Summary: As our High Priest, Jesus understands our struggles and temptations and gives us access to God.

Been There, Been Tempted To Do That

Hebrews 4:14-16

Intro: A man had placed a claim with his insurance company for injuries that he had received and they sent him a letter asking him to explain and justify his claim. This is his reply.

. Dear Sirs,

I was recently moving 500 pounds of bricks from the top of a 5 story building. It would take too long to carry them down so I put them in a bucket, and lowered them by a pulley which I fastened to the top of the building.

After tying the rope securely at the ground level I returned to the top of the building, tied the other end to the barrel, loaded it with bricks and swung it over the side of the building for the descent.

Then I returned to the sidewalk and untied the rope: holding it securely to guide the barrel down slowly. Since the bucket weighed 500 pounds and I weigh only 150 pounds (before the accident}, the force of the descending bricks jerked me into the air so quickly that I did not have time to think about letting go.

As I passed between the second and third floors I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body. Still, I held tightly to the rope until I reached the top where my hand became jammed into the pulley, this accounts for the broken fingers.

At the same time, however, the barrel crashed into the sidewalk and the bottom broke out. With the weight of the bricks now gone, the barrel weighed only forty pounds. Thus, my 150 pound body began a swift decent.

My decent was slowed only slightly as I met the bucket coming up...this accounts for my broken ankles.

My decent continued until I crashed onto the pile of bricks... this accounts for my sprained back and broken collar bone. At that time, I guess I lost my presence of mind completely, and let go of the rope.

The empty 40 pound bucket then came crashing down from 5 floors on top of me... this accounts for the head injuries.

. This guy had a bad day didn’t he?

. Have you ever felt like that? No matter what you do or did, things just didn’t go the way you had planned.

. Usually when something goes wrong you want to talk to someone who understands.

. Maybe someone who has been there and done that.

. In our scripture this morning, one of the points is that Jesus has been there. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in Jesus understands.

. Our scripture describes this Man who we can go to. The one who has been there, been tempted to do that.

Hebrews 4:14-16

. 14So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.

15This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.

16So 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 most.

.The first thing we see here is a title or description of the one who understands.

. He is our Great High Priest.

. Look here again at verse 14:

. 14So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.

. As Baptists we look at this and I don’t know if we fully comprehend what this is saying and how wonderful this fact is.

. We are good at getting people to pray a prayer for salvation and then not grounding them in why Jesus had to die the way He did for the forgiveness of their sin.

. To understand we need to take a minute and look back at the Old Testament.

. After God had delivered His people out of bondage in Egypt, He set up a system of how they were to worship Him.

. He chose for Himself a tribe to serve as priests and servants in the Temple. This was the tribe of Levi.

. Well out of that tribe one would be chosen to serve as the High Priest and he and only he could go into the presence of God.

. He was the only one who could enter the Holy of Holies.

. He had other responsibilities but his greatest was to make the sacrifice of atonement for the people of Israel.

. He would do that on the Day of Atonement. Sacrificing a ram for their sins and placing their sins on another and sending it into the wilderness carrying the sins of the people. We know this goat as the scapegoat.

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