Sermon <ul><li>Dale Wells Palm Desert Church of Christ June 18, 2006 </li></ul>
Family at restaurant decorated with movie memorabilia <ul><li>Boy eyeing Superman at phone booth.  </li></ul><ul><li>“ He ...
Theme of High Priesthood of Jesus seems obsolete <ul><li>To the Jews, the High Priest was the mediator between man & God. ...
Hebrews is written to people who are discouraged <ul><li>They were being led to think they needed to leave Jesus and go ba...
The High Priest is as important to us today as it was to them <ul><li>We have a High Priest – Jesus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
The High Priest in Jesus’ day was Caiaphas – 18 to 37 AD <ul><li>He is mentioned in connection with John the Baptist’s min...
Caiaphas presided over the religious trial of Jesus <ul><li>Matthew 26:3-4 NLT  At that same time the leading priests and ...
A ringleader in the plot to kill Jesus, after Lazarus’ resurrection <ul><li>John 11:47-53 NLT  Then the leading priests an...
Caiaphas' ossuary – Discovered November, 1990  <ul><li>A dump truck accidentally smashed through the roof of a tomb during...
Caiaphas’ tomb has been found – Jesus’ tomb is empty! <ul><li>Caiaphas was preceded by an earlier High Priest – and succee...
Latin for priest is pontifex – “bridge builder” <ul><li>A large portion of the world claims a pontiff who builds a bridge ...
Moslems know where their prophet is buried <ul><li>Thousands of Moslems take an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabi...
The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>Earth's Meccas and the faiths of men Hold but a corpse within a tomb; Each we...
The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>Earth's priests in solemn splendor sleep, Ashes to ashes, robed and stoled; T...
The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>No mausoleum built by man Entombs our Prophet, Priest and King; Our love no p...
The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>Our Prophet's word shall come to pass, Our Priest is interceding still; Our K...
Cross Bones ponders the discovery of Jesus’ remains. What’s the big deal?   <ul><li>If so, Jesus is no different than prie...
Hebrews 7:23-28 NLT   <ul><li>…  there were many priests under the old system. When one priest died, another had to take h...
Hebrews 7:23-28 NLT   <ul><li>(27)   He does not need to offer sacrifices every day like the other high priests. They did ...
The priesthood of Jesus is different from any other <ul><li>It never ends – it is eternal! </li></ul><ul><li>Before the Hi...
Jesus understands what we go through <ul><li>Coach Davis made us run while he sat & smoked.  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one ...
Hebrews 12:1-2 MSG   <ul><li>Do you see what this means--all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheerin...
Hebrews 2:17 NLT   <ul><li>Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters,...
In the heart of the Hawaiian islands, is the island of Molokai  <ul><li>Shaped like a fish with a dorsal fin rising from i...
The village is called Kalaupapa  <ul><li>It began as a leper colony in 1848. Hansen’s Disease spread rapidly and no cure w...
Leprosy victims were shipped to Kalaupapa <ul><li>No buildings, shelters nor potable water were available. Lepers lived in...
In 1873, Joseph de Veuster, age 33, arrived at Kalaupapa <ul><li>A Catholic missionary from Belgium – known as Father Dami...
He had contracted leprosy & returned to the village <ul><li>That was the beginning of a revitalized ministry. </li></ul><u...
Our High Priest understands – he’s been where we are <ul><li>Hebrews 4:15 NLT  This High Priest of ours understands our we...
He helps us in our weaknesses  <ul><li>Hebrews 2:17-18 NLT  Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect l...
He’s been through what we’re going through & he’s there to help <ul><li>When you feel alone, overwhelmed, betrayed & helpl...
What gives you relief from temptation?  <ul><li>Giving in to sin relieves the pressure.  </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine the lif...
Scripture doesn’t promise no temptation; it promises a way out <ul><li>Our problem is that we’re not looking for a way out...
This brings us to one of the great verses of Hebrews  <ul><li>Hebrews 4:16 NLT  So let us come boldly to the throne of our...
Because of Jesus, we can approach God with confidence  <ul><li>Jesus has been through everything we go through & he’s ther...
Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT   <ul><li>Because God's children are human beings-made of flesh and blood-Jesus also became flesh and ...
The good news: you’ve been released from the power of Satan  <ul><li>Too many of us are living like we’re defeated. Christ...
