Summary: The writer of Hebrews wants to describe to us the picture that he took and he wants to highlight for us the things that we now can see clearer since God came up a little closer to us, therefore tonight we will take a closer look at Jesus.
A Closer Look at Jesus
Introduction (Thanks Dr. Dave Hartson)
I am not a good picture taker. I usually take pictures too far away from the object that I am shooting and so when I print the pictures you can not tell a whole lot about what I took a picture of. In the Old Testament there is this wide gap between man and God because of man’s sin and if I were back there taking a picture of God, I would not get a very good picture of God because of that distance.
But in the New Testament, the person in the picture moves closer; God comes to us in human form in the person of Jesus Christ and we get a much clearer picture of who God is.
So the writer of Hebrews wants to describe to us the picture that he took and he wants to highlight for us the things that we now can see clearer since God came up a little closer to us, therefore tonight we will take a closer look at Jesus.
Read Scriptures: Hebrews 8:10-12
I. A Closer look at Jesus reveals that He supplied us with the power to make the right choices.
Hebrews 8:10 “ ... I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Internal motivations move you to action because they are more powerful than external motivations.
The family of an alcoholic is generally all over the alcoholic about changing his or her lifestyle. But that is an external motivation- there is not a whole lot of power in that. By when the alcoholic realizes that I might lose my own family or my health is in jeopardy if I keep drinking; that is an internal motivation. That is powerful- that may change the person.
The Old Testament saints, they had to be some very special people. Because all they had was an external motivation to have a relationship with God, and they chose that relationship. We who are on this side of the cross have an internal motivation to have a relationship with God. Within our hearts we know we have not met God’s standard. It is not a set of external do’s and don’t that I am looking at to know I need God. I know I need God because my heart tells me that I need God.
And I believe for a person not to accept Jesus as their Savior on this side of the cross, they have had to dull their conscience so that nothing bothers it.
II. A Closer look at Jesus reveals that He did not want to be a far off God who was not involved in our lives but rather a very personal God who takes an active role in our lives.
Hebrews 8:10 “…I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
We all have distance relatives. Those who are connected to us in some way but they are really not involved in our lives. They are just somewhere out there in the distance.
God does not want to be like that distant relative. He is making a commitment to me that He is going to be involved in my life when He says: “I will be their God.” I am going to be a personal God to you.
The problem is never with God- but sometimes there is a problem with me. Sometimes I push God to the back seat of my life. Sometimes I think that I can take over and do a better job. Sometimes I want to go periods of time where I just want to ignore Him. He never stops being my God but sometimes I stop acting like one of His people. But He is so faithful and patient with me.
III. A closer look at Jesus reveals that He took forgiving me a step further by forgetting my sins.
Hebrews 8:12 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
It would have been good enough if God had just forgiven my sins but when Jesus comes up close I discover that He also forgets my sin. He remembers it no more. It is like it never existed.
If I would bring up a sin that I have confessed to God and have received forgiveness, He would ask me: “what are you talking about” because He truly does not remember it any more.
Only God has the ability to forgive and forget. As a Christian I have the ability to forgive but God has not given me the power to forget. When I forgive I just can not let the offense still control me. If I have truly forgiven then that offense committed against me should not have any power over me.