Summary: Life’s problems may overwhelm us, but we have the ultimate Friend in high places, Jesus, who is both our High Priest and Peer.
Jesus, Our Priest and Peer
1. There I was is sitting at the malt counter, looking at my malted shake when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to me, grabs my malt and drinks it down
"Well, whatcha gonna do about it?" he says, menacingly, as I burst into tears.
"Come on, man," the biker says, "I didn't think you'd CRY. You’re such a sissy."
"This is the worst day of my life," I said. "I'm a complete failure. I was late to a meeting at a job I just started and my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don't have any insurance. I lost my wallet, and my girlfriend broke up with me.
"So I came to enjoy one final malted milk shake and work up the courage to put an end to it all. I bought the milk shake, mixed the poison into it, and was about to drink it, just before you stole it from me. By the way, how's your day going?"
2. This joke makes many points, one being, never assume all is well with someone.
3. This fellow obviously made up the story about his tragic day, but people have much worse days than that. And you cannot always tell what is happening in someone’s life. Perhaps you are going through something really bad right now?
I can almost guarantee someone here is, perhaps more than one.
4. The Bible tells us Jesus knows and understands. Often, He is the only One.
Main Idea: Life’s problems may overwhelm us, but we have the ultimate Friend in high places, Jesus, who is both our High Priest and Peer.
I. Our High Priest Has Fully SUCCEEDED (14)
There is nothing second rate about Jesus Christ. He is here the cohen gadol, high priest. He represents God to man and man to God. Believers are standard priests. We represent God to lost people and lost people to God. Via intercession, God’s people too.
The idea that Jesus is our high priest is introduced in 2:17 in chapters 5-10.
A. Passed through the HEAVENS but greater than Enoch and Elijah
• A lot of people have come and gone over the years I have been here; some have all but forgotten us; we may have forgotten them; but not Jesus.
• Three heavens vs. seven heavens (parallel universes)
• Only Enoch and Elijah ascended, but did so as mortals
• May return as the two witnesses of Revelation 7
B. His Ascension was foreshadowed when the earthly high priest entered through the CURTAINS
C. Since Christ ascended in victory, we should hold FAST to Him (14)
II. Our High Priest TRULY Understands (15)
A. He can actually SYMPATHIZE with our weaknesses
1. While Jesus was fully human, he experienced life just we do.
* He got hungry, tired, frustrated with people.
* He laughed, cried, He made close friends,
* He was hurt by people, misunderstood
2. Does he sympathize or empathize? He does both: sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters; empathy is putting yourself in another’s shoes.
3. He enters into our griefs and shares our joys.
4. Although we tend to think of weaknesses primarily as sins, that is not the typical meaning, really. When Paul said, “I glory in my weaknesses,” that meant he spoke of them and marveled how God used them to keep him humble and develop him. Weaknesses include sickness, areas of personal deficiency, etc. Some people are not “chill” enough to glory in their weaknesses; they hide them from others, themselves, and the Lord.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’”
5. Legalism and a competitive spirit punish us if we glory in our weaknesses; God never does this. He doesn’t even blink if we share our sins with Him.
B. He has been tempted in all basic CATEGORIES
1. Both “has been tempted” and “passed through the heavens” are in the Greek perfect tense, a special tense emphasizes present result.
2. Is it a sin to be tempted?
3. I Jn 2:16, “ For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
4. Temptation in the wilderness; Devil left Him for a while
5. Temptation by Peter