Summary: The book of Hebrews is all about Jesus!
Jesus, the High Priest (pt 1)
-In grade school I remember taking a field trip to the state capitol and getting to walk into the governor’s office.
-That was when Vic Atiyeh was governor of Oregon.
-He wasn’t there when we came in, but we got to see his desk.
-The desk of the most influential person in our state.
-I didn’t know anything about governors then.
-But everything about that office, that desk, that big leather chair, all those framed documents on the walls, and the big flags, told me that I was in an important place.
-It told me that there was someone important who worked there.
-Have you ever been in the presence of someone important?
-Depending on who it is, it can really make an impression on you.
-There are some jobs, titles, or stations in life that are reserved for certain kinds of people; the big wigs, key players, power brokers.
-We average people…hear about them, read about them.
-We wonder what it’s like to be them, to do what they do, to sit in the big chair behind that big desk.
-Sometimes we even day dream about what we would do if we were the one behind the big desk!
-But we suspect that the powerful people…never day dream about what it’s like to be one of the little guys.
-We suspect they don’t care one lick about how the little guys live.
-And maybe that’s true…
-But no matter where you go, in every city or country all over the world there are important people and less important people.
-You can love it, hate it, fight against it, or think it’s not fair…but that’s the way the world operates.
-In the nation of Israel the man in the big chair, behind the big desk, with the big title was none other than the High Priest.
-Today we’re looking at how Jesus compares with….
-Open your Bible to Hebrews 5 and we’ll start in verse 1:
THE OT HIGH PRIESTS (vs 1-4)
1 Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins. 2 And he is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses. 3 That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as theirs. 4 And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was.
-It’s important to remember that the people who originally read this letter were Jewish Christians.
-They knew all about the High Priest, they had probably been to the temple, they may have even seen the HP during a festival.
-But I can guarantee they never saw his office!
-The High Priest was the only man who could go inside the Holy of Holies.
-As Christians we don’t always understand all this high priest talk.
-Why is this in the Bible? Why is this important to us?
-It may seem useless to understand all this OT stuff.
-Understanding who the High Priests were for the OT crowd, helps us to understand who Jesus is for us in the NT era.
-Let’s look at a few key facts about those High Priests.
HIGH PRIESTS WERE MEDIATORS.
-They were holy men…they were the religious leader for the whole nation of people.
-There really is no modern day comparison to what the HP was.
-You could say they were like the Pope for Catholics or that they were like Billy Graham for Evangelicals.
-You could say that the High Priest of Israel is like…Chip Kelly for Duck fans…except slightly more spiritual…just a bit!
-There really is no adequate modern day comparison.
-These were men were revered for their great faith and
their standing w/God.
-They had special standards that they lived by.
-They had a special responsibilities.
-They even had special clothes that they wore.
-And all those things kind of make sense….
-The High Priest should stand out a bit, because they had the most important job in all the land.
-They served as mediators for God’s people.
-Verse 1 says they offered the gifts and sacrifices of God’s people.
-God gave messages to his high priests, and they passed on those messages to the people.
-They supervised a whole host of associate pastors…all those lower ranking priests who shared in the work of the Lord.
-People talked about the high priest reverently, they followed their instructions carefully.
-The word of the HP was law. You didn’t cross those men!
-But for all the pomp and circumstance…God wanted
HIGH PRIESTS WERE TO BE COMPASSIONATE.