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Jesus Christ is our great High Priest

Jude 24 (ESV) … “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy…”

With an almost audible sigh of relief, Jude turns from the apostates, those whom they have deceived, and the foul society that they have helped create. He lifts his thoughts and his heart on high. Now he is going to write about Him. He is not going to write about the past, though, doubtless, he could have filled a library with volumes about his boyhood memories of Jesus. Rather, he is going to write about the present and the future. He sees Jesus enthroned, seated both as Priest and King.

Jesus Christ is our great High Priest. Jude has, first, a word about the present: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling.…” The word for “keep” means “to guard” or “to watch,” or, negatively, “not to sleep.” God keeps a ceaseless watch upon His own. The word for “falling” means “to trip” or “to stumble.”

That is what God can do for us. He can keep us from making a false step. The immediate context has to do with dealing with sinners of the deepest dye. The larger context has to do with apostasy. Think of the number, the power, the malice, and the subtlety of our foe. Think of the extraordinary confusion of doctrine in the church. Think of the unprecedented permissiveness of a society that now condones all kinds of sexual misbehavior and even applauds and champions sodomy. The risk of being beguiled by false doctrine is very great, given the increased number, sophistication, and popularity of its preachers. The risk of falling is very great. But for the Holy Spirit, we might be disposed to despair. However, the Devil is no match for Him. He is able to keep us from falling. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are more than a match for the world, the flesh, and the Devil. The power is available to us, but it is up to us to avail ourselves of it.

Then there is a word about the prospect: “and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” The words point us to the parousia, to the coming of the Lord Jesus to meet His saints in the air. When He comes, He will be wrapped with a cloud (Acts 1:9–11), the glory cloud (Luke 9:26), the Shekinah cloud that accompanied Old Testament Israel on its desert march, the fiery, cloudy pillar that settled down among God’s people in tabernacle and temple, there to dwell between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies. Believers, raptured to glory at the coming of the Lord, will be summoned into that Presence. What a goal! To be presented! To be presented before the Presence! To be presented before the presence of His glory! To be presented before the presence of His glory faultless!

What a day that will be! We are to envision the most staggering event of all time. All over the world, millions upon millions of tombs will be burst asunder. The depths of the sea will cast out the dead in Christ! Myriads of living saints will leap skyward, clothed in bodies of glory. No wonder Paul prays for us to catch a glimpse of it—that “the eyes of [our] understanding [be] enlightened; that [we]97 may know what is … the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead” (Eph. 1:18–20).

To be presented faultless at that tremendous meeting in the air will indeed be an occasion for “exceeding joy.” Ten thousand times ten thousand Enochs rejoicing in the presence of God! That is the goal. “To make a saint out of sinner is a greater miracle,” says D. M. Panton, “than to make a man out of dust, or a world out of nothing. And for God to keep a saint in an unstumbling walk is a more wonderful thing than to hold the stars in their courses.”[1] Oh! To be one of those saints.

“Exceeding joy!” Dean Alford interprets it “with the exuberance of triumphant joy.” Imagine the sheer ecstasy of hearing the Lord’s “Well done!”[1]

[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring the Epistle of Jude: An Expository Commentary (Jud 24). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.

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