Summary: The risen Christ now “lives to intercede” for us as our high priest in God’s presence.
IN GOD'S IMAGE 75 - THE CHURCH - OUR WORSHIP LEADER
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Our focus has shifted to the role and function of the church.
• We are looking at the role of the church through five virtues, faith, hope and love, worship and service.
• The church as the body of Christ needs to be people of faith, people of hope, people of love, people of worship, and people of service.
Last time we started looking at the subject of Worship and we asked the first of three questions regarding worship and that was, “Why worship God?”
• We saw why this transcendent God is worthy of praise and worship because of the three comprehensive claims God has on human beings. He is our Creator or Maker, He is our Father, and now after Jesus Christ’s saving work on the cross, He is our Savior.
• We also talked about why our worship of God needs to go deeper than just being thankful for what God has done for us and move to thanking Him for who He is.
• An emphasis on “Who God is” rather than “What He can do for us” dramatically changes our whole approach to our personal worship.
• Rather than thinking, “I had better say my prayers and study my Bible today, otherwise God won’t bless my day.”
• Instead our focus changes to, this is my opportunity to have quality personal time with my gracious heavenly Father, our Abba, so as to get to know Him better (presence).
• The emphasis of our Christianity shifts from being one of “duty” to one of “love.”
• Jesus came to reveal the true nature of the Father to us, so the more we live out our Christianity, the more we should come to appreciate why we should worship Him.
The second question on worship is, Who is our worship leader?
• There is a very important reason why we pray in Jesus’ name.
• Hebrews 7:24-25 …but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
• As we have learned through this series, Jesus Christ has accomplished our access to the Holy of Holies vicariously on our behalf.
• It is in our name He has lived for us, He has suffered for us, He has overcome sin and death for us, and He has offered Himself to the Father on our behalf.
• And now, as the risen Christ He now “lives to intercede” for us as our high priest in God’s presence.
• Again the extraordinary parallels of the duties of the high priest who entered into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement in ancient Israel foreshadowed the high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ.
• Back then the high priest stood before the people as their divine representative, bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh
• Next he consecrated himself through ritualistic washing and sacrifice so he was acceptable to enter the Holy of Holies.
• Then he takes the first of the two goats, lays his hands on the head of the animal on which he confesses the sins of the nation.
• The second goat is then sacrificed and its blood is taken by the high priest into the Holy of Holies where it is presented before the mercy seat.
• It is here that the high priest vicariously intercedes on behalf of all Israel asking that God will remember His covenant promises and graciously forgive his people and remember their sins no more.
• This is symbolised by the first goat on which the sins of the nation were laid being led out into the wilderness to be remembered no more.
• Finally, the high priest returns to the waiting people and offers God’s blessing of peace.