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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Whatís Jesus Doing Now?

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What's Jesus doing right now?


Steve Answers:

When you talk about a sanctuary in heaven, I can tell that you're probably a Seventh-day Adventist. Most Christians haven't even heard ofa heavenly sanctuary—and many Adventist teens haven't either.

Let's start with the first earthly sanctuary. After delivering His people from Egyptian slavery, God took them to Mount Sinai. There He spoke and wrote the Ten Commandments for them, while He met directly with Moses for more than a month. One of the things God shared with Moses during this time was a complete plan for a sanctuary. He said, "Have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them" (Exodus 25:8).

The whole purpose of the sanctuary was for God to be right in the middle of His people. That's difficult when You're divine and sinless,and You want to be in the middle of created beings who are sinful. See, God's passion for us continues even though our passion for Him fluctuates.

The book of Hebrews points out how Jesus is the focal point of everything God gave to the Hebrews. This includes the sanctuary, thepriesthood, the high priest, the law, faith, angels, the Sabbath, and Moses. One verse in Hebrews gives a quick answer to your question. It's found in Hebrews 7:25, and it says, "He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."

The key word is 'intercede.' It's what you do when you speak up for somebody. If your friend is in trouble with somebody, you may want toput yourself on the line for them. Some people do this with just a word or two. Others really get into it. And some even get physical!

So what does it mean that Jesus 'always lives to intercede for them'? The 'them' is us. We've already mentioned what 'intercede' means.The phrase 'always lives' is very important, too. In Old Testament times you can imagine how good it was to have a priest who knew you to be the one who interceded for you. When the priest died, you'd have a new priest who may not know you, and it would be like starting over. But in Hebrews we find that Jesus 'always lives,' which means we can count on Him! We don't have to wonder or worry about who might replace Him someday.

Sometimes the word 'intercede' carries along with it some negative images. There have been times when I pictured a court scene in whichSatan is the prosecuting attorney (see Revelation 12:10 for a reference about the 'accuser'), and Jesus is my defense attorney. I imagine God the Father as the judge.

When Satan makes his accusations against me in that court scene, he may lie if he needs to. But I realize that there are enough things I'm ashamed of and guilty of that he doesn't really need to lie to do me in. So my hope is that somehow Jesus will magically pull me out of my guiltiness or get Satan on some technicality.

That's where God's forgiveness and Jesus' death give me a clean slate. But in the back of my head, I sometimes wonder if Jesus might gettired of my inconsistent life, or if maybe God the Father figures that enough people have been given grace, and it's time for me to get what I deserve, instead of what I don't deserve. What will the verdict be? Is Jesus really 'interceding' for me?

If you ever get a warped view of God like this, check out Romans 8:26, 27, which says, "The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For wedon't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will" (NLT).*

So not only is Jesus interceding for us, but so is the Holy Spirit. And the Father gets into it by getting on the same wavelength as theSpirit. If you want a fuller understanding of this, read Romans 8:31-39. The final lines of this passage summarize what God the Father thinks of us: "Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."*

What is Jesus doing in heaven right now? According to John 14:2, He is preparing a room for us in His Father's house. The reason Jesus isdoing this isn't merely to build up His Father's property. In John 14:3 He explained why He's doing this: "So that you will always be with me where I am." It's all about being together. Right now Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are working everything out so that we can be with Them forever.

Since Jesus 'has your back' (and your front), you can chill about this whole fight between good and evil that takes place in our world, aswell as in our individual lives. God calls 'chilling' rest. He takes the metaphor of the Sabbath and says it doesn't have to be only one day each week; it can be the lifestyle of the believer when they've put everything in Hishands (see Hebrews 4:9, 10).

Hebrews 4 ends this way: "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" (verses 14-16).*

*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of TyndaleHouse Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.



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