Summary: Jesus, our high priest is uniquely qualified to be our intercessor because he identifies with us.

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Been There... Done That.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Life often is confusing... we are hit from different sides at once and we lose our bearings. This can be from death, disease, bankruptcy, rejection, divorce, or other situation.

It reminds me of one of my favorite stories... the Insurance Claim Letter

Dear Sirs,

I was recently moving 500 pounds of bricks from the top of a 5 story building. It would take to 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.

Have you ever felt like that? I have. What is a guy to do then?

I think the first thing we should do is to open our bibles to and read Hebrews 4:14-16.

How will that help you?

Let’s say you are going through a divorce, or cancer, or a lay-off, or alcoholism, or your first car wreck.

If you needed to talk to someone... would you rather talk to someone who is there or has been there.... or someone who has no idea?

The title of my sermon today is.... "Been There... Done That."

It is more than a trendy phrase.... it is a comfort It is Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, The Savior, God in the flesh... saying to you...."I UNDERSTAND."

Think for a minute about this.... "Why did Jesus come in the flesh?"

Did he get bored in Heaven?

Did He want to try something new?

Did He go for a walk and take a wrong turn at the big dipper?

Was it a mistake?

NO.... He came for several reasons....

1. To reveal God to us (((Elaborate)))

2. To pay for our sins (((Elaborate)))

3. TO IDENTIFY WITH US (((Elaborate)))

In the Old Testament God chose the tribe of Levi to be the tribe of the priests. All of the males would become priests. ONE of them... one at a time... would serve as C.E.O. among the priests... Chief Priest.

What were the priests to do?

1. Represent the people before God

2. Represent God to the people

3. Offer sacrifices

Why did they come from the tribe of Levi? So they would be ONE OF THE PEOPLE.

So they could identify with their struggles, their hopes, their past, their future.

When we get to the New Testament, when we encounter the priests, were they doing the job?

NO!!!!! They did not identify with the people. They spent all of their time trying to distinguish themselves from the people and be better than the people.

They dressed differently,

they talked differently,

they ate differently,

they prayed differently.

They were TOTALLY OTHER.... totally unrelated.

They felt superior and the people knew it. The people partly respected them and partly abhorred them.

They could not identify with the people in their weakness, in their doubts, in their questions.

They were pious, separate, better, holier than thou.

And when the people came to confess their sins and offer sacrifices... the priests were judgmental, unmerciful, harsh, and aloof.

The people sensed it and hated to come to offer sacrifices.

The people felt alone, abandoned, like no one understood them.

So... God sent Jesus, in the flesh, to be their priest.

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