Hebrews 7:25 NLT   <ul><li>Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives...
Hebrews 10:19-23 NLT   <ul><li>And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of ...
How about you? <ul><li>Has your body been washed in the water of baptism so that Christ’s blood can cleanse your evil cons...
How about you? <ul><li>When you sin, do you trust your High Priest – who is not only the Son of God, but also the Son of M...
Jesus is … <ul><li>NOT  a way  to God </li></ul><ul><li>NOT  the best way  to God </li></ul><ul><li>The only way  to God! ...
Jesus has provided access to God! Will you accept that access?
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060618 Christ, Our High Priest Hebrews 4 14 16 Dale Wells

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A sermon on Hebrews 4:14-16 delivered at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells on June 18, 2006.

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060618 Christ, Our High Priest Hebrews 4 14 16 Dale Wells

  1. 1. Sermon <ul><li>Dale Wells Palm Desert Church of Christ June 18, 2006 </li></ul>
  2. 2. Family at restaurant decorated with movie memorabilia <ul><li>Boy eyeing Superman at phone booth. </li></ul><ul><li>“ He doesn’t know who Superman is?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s worse, he doesn’t know what a phone booth is.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Theme of High Priesthood of Jesus seems obsolete <ul><li>To the Jews, the High Priest was the mediator between man & God. </li></ul><ul><li>The only one who could enter the Holy of Holies on their behalf on Day of Atonement. </li></ul><ul><li>People were terrified to approach God – they did so through the High Priest. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Hebrews is written to people who are discouraged <ul><li>They were being led to think they needed to leave Jesus and go back to the High Priest in order to access God. </li></ul><ul><li>The writer of Hebrews encourages them to rely on Jesus as their High Priest. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The High Priest is as important to us today as it was to them <ul><li>We have a High Priest – Jesus. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus is greater than the angels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He is greater than Moses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>His priesthood is like no other. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hebrews 4:14 MSG Now that we know what we have--Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God--let's not let it slip through our fingers. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The High Priest in Jesus’ day was Caiaphas – 18 to 37 AD <ul><li>He is mentioned in connection with John the Baptist’s ministry </li></ul><ul><li>Luke 3:1-2 NLT It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pilate was governor over Judea; … (2) Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living out in the wilderness. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Caiaphas presided over the religious trial of Jesus <ul><li>Matthew 26:3-4 NLT At that same time the leading priests and other leaders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, (4) to discuss how to capture Jesus secretly and put him to death. </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew 26:57 NLT Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and other leaders had gathered. </li></ul>
  8. 8. A ringleader in the plot to kill Jesus, after Lazarus’ resurrection <ul><li>John 11:47-53 NLT Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together to discuss the situation. &quot;What are we going to do?&quot; they asked each other. &quot;This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. (48) If we leave him alone, the whole nation will follow him, and then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.&quot; (49) And one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, &quot;How can you be so stupid? (50) Why should the whole nation be destroyed? Let this one man die for the people.&quot; (51) This prophecy that Jesus should die for the entire nation came from Caiaphas in his position as high priest. He didn't think of it himself; he was inspired to say it. (52) It was a prediction that Jesus' death would be not for Israel only, but for the gathering together of all the children of God scattered around the world. (53) So from that time on the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus' death. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Caiaphas' ossuary – Discovered November, 1990 <ul><li>A dump truck accidentally smashed through the roof of a tomb during some work in the Kidron Valley. </li></ul><ul><li>Inside were found a number of ossuaries, stone boxes for retaining bones of the deceased. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the ossuaries was inscribed with the name of Caiaphas, the First Century High Priest. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Caiaphas’ tomb has been found – Jesus’ tomb is empty! <ul><li>Caiaphas was preceded by an earlier High Priest – and succeeded by a later one. </li></ul><ul><li>Our High Priest has no predecessor – and no successor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hebrews 7:16 NLT He became a priest, not by … belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Latin for priest is pontifex – “bridge builder” <ul><li>A large portion of the world claims a pontiff who builds a bridge between them and God. </li></ul><ul><li>The popes die – and their tombs lie beneath St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. </li></ul><ul><li>Our pontiff – our High Priest – lives! