The First 15

Thursday December 22, 2022

by Thomas Mitchell

Today is Thursday, December 22 and this week will conclude our journey through the Advent season as we name Jesus as Advent’s High Priest.

Scripture Reading

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16


In Advent and at Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus as the King of kings. But, we must also realize that in accord with the deep roots of his family story, Christ was born to us in another role as well– one that reaches back all the way to David, Jesse’s son. Born in the City of David, Bethlehem, we received not only the King of the World– but also the Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14).

Jesus was born to be our Great High Priest, to mediate between us and the Father. As part of a long line of royal priest-kings, Jesus reminded humanity of its highest identity as the beloved of God. As we descend in the nativity narrative of the Christmas story, we descend into the moment God is born into the world “like us” (Heb. 2:17).

He knows who we are, how we are, and why we are– because he is one of us. He can empathize with our weakness as he becomes the Way to the Father. Biblically, the role of the priest was to show others how to become a place where heaven and earth meet. Our Great High Priest came to show us the way to the fullness of our human vocation as people in whom heaven and earth meet. We ourselves are expressions of the Father’s heart carrying the Spirit of the Great High priest within us. A priest mediates for others, serves before God in worship, teaches and reminds humanity of its dignity in Christ.

Christ came as our Great Mediator – to show us how to be a bridge for others, pointing them to Him.

Christ came to show us how to serve before God in worship– not simply leading others in worship but ministering to the Lord himself. We spend our lives in the presence of the Lord- thanking him, blessing him, and praising him.

Christ came to show us the way to teach others of their dignity and the dignity of others– and to affirm each person’s unique identity as a beloved son or daughter of God.

Jesus, the Lord of Advent, comes to us as our Great High Priest. And we, like him, are called to the ministry of reconciliation in the world as he leads and teaches.

This past year, how have you been a bridge for others who were losing their dignity or forgetting their belovedness to Jesus? How can you be a more fully engaged royal priest of God this next year?

Closing Prayer

Jesus, our Great High Priest, I worship you for coming to us as a living reminder of what it means to be human. I take up the calling to be a royal priest (1 Peter 2:9) and to take my place as one who bridges the gap for those far from You in my home, family, church, and city. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Songs of the Season

Listen and sing along with us to songs that will shape our Advent season. Today we will sing “Behold the Throne of God Above” which you can find here. Subscribe to our Spotify playlist featuring all of our Songs for the Season here.

First 15 through the season of Advent is adapted from Roots: Advent and the Family Story of Jesus available through Seedbed. If you or your small group are interested in using this resource for your Advent study, you can find more information here or send an email to

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