Before The Throne of God Above
by Charitie Lees Bancroft
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.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
As worshipers under the new covenant established by Jesus, we approach the Father, in and through the Son. In the old testament, God set up a model by which an earthly high priest would enter the Holy place to offer sacrifices first for himself and then for all the people under his priesthood. This sacrifice was temporary and did not last. The high priest would need to return and offer sacrifice again and again.
The writer of Hebrews explains how Jesus is King AND Great High Priest forever – “in the order of Melchizedek.” Melchizedek was King of Salem and was also priest of God Most High. Abraham came upon Melchizedek in the Valley of Shaveh. To learn more about Melchizedek, here is a message on him from D.A. Carson.
I would encourage you to read Hebrews. Try to do it in one sitting, or in as few sittings as you can. We are so used to memorizing the chapter and verse of a piece of scripture that too often we miss the panoramic view of what is really being presented. (Ok, this was a side note.)
The writer of Hebrews presents Christ’s worthiness as the One who presents the sacrifice on our behalf. Add to that, the sacrifice which Jesus presents is Himself. The only One worthy to present the sacrifice also presents the only Sacrifice worthy of being presented!
“But he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:24-25.
Recognizing Jesus incredible worthiness in his priesthood is appropriate when we worship. I’ll even go as far as saying that it is crucial to Spirit and Truth worship for it is by his act that we are made worthy to come before the Father. And only in and through Jesus can we offer worship worthy of our Lord. And that’s why we sing it.
Father, thank You for the worthiness of Your Son, Jesus! Because of Jesus, the plea for our pardon is perfect. Because Jesus is the worthy offering AND the worthy presenter, ALL accusations against us will fail. How blessed we are to own the privilege of entering into Your presence. How privileged we are to sing Your praises and the praises of Your Son! May the name of Jesus be blessed forever! Amen
Do you sing Before the Throne of God Above in your church? What other songs do you know that present the utter worthiness of Christ as great high priest?