Summary: # 13 in a series on Hebrews. Gives four reasons that Christ is a better High Priest.
A Study of the Book of Hebrews
Jesus is Better
Sermon # 13
“He Is Able”
Hebrews 7:23-27; 8:1
I have to admit that I really wrestled with this message in the sense of what to emphasize. In chapter seven we are introduced to one of the most mysterious characters in all of the Old Testament, a man by the name of Melchizedek. He strides onto the pages of Scripture in Genesis 14 and after a brief interaction with Abraham he walks off the pages of Scripture just as suddenly. He is not mentioned again for 1000 years, until David prophesizes that the Messiah will be “a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” in Psalm 100:4. Then it is another 1000 years until he is mentioned again by the author of the letter to the Hebrews to emphasis to this struggling congregation the nature of the high priest they have in Jesus.
It would be easy for me to get involved in an intricate study of Melchizedek, as a history buff I find that kind of thing fascinating, but then I watch the History Channel for entertainment! Although that might be interesting at least to me, how benefecial would it be for you!
The title of our entire series has been “Jesus is Better” and in chapters seven and eight we are explicitly told that through Jesus we have a better hope (7:19) a better covenant (7:22), and better promises (8:6).
The main purpose of this passage is to explain why it was necessary for Christ to serve as man’s high priest. “Why do you need the priesthood of Jesus Christ?” Consider with me Four Reasons Why Christ Is A Better High Priest.
First, He Is A Better High Priest Because Of His Permanence. (vv. 23-25)
Israel had witnessed a long line of priests serving before God on behalf of the people. Verse twenty-three states, “Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. (24) But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. (25) Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Jesus as our High Priest is notable in that:
•He is Alive. (vv. 23-24)
The priests of ancient Israel served both man and God but at some point they all died. Verse twenty-three stated, “Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. (24) But He (that is Jesus) because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood..”
But “death” prevented or hindered all the priest all down through the centuries from continuing their duties. The priests of ancient Israel like the preachers of today live for a while to serve both man and God but someday they will die and a new man will come on the scene. But He, that is Jesus, “continues forever” literally that is “He continuously continues forever!”
As Christians we talk a great deal about the death and resurrection of Christ - and that is good and justified – but we need to remember that we serve a living Christ who is at God’s right hand and who has a ministry there for us. The emphasis is upon the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is living. He is not dead - He is not on a cross; He is not lying in a grave. He arose from the dead, and the emphasis is upon our living Christ.
•He is Able
Verse twenty-five says, “He is also able to save to the uttermost” this says literally “He is always able.” The sacrifice under the Old Testament never did more than temporarily cover sin, they never even partiality or temporarily removed sin. Even though the High Priests down through the years may have wished to remove the people’s sin they were simply not able to do so. But not only is Jesus able, He is the only one who is able to do so.
Bible believing Christians are sometimes criticized as narrow minded or intolerant for maintaining that Jesus is the only way to God. Yet the reason that we make this claim is because that is what the Bible teaches. Jesus himself said in (John 14:6), “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus is not only able to save; He is the only one able to save. He is the only one with the power of salvation. The Apostle Peter is quoted as saying in Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
•He is Available (v. 25b) “…those who
come to God through Him…”