Summary: Lent 5(B) - Jesus is our perfect High Priest. Jesus makes a sacrifice of suffering and an offering of obedience for our sins.
JESUS IS OUR PERFECT HIGH PRIEST (Outline)
March 9, 2008 –
LENT 5 -
INTRO: These verses remind us that Jesus is our perfect High Priest. A quick review is in order. Martin Luther compiled the “Small Catechism” so that parents might teach their children the basic teachings of the Bible necessary for salvation. This catechism book is divided into six chief parts. The first part is the Ten Commandments. The commandments are a summary of God’s Law. The law shows us our sins.
Next comes the Apostles Creed. This creed is a good summary of God’s Gospel. The gospel shows us our Savior. Now the Apostles Creed is divided into three parts called articles. The first article helps us to understand God the Father – Creator. The third article teaches about God the Holy Spirit – Sanctifier (= sets apart as holy by working faith in hearts). Back to the second article and God the Son, Jesus Christ – Redeemer (Savior). The second article is divided into three parts. We learn of Jesus’ person – he is true man and true God. We learn of Jesus’ work – humiliation and exaltation. We also discover Jesus’ office – what he is. Scripture tells us Jesus is Prophet, King, and Priest. Compared to the Old Testament office of priest Jesus is far superior. Jesus is perfect. "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens"(HEBREWS 7:25,26).
JESUS IS OUR PERFECT HIGH PRIEST.
Today we study what that means for
us and what it cost Jesus:
I. A sacrifice of suffering,
II. An offering of obedience.
I. A SACRIFICE OF SUFFERING
A. This letter is addressed to the Jewish believers, Hebrews. This book is in the New Testament, not Old.
1. A great danger was lurking among these believers. They wanted to return to the old ways.
2. They thought their sacrifices were needed more than the single sacrifice of Jesus.
3. It was difficult for these people to simply give up generations of worship so quickly.
B. The writer emphasizes and re-emphasizes that Jesus was far superior compared to the Old Testament.
1. Verse 7a. Jesus’ gave up the perfection in heaven to live an entire life of suffering on earth.
2. From the moment of conception by the Holy Spirit Jesus’ suffering began, his humiliation.
C. The suffering of Jesus sharpened at the end of his ministry shortly before his crucifixion.
1. One of his own would betray him. His disciples would sleep while he prayed. Suffering.
2. The soldiers would make a great show of his arrest. The crowds turned against him. Suffering.
D. How would / did Jesus endure all of this betrayal, rejection, and suffering? We are told in our text that he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death. God, his Father, would never leave him nor forsake Jesus, his Son. Jesus prayed understanding that it was always the will of his heavenly Father which needed to be done. Listen to the intensity and the anguish of a suffering sacrifice. "An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground"(LUKE 22:43,44). Jesus is strengthened. He wakes his disciples. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer! We, too, can turn to the Lord God, our heavenly Father – and be strengthened, any time and all the time!
E. This sacrifice of suffering was not unknown to God’s people. Isaiah describes the event of Jesus’ sacrifice 700 years before it takes place. "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed"(ISAIAH 53:5). Pierced, crushed, and wounded. How this mortal body of Jesus had to suffer. How Jesus’ suffered so that we are healed. The sacrifice of Jesus’ suffering paid the penalty for our sins.
F. Unlike the Old Testament priests, Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect. Jesus’ sacrifice was complete. "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit"(1 PETER 3:18). We who were once far off and separated from God by sin are now brought near to God. We do not suffer eternally because Jesus suffered here.
JESUS IS OUR PERFECT HIGH PRIEST.
Jesus provides himself as a sacrifice of suffering.
II. AN OFFERING OF OBEDIENCE
A. Old Testament priests offered sacrifices for their own sins before they could sacrifice for others’ sins.