10 October 19, 2014, Hebrews 7 Jesus - The Ultimate High Priest
Jesus — The Ultimate High Priest
October 19, 2014 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi USA
What’s the number one thing?
The Glory of God!
October MEMORY VERSE
2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
• The Broadman Bible Commentary
• Explore the Bible—Sunday School Material
• J. Vernon McGee
What have we learned?
1 Don’t drift away from God.
2 Those who received the most light will receive the harshest judgment.
3 I will reign with Christ, my Brother!
4 Jesus had to become a man in order to die.
5 He had to die in order to redeem us and secure our destiny as co-heirs with Him.
6 He became the Captain (Pioneer) of our salvation.
7 We will reign with Him for 1,000 years as we were originally designed to do.
8 He also came so that He can be our High Priest Who understands what it is like to live daily for God in a broken world.
9 He sympathizes with us in every way.
10 Our Salvation is Secure.
11 Our Rewards will be given at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
12 The tears will be tears from seeing what could have been.
13 We will cast our crowns (rewards) at Christ feet.
14 The Hebrews author delivers 5 major warnings.
• Danger of Drifting—(2:1-4)
• Danger of Disobedience—(3:7-4:13)
• The Danger of Not Maturing—(5:11-6:20)
• The Danger of Willful Sin—(10:26-39)
• The Danger of Indifference—(12:25-29)
What will we learn today?
• Jesus—The Ultimate High Priest (Hebrews 7)
• A Permanent Priesthood (Hebrews 7:23-25)
• The Perfect Priesthood (Hebrews 7:26-28)
Heart of the argument.
• These passages are of an ancient, religious ritual. They go back to the days of Abraham where we see demonstrated the superiority of the great High Priest whom God has set in the eternal sanctuary to serve humanity forever.
1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
• Melchizedek is referred to in the Old Testament in Genesis 14:18-20 and Psalm 110:4.
• He was the king of Salem, which is identified with Jerusalem.
• He was also the priest of the Most High God.
• Abraham acknowledged his authority when he bowed before him and offered him tithes.
• Some propose that Melchizedek was actually a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ.
• He brought out the bread and wine.
• One of the major emphases of Hebrews is the truth that Christ is above all Old Testament figures.
• Hebrews is the only book of the Bible that refers to Jesus as the High Priest.
Superiority of Melchizedek
4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even
though they also are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
• Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek so therefore Melchizedek was superior to Abraham and he was also superior to Levi.
• It was the Israelite Law that all the people of all the tribes should pay tithes to the tribe of Levi.
• It was the prerogative of the priest to bless others because his position is superior to that of an ordinary man.
• Therefore, since Melchizedek has blessed Abraham, he was considered superior to Abraham.
A Divine Priesthood
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
• Jesus came in the order of Melchizedek, not the Levitical Priesthood.
• Psalm 110:4—The Lord has sworn and will not relent, you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
• Jesus signals a change in the priesthood and a change in the law.
• We are no longer under the law, but under grace supplied by Jesus, the new High Priest.
An Effectual Priesthood
15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
• Jesus becomes the priest not because of the law but because of the power of an indestructible life.
• Through Christ’ resurrection and ascension, he carried our humanity into the eternal world, thus breaking down all spatial barriers and enabling us to draw near to God.
• This priest from the tribe of Judah is the conquering Lion of Judah, who may come as a “thief in the night”.
An Eternal Priesthood
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
• In this passage the writer places Jesus in an emphatic position thus stressing his superiority.
A Permanent Priesthood
23 When one of the other priests died, he could not continue being a priest. So there were many priests. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, he will never stop serving as priest.
• Throughout Israel’s history there were “many priests” from the Levitical line who served God.
• Aaron and his 4 sons
• They were from the Tribe of Levi
• When the Israelites left Mount Sanai there were 8,580 Levites
• 18,000 priests were available to serve at the temple in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ birth
• Why did God ever give priests to His people?
o Because God is holy and people are sinful
• God established the Levitical priesthood for the Israelites as an act of mercy
• The priests while a demonstration of God’s mercy were still sinners
• We humans do need someone between us and God.
• Under the old Israelite system it was the job of the priests to represent the people of God before God.
• Since these priest were humans, they could never measure up completely to God’s standards.
• We saw how on the annual Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) the high priest entered the Holy of Holies to first offer a sacrifice for himself and then entered again to offer a sacrifice for all the other Israelites.
• In the second lesson passage we read that Christ Jesus, in sharp contrast to all the previous high priests, will be High Priest forever and therefore, we who surrender our lives to Christ are able to be brought to God by Christ Jesus.
