Summary: The O.T. sacrifices could only cover sins, whereas Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice cleanses sin.
Great High Priest
Quickly review 4:1-11: God has always offered rest to His people and still does. Be diligent to enter that rest!
Verse 11: is a plea for us to be diligent to enter that rest.
Verses 12-13: is a reason or support for the call to diligence. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword…”
The word “sword” in verse is the Greek word that means “small dagger.”
Zealots: “Zealous defenders of the Law and of the national life of the Jewish people; name of a party opposing with relentless rigor any attempt to bring Judea under the dominion of idolatrous Rome, and especially of the aggressive and fanatical war party from the time of Herod until the fall of Jerusalem and Masada. The members of this party bore also the name Sicarii, from their custom of going about with daggers ("sicæ") hidden beneath their cloaks, with which they would stab any one found committing a sacrilegious act or anything provoking anti-Jewish feeling.”
When we read, memorize, and meditate on God’s word, we are arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit. When you put your faith in Christ it is not some agreement with God that from there on out your life is going to be easy and care free. It’s exactly the opposite.
The next morning when you get out of bed, you aren’t setting your feet on a playground. You are setting your feet on a battle field. If you go into battle without your weapon, you will be destroyed! We need to arm ourselves with the word of God to not be overcome, but be overcomers.
Illustration: About 6 years back, I moved into my first apartment. Being very young and gullible, I took the easiest and cheapest one available. Little did I know that this place had blankets of mildew all throughout the air vents, drains, and window seals. I ended up leaving to a new complex, but soon realized I had breathing problems. Since I didn’t have insurance, all I could do was go to the emergency room when I had a problem. For three years I was using my emergency inhaler, five to six times a day. My body started getting immune to it which was another danger because if I ever had a real asthma attack, my body wouldn’t react to my medicine. Finally I went to an allergy specialist, where the doctor performed a special procedure.
They used an instrument called a laryngoscope which invades your deepest, unseen areas in your nose and throat, exposing the clogged, damaged, and diseased tissue that is troubling you.
God’s word is like this laryngoscope. It invades the unseen areas of our lives, exposing the diseased and damaged spiritual tissue that troubles us. Only with God’s word we do not need an appointment.
In this section today, the writer is presenting Jesus’ superiority over Aaron, the first high priest. Last week, we talked about how the Hebrew believers were turning from Christianity and going back to their original practices of Judaism. They were being persecuted for their faith from the traditional-minded Jews. The traditional-minded Jews would not convert to Christianity.