1. In our study thus far we have seen the concern of the author of "The Book of Hebrews" . . .
a. That Jewish Christians remain steadfast and form in their faith
b. That they not make the same mistakes of departing from the living God, as did many of their ancestors
2. His "modus operandi" (method of operation) has been two-fold . . .
a. Illustrate the superiority of Jesus (e.g., to the prophets, to angels, to Moses)
b. Exhort them to faithfulness in light of these comparisons
3. In two exhortations we have seen thus far, to remain faithful we must . . .
a. " . . .give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard" - cf. Heb 2:1-4
b. " . . .exhort one another daily . . ." - cf. Heb 3:12-14
4. To put it another way, to remain faithful we must be diligent . . .
a. In our study of the Word of God
b. In exhorting one another daily
- - Other things are also necessary, and in our text we read of another - cf. Heb 4:14-16
5. The main thought in this passage is that we should "come boldly to the throne of grace"
a. But what does that mean?
b. And why should we be diligent to do this?
1) We Are To Hold Firmly To Our Faith Because Our High Priest is Still Living - v.14
Our faithful, sympathetic High Priest, even though gone from this earth, is still with us. We will talk more next week about the role of the high priest. We do not give up because He is physically gone. Jesus is even more effective where He is at, because He can now intercede for all & minister to all through the Holy Spirit. Cf., John 16:5-7, "now I am going to Him who sent me, ye none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?' Because I have said these things you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away the Counselor will not come to you: but if I go, I will send Him to you."
2) It's No Formula That's Makes Us Feel Better When We are "Bummed Out" - v.15
It's all in the name of Jesus! God was/is so compassionate, that He completely understands our pain. It's called, "Sympathetic Resonance" Ill. 2 pianos in the same room. A note struck on one piano will gently cause the same not on the other piano to resonate. However, for our sakes Jesus came, Cf., 2:17-18, "For this reason, He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted."
"Father, for their sakes I want to go down and feel what they feel, hurt like they hurt, get a taste of what their pain must be like." Cf., 2:9 - "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for every man."
Jesus didn't have to be a sinner to understand what it is like to live as a sinner in a fallen world. He tasted the horror of sin when on the cross, He was separated from His Father's fellowship, and bore the brunt of the curse of sin. In that "He tasted death" He tasted the wages of sin like no other could taste it.
C.S. Lewis stated, "A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of the wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only completer realist." Mere Christianity,