Summary: How to let God care for you.
The problem is not usually the problem.
The problem is often our lack of information or our failure to focus on the information.
We're in the series, "Does God Care?" and we're considering the letter of Hebrews written to Christ followers of the First Century who were discouraged. They entertained thoughts of giving up and turning back.
In this very encouraging correspondence God lets them know that there is nothing "better" than following Christ. In the 7th chapter one of the most mysterious characters in the Bible is used to show how much God cares for us.
Hebrews 7:1 - This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. 2 Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means "king of justice," and king of Salem means "king of peace." 3 There is no recordof his father or mother or any of his ancestors - no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews goes on to recount how this applied to his readers. The Levites, who received tithes from the Jewish people, hadn't been born yet when this interaction between Melchizedek and Abraham transpired. The point is, Melchizedek typifies Jesus, who is not a priest like the Levitical priesthood, or even the high priesthood from the family of Aaron.
Christ's priesthood is a "better" priesthood. There is no end to it. It is not temporary. The priesthood of Christ is eternal.
Why is this important to a group of discouraged Christ-following Jews?
We pick up the story in verse 23:
23 There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood last forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. 27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people's sins. 28 The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.
Let's break this down further to see how we can let God care for us.
REFLECT (Verse 24)
Reflect on the fact that Christ's care is forever!
We've all lost loved ones that cared for us. When you lose a parent or spouse or friend that cared for you, you're partly sad for them and partly for yourself. Someone who cared for you is gone. There's a void there. An emptiness.
That will never be the case with Jesus!
Yes, Jesus died. But he rose again and is alive forever!
The Bible says in Romans 8:
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry,or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries for tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Reflect on that the next time you're tempted to doubt God's care.
One caveat, you've got to come to God in order to qualify for this kind of care.
RECEIVE (Verse 25a)
In order to let God care for you, you've got to receive the free gift of salvation that he offers.
The first part of Verse 25 says, "Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him."
If you "come to God through him (Jesus)" you will have this eternal care.