Summary: A look through the book of Hebrews to better understand who Jesus is. Today we look at Hebrews 7.
Jesus Is . . .!
August 6, 2017
There was a man who had some personal issues going on in his life. So, he asked a woman in his office who was known to be a prayer warrior if she would pray for him. He knew she kept a list of her 10 most urgent prayer requests on her desk. So, he asked her, “Do you have room on that list to add my name and situation to your prayer list?”
She looked at him and said, “Oh yes, three of the people I was praying for have died!” (Kaye Gordon, Readers Digest, June 2001, p. 64)
UGH!! When we ask someone to pray for us, we’d like to hope for better results than that!!
It’s one of the beauties of the church, that when we have a need, some issue which is going on in our lives, we can ask one another to pray for us. Sometimes we just don’t feel equipped to handle those obstacles and trials which come into our lives. It’s encouraging to know others are praying for us. That’s called intercessory prayer. Very simply, intercession is praying for yourself and praying for others. We are interceding on behalf of someone who has a need.
We see it in the Old Testament, where the role of mediator was the intercessor. We see it in Abraham, Moses, David, Samuel, Hezekiah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Intercessory prayer is encouraged throughout the Bible.
· God had Abraham intercede for Kings
· Job was told by God to intercede for his friends
· Paul urged “that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone” (1 Timothy 2:1)
And as we begin our look at Hebrews 7, we read near the end of this chapter some amazing words ~
25 Consequently, He (Jesus) is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since HE ALWAYS LIVES TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM. – Hebrews 7:25
We also see that echoed by Paul in Romans 8:34 ~
34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. – Romans 8:34
Man, we can stop right here, pack up our stuff and go home! You can leave now and get in line at the buffet!! Honestly, I don’t need to say more . . . but you know I will. But we will come back to this. And really, the only reason to continue is to explain Hebrews 7.
It’s one thing to ask me to pray for you, or your Sunday School class, or the church . . . but notice we also get Jesus interceding for us. It doesn’t get any better than the Son talking to the Father on our behalf. Jesus Christ is the ultimate intercessor.
We’ve been looking at the role of the high priest and it was the job of the high priest to intercede for the people of Israel. Especially once a year on the holiest of Jewish holy days, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. . . The high priest would bring a blood sacrifice into the Holy of Holies. That blood would represent the sins of the people and the sins of the high priest.
He would offer the sacrifices on the Altar, then carry the blood through into the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. He would scatter the blood on the mercy seat - the top of the Ark guarded by the 2 angels whose wings spread out over the Ark.
This offering of blood was the most important offering and sacrifice of the year. As a young boy growing up Jewish, I would attend temple services on the eve of Yom Kippur. We would fast and pray. The fast would normally last about 28 hours. Yes, you get hungry. We would attend at night, then we would wake up the next day and return to temple for an almost endless day of prayer. Finally, after sundown the next night, the worship would end, and I would return home, and we would break our fast.
The point of Yom Kippur is that without the sacrifices, without the acts of contrition, the repentance from our sinfulness, there could be no forgiveness from God. Without forgiveness, you would not be entered into the book of life the next year.
So, year after year, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement and offer sacrifices for the people, asking God to forgive the sins of the people, including the high priest. What the high priest was doing, in effect, was interceding for the people of Israel.