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hebrews 6:20 NLT Jesus … has become our eternal High Priest ... </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Moslems know where their prophet is buried <ul><li>Thousands of Moslems take an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia – the Hajj. </li></ul><ul><li>While they are there, they visit Medina to see the Mosque of the Prophet, in which Muhammed’s tomb is found. </li></ul><ul><li>A Moslem once said to a missionary: &quot;We have our Prophet's tomb to show, but you have nothing.&quot; </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>Earth's Meccas and the faiths of men Hold but a corpse within a tomb; Each weary pilgrim's journey ends At some sad shrine of grief and gloom. </li></ul><ul><li>Earth's prophets rest, in silence wrapped, Dust in the dust from whence they came; By Death's chill wind their torches quenched, No more to kindle into flame. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>Earth's priests in solemn splendor sleep, Ashes to ashes, robed and stoled; Their chanted prayers forever hushed, Their altar fires forever cold. </li></ul><ul><li>Earth's kings in state and glory lie, In crypts of porphyry encased; Their names and deeds, in marble carved, Time's blurring touch has half erased. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>No mausoleum built by man Entombs our Prophet, Priest and King; Our love no pilgrimage need make, No fading votive garlands bring. </li></ul><ul><li>No death could kill, no guard could keep, No seal could stay, no grave could hold Immortal Life in mortal clay; No darkness could the Light enfold. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Empty Tomb - Annie Johnson Flint <ul><li>Our Prophet's word shall come to pass, Our Priest is interceding still; Our King shall reign forevermore, While heaven and earth shall do his will. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;No grave to show&quot;? This is the stone On which the temples of our faith Rise higher than the mosques of Ind; Our Living Lord has conquered Death! </li></ul>
  17. 17. Cross Bones ponders the discovery of Jesus’ remains. What’s the big deal? <ul><li>If so, Jesus is no different than priests, popes, or Muhammed. </li></ul><ul><li>1 Corinthians 15:17-19 NLT And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. (18) In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished! (19) And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Hebrews 7:23-28 NLT <ul><li>… there were many priests under the old system. When one priest died, another had to take his place. (24) But Jesus remains a priest forever; his priesthood will never end. (25) Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf. (26) He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has now been set apart from sinners, and he has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Hebrews 7:23-28 NLT <ul><li>(27) He does not need to offer sacrifices every day like the other high priests. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he sacrificed himself on the cross. (28) Those who were high priests under the law of Moses were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made perfect forever. </li></ul>
  20. 20. The priesthood of Jesus is different from any other <ul><li>It never ends – it is eternal! </li></ul><ul><li>Before the High Priest could offer sacrifices for the people, he had to first offer sacrifice for his own sins. </li></ul><ul><li>Hebrews’ favorite word – hapax – once for all. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No need to repeat his sacrifice annually. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Jesus understands what we go through <ul><li>Coach Davis made us run while he sat & smoked. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one respected him! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>I know a coach everybody respects. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Didn’t ask his athletes to do anything he couldn’t do – and showed them how to do everything he asked. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disposition toward that coach is different – didn’t mind working out for him because he knew what they were going through. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We don’t have a God in heaven who just hands down orders. He knows what we’re going through. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Hebrews 12:1-2 MSG <ul><li>Do you see what this means--all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running--and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. (2) Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed--that exhilarating finish in and with God--he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Hebrews 2:17 NLT <ul><li>Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. </li></ul><ul><li>Note: “Brothers & sisters” he knows what we’re going through </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He entered into every detail of human life – Hungry, thirsty, tired, tempted, lonely, sad. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. In the heart of the Hawaiian islands, is the island of Molokai <ul><li>Shaped like a fish with a dorsal fin rising from its back on the north shore. </li></ul><ul><li>That dorsal fin is the flat, ten-square-mile Makanalua Peninsula that juts into the Pacific below the world's highest sea cliffs. </li></ul><ul><li>It has been blessed by nature's grandeur, and cursed by humanity's ignorance and fear. </li></ul>
