28 February 2015

Sit here... until...a study in session

Some Bible passages that triggered my contemplating, sitting, and writing today:

1) The Psalmist said, "Sit here at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." (Psalm 110.1)

2) The Talmud (Berachot 32b) cites another famous verse from Bible: Ashrei yoshvei veiteikha od yehalalukha selah Happy are those who sit in Your house; they will always be praising You! (Psalm 84:5) to teach the lesson that a person should (ideally) arrive at shul somewhat before the starting time to meditate a little prior to prayer (“sit in Your house”); only then should they “praise You”. 

3) Yet another verse teaches that lingering a little after the service is over (to schmooze a little with the One Above not the guy alongside!) is also desirable.  “Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; the upright will sit in Your presence” (140:14).  Having “given thanks” in the closing prayers of the service, it is good to “sit” a little once again in communion with the Divine.

4) “He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; but with kings on the throne; He has seated them forever, and they are exalted. (Job 36.7) 

5) "which God brought about in Messiah, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places."(Ephesians 1.20)

So this idea of sitting made me sit and ponder today what God might be saying to me through all this.  I remember the creeds of the historic church which mention that Yeshua died, rose again, "and is seated at the right hand" of the Eternal One. What's the big deal with sitting anyway?

In fact, Paul wrote the believers in Ephesus that God actually "raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Jesus" (2.6).  He includes within the letter to the Colossians "if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above, where Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God." (3.1)

But probably the most significant thing about session is the idea in the book of Hebrews, "And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a footstool for his feet." (10.11-13) 

I took this photo of Carlos Moya in a match in Sydney against the American James Blake. It was an amazing point, long, rallies, lobs, smashes, returns, with great energy. Moya finished the point, sat down in exhaustion, in the chair at the back of the court and gave his racquet to a ball boy. He was 'done.' Perhaps that carries the meaning most exactly of the Hebrews passage, and session itself.

Now I mean no disrespect to Messiah, but the idea of standing in priestly duty means the duty is still ongoing. The session implies the work is done! No wonder the notion of 'better' is prevalent in Hebrews. What our great high priest Messiah Yeshua has done is better than the priesthood of the Aaronides. They continue (at the time of the writing of the book) to serve and offer sacrifices. He has sat down, because his work is finished. Hallelujah!

Now Yeshua is seated. And waiting. The Father will make all enemies to be a footstool for Messiah. Until that day comes, we work, we serve, we stand in the gap. Then we will sit, too. With him in heavenly places. And when He appears, we will be like Him. What a day of rejoicing that will be.

Enthronement. One website I read said, " his enthronement gives warrant to our faith. He is the One alone who has authority to save." He died, He rose, He ascended and is seated. Thanks be to God for His power to save. Amen?



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