublimely said, "He faints not, neither is weary."

Even on earth, what a joy and comfort it is, in seasons of difficulty, to turn to a tried and loving friend, in whose tenderness and affection we can place unhesitating reliance! What an ease to unbosom in a brother's ear the difficulty that is harassing us, and solicit his wise and faithful counsel! Jesus is this blessed resort—"the Wonderful Counselor" (Isa. 9:6 marg.).

"O gracious Lord, ascended up on high!
You Great High Priest within the Temple veil;
To all that call upon You ever nigh,
'Prince who has power with God, and must prevail.'

"Let down Your golden censer from above;
And let our waiting souls the blessings share,
Which You have promised to all those, who love
To gather round the hallowed gates of prayer!"

"What is it? What is your request? It will be given you."

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