Summary: Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
JJESUS THE BETTER WAY:
JESUS OFFERS A BETTER RELATIONSHIP
Big Idea: Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
• Reading from the Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:7-9, 31-34
• Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22
• Epistle: Hebrews 7:18-28
• Reading from the Gospels: Mark 10:46-52
When Vickie and I had young children at home we had a will drafted. The point of the will was to make sure our children were taken care of if we died. A couple of years back we ran across that will and realized it was providing instructions regarding our children that were no longer relevant. I did call Craig and Tiffany (who were both married by then) and inform them that we were still watching our for them and that of we died they we still required to go live their aunt and uncle in Georgia.
Needless to say the will was weak and useless. It needed to be replaced with one that relevant. It was too old and out of date to be any good whatsoever. As we read Hebrews 7:18-28 in a moment I would like you to keep that in mind.
I mentioned to you last week that the author of Hebrews was not content to let his readers be immature and dabble in “elementary teachings” (5:11 – 6:3). I mentioned to you that he expected “better things” (6:9) of them and that he was going to take them into “meaty” subjects and wean them off of the milk of the word. Well, brace yourselves, because that is exactly this writer’s next move. He begins to show them, in a full assault type manner, that the way they understand relationship with God has radically changed with the coming of Jesus.
Today’s passage does not mince words about this.
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ” 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
If we are not careful we will begin to think that the interaction we have with God is all a legal thing. You know the song, “I owed a debt I could not pay He paid a debt He did not owe …” Even the best of us must beware of thinking that “salvation” is a weighing of scales; my sin in one pan of the scales and my righteous deeds in the other. Hebrews joins the remainder of the New Testament in declaring that this whole “Christianity thing” is about so much more than legal debts being satisfied – it is first and foremost a relationship. God longs to restore a relationship that was shattered at the fall (Genesis 3). He is willing to go to great lengths to do it. This is illustrated throughout the Bible; it is illustrated very emphatically and specifically by Jesus Christ’s life and teachings.
• A loving father – looking daily for the return of a prodigal
• A woman desperately scouring the house looking for a lost coin
• A shepherd leaving other sheep in safety to go out into the wilds to find a lost sheep
• Or – more pointedly – God becoming incarnate (flesh) and doing whatever is necessary to secure the relationship.
This idea of relationship with God was, as I explained a couple of weeks ago, a new thing to the Jewish mind which understood God as “wholly other” and only knew Him through the Old Testament. As you know, the word “testament” also means “covenant.”
Did you catch that? They knew God through an “OLD” covenant. It is no longer in effect – it has been fulfilled / satisfied and no longer applied … AT ALL!!!