Able to Save
25 So he is able always to save those who come to God through him because he always lives, asking God to help them.
• Jesus is able to reconcile people with God because he paid the penalty for our sins by his sacrificial death on the cross.
• Salvation through Jesus is what we need to get to heaven.
• Jesus is the only way we have access to God.
• Ryan Dobson, the son of James Dobson, wrote, “No other name but Jesus gets you to heaven. Not Buddha, not Muhammad, not Joseph Smith, not Mary Baker Eddy, not Krishna, not L. Ron Hubbard, not Gandhi, not Abraham, not the pope, not Mother Mary, not Confucius, and not the Dalai Lama.”
The Perfect Priesthood
• Our final lesson passage looks at reasons that Jesus is all we need to come to God:
Hebrews 7:26-28 NCV
26 Jesus is the kind of high priest we need. He is holy, sinless, pure, not influenced by sinners, and he is raised above the heavens. 27 He is not like the other priests who had to offer sacrifices every day, first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people. Christ offered his sacrifice only once and for all time when he offered himself. 28 The law chooses high priests who are people with weaknesses, but the word of God’s oath came later than the law. It made God’s Son to be the high priest, and that Son has been made perfect forever.
• There are five attributes of Jesus listed in verse 26.
• The first four deal with his character.
• When we examine the character of Jesus, we find nothing wrong.
• We all have things that we’ve done that we aren’t proud of, but Jesus’ character is spotless.
• Jesus never did anything that he was later ashamed of.
• The Pharisees tried and tried to find something about Jesus that they could use to discredit him, but they never found anything.
• The first attribute of Jesus' character in verse 26 is…Jesus is holy.
• What does it mean to be holy?
• One scholar put it this way; Holiness is “perfect fulfillment of all that God is and all God requires.”
• One element of holiness is to be set apart and dedicated to the service of God.
• Jesus was set apart for the special work of providing us the opportunity to get right with God.
• The second attribute listed is…Jesus is sinless.
• We all have, in one way or another, broken God’s law.
• No one except for Jesus has been able to perfectly keep the laws of God.
• A third attribute of Jesus' character is… Jesus is pure.
• Because Jesus is without stain, Jesus can be in the very presence of God.
• Professor Gareth Cockerill said, “These first three words [holy, sinless, and pure]…emphasize that our high priest has been completely obedient to God the Father.”
• That leads us to a fourth attribute in the character of Jesus....Jesus is not influenced by sinners.
• While he was among humans, Jesus did not go along with the crowd.
• Pastor Warren Wiersbe described it as, “There was contact without contamination.”
• Because Jesus was all these things he was raised above the heavens and is now at the right hand of God the Father.
• It can be very helpful to have well-connected friends or relatives.
• For example, knowing the right person can help someone get a job or get in the right school.
• Knowing a person in a position of power or influence can get us a lot of things.
• We Christians have the best-connection in the universe.
• We have Jesus, the Son of God on our side.
• Verse 25 says that Jesus intercedes for us with God, the Father.
• Jesus understands us.
• He went through the same kinds of temptations that we face.
• He faced hunger.
• He faced thirst.
• He faced pain and agony.
• He grieved.
• He knew what it was to lose a friend.
• He faced rejection.
• He was mocked.
• He was cursed.
• He was persecuted.
• He was bullied.
• He faced death several times before the time was right for his sacrificial death.
• Jesus completely understands the struggles that we go through.
Jesus—The Ultimate High Priest
• The veil is torn.
• Jesus is our priest.
• He sits at the right hand of God the Father and intercedes on our behalf.
• We can have a personal relationship with God the Father.
• Man is born with a sin nature.
• Therefore we sin.
• Therefore we cannot have a relationship with God.
• To have a relationship with God there must be a conduit.
• Jesus is that conduit.
• Jesus (all man all God) lived a perfect life and satisfied the law.
• When He was crucified He was crucified for the forgiveness of our sins—His blood was shed for the remission of our sins.
• When he rose from the dead he conquered death.
• When He ascended into heaven he became our advocate (High Priest) and our way to have a relationship with God and have eternal life.
• To be saved we;
• Must admit we are sinners,
• Ask for forgiveness,
• Put our faith in the work Christ accomplished in His life and on the Cross.
The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a NKJV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.
Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins.
The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in Revelation 21:8.
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Revelation 21:7 NKJV
7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
If you have questions or would like to know more, Please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-979-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/