  25. 25. The village is called Kalaupapa <ul><li>It began as a leper colony in 1848. Hansen’s Disease spread rapidly and no cure was known. There was urgent need for complete and total isolation. </li></ul><ul><li>Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific ocean and cut off from the rest of Molokai by 1600-foot sea cliffs, Kalaupapa provided the environment. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Leprosy victims were shipped to Kalaupapa <ul><li>No buildings, shelters nor potable water were available. Lepers lived in rock enclosures, caves, and rudimentary shacks, of sticks and leaves. </li></ul><ul><li>Leprosy victims coming by ship had to jump overboard and swim for their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>The ship's crew would then throw into the water whatever supplies had been sent, relying on currents to carry them ashore or the exiles swimming to retrieve them. </li></ul>
  27. 27. In 1873, Joseph de Veuster, age 33, arrived at Kalaupapa <ul><li>A Catholic missionary from Belgium – known as Father Damien. </li></ul><ul><li>He built homes & churches; arranged for medical services and funding; & became a parent to the lepers. </li></ul><ul><li>But he couldn’t get them to convert & he decided to go home. </li></ul><ul><li>Waiting for his ship, he noticed spots on his hands. </li></ul>
  28. 28. He had contracted leprosy & returned to the village <ul><li>That was the beginning of a revitalized ministry. </li></ul><ul><li>No longer “You lepers” & “your disease” – it was “we lepers” & “our disease” </li></ul><ul><li>His church was soon overflowing with people who came to hear the man who understood what they were going through. </li></ul><ul><li>After 16 years of selfless service, he died in 1889 . </li></ul>
  29. 29. Our High Priest understands – he’s been where we are <ul><li>Hebrews 4:15 NLT This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. </li></ul>
  30. 30. He helps us in our weaknesses <ul><li>Hebrews 2:17-18 NLT Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. (18) Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted. </li></ul>
  31. 31. He’s been through what we’re going through & he’s there to help <ul><li>When you feel alone, overwhelmed, betrayed & helpless consider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus facing Satan alone in the desert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus’ tears in Gethsemane </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Judas’ kiss on his cheek </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jesus’ death on the cross </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. What gives you relief from temptation? <ul><li>Giving in to sin relieves the pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine the life of Jesus – under constant pressure, yet not giving in. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember his promise: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Scripture doesn’t promise no temptation; it promises a way out <ul><li>Our problem is that we’re not looking for a way out. </li></ul><ul><li>Like children, we weigh the cost of punishment against the gratification of doing the forbidden. </li></ul><ul><li>Like Red Skelton’s “Mean Widdle Kid” – “I shouldn’t dood it. If I dood it, I gonna get it. Oh, well, I gonna dood it anyway.” </li></ul>
  34. 34. This brings us to one of the great verses of Hebrews <ul><li>Hebrews 4:16 NLT So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. </li></ul><ul><li>Hebrews 4:16 MSG So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Because of Jesus, we can approach God with confidence <ul><li>Jesus has been through everything we go through & he’s there to help us, so we don’t have to be afraid to enter God’s presence. </li></ul><ul><li>God is not a cosmic sheriff waiting for us to slip up. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He loved you enough to take on your skin & learn what it’s like to be human. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jesus is all you need. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not things, drugs, substances, alcohol. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I’m not saying that to take your struggles lightly, but God can rescue. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT <ul><li>Because God's children are human beings-made of flesh and blood-Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. (15) Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. </li></ul>
  37. 37. The good news: you’ve been released from the power of Satan <ul><li>Too many of us are living like we’re defeated. Christ has defeated the Devil! </li></ul><ul><li>The only thing the Devil has over us is the fear of death. Jesus’ resurrection has shattered our fear of the future. </li></ul><ul><li>We can live life confidently. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Hebrews 7:25 NLT <ul><li>Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf. </li></ul><ul><li>The Jewish High Priest barely kept the people afloat for a year at a time. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus saves completely. You’re not barely saved, you’re completely saved. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Hebrews 10:19-23 NLT <ul><li>And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. (20) This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us. (21) And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's people, (22) let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. </li></ul>
  40. 40. How about you? <ul><li>Has your body been washed in the water of baptism so that Christ’s blood can cleanse your evil conscience? </li></ul>
  41. 41. How about you? <ul><li>When you sin, do you trust your High Priest – who is not only the Son of God, but also the Son of Man – to intercede for you? </li></ul>
  42. 42. Jesus is … <ul><li>NOT a way to God </li></ul><ul><li>NOT the best way to God </li></ul><ul><li>The only way to God! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John 14:6 NLT Jesus told him, &quot;I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Jesus has provided access to God! Will you accept that access?

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