“So, Jesus, What Have You Been Doing Lately?”
March 26, 2014 Chester FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson,
A Jesus has already been identified as our High Priest in Hebrews. He is called our “merciful & faithful High Priest.”
Hebrews 2:17-18 (NASB) 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
1 He is called “the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.”
Hebrews 3:1 (NASB) 1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;
a The first four chapters of Hebrews concern themselves with the supremacy of the Word of our High Priest, tonight we come to the supreme Work of the Great High Priest.
b In the Temple/Tabernacle, a priest (who represented man before God) would take your offered sacrifice and gave it a complete external examination. (W/O defect, blemish, healthy, acceptable)
aa He would then take a small sword and cut it open to allow him to examine the inside of the animal for flaws, tumors, disease.
bb The sacrifice had to acceptable/suitable both externally & internally to be offered & accepted by God.
c Paul’s audience was facing tremendous persecution for their profession of faith in Christ.
aa They were tempted to return to the religion/rituals of their fathers.
bb Understand that temptation: Anybody could go up to Jerusalem and smell the smoke of the sacrifices, see priests offering sacrifices on the brazen alter (something real, visible, concrete.)
cc When a Christian is going through persecution, it is much easier to walk by sight than by faith.
dd Some of us have doubted the Lord under much less provocation than these people were enduring.
2 The Word of God is a sword in the hand of our High Priest, who examines not only our outward appearance, but reveals a clear view of the needs, sins, and weaknesses of our hearts.
a This is a terrifying thought to me. (I know what’s inside of my heart, mind, soul . . . it isn’t pretty.)
aa It’s a scary thought until we read the passage we’ll study this evening.
bb Jesus is our Great High Priest (He’s the only person in history given this title!!!)
b As a priest He represents us before God at this very moment.
c It is this work as a High Priest that Jesus began on earth and continues to this very day.
B Hebrews 4:14-5:10 (NASB)14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; 2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; 3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. 4 And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. 5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"; 6 just as He says also in another passage, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK." 7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
1 There are some very unique marks to Jesus’ priesthood that makes Him different than other priests.
a He is a Sovereign Priest
b He is a Sympathetic Priest
c He is a Suffering Priest
d He is a Saving Priest
I He is a Sovereign Priest (v.14-16)
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NASB) 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
A Jesus is both God and Man (Son of God & Son of Man.)
1 In His unique person, Jesus unities Deity & humanity, so that He can bring people to God . . . and bring to people all that God has for them.
a v.14, “. . . who has passed through the heavens.”
aa When Jesus ascended to the Father, Jesus passed through the atmospheric heavens, the planetary heavens into the third heaven where God dwells.
2 Corinthians 12:2 (NASB)2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.
bb Our High Priest is ministering on our behalf in heaven right now.
b In the earthly Temple/Tabernacle, the priest entered annually to sprinkle blood on the “Mercy Seat.”
aa The Mercy Seat was God’s throne on earth that was located in Israel, but it could never be called a “throne of grace” v.16.
bb Grace does not veil itself from the people nor hides itself in a tent.
cc Every believer in Christ is invited, encouraged, to “come boldly unto the throne of grace.”
2 Jesus is ministering mercy & grace to those who come for help.
a Mercy means that God doesn’t give us what we deserve (hell); Grace means that God gives us what we don’t deserve (heaven.)
aa There has never been a priest who could minister grace & mercy quite the same way Jesus does.
bb When an Israelite was tempted, he/she couldn’t run down the high priest for help . . . definitely couldn’t enter the Holy of Holies for God’s help.
cc As Christians, we can run to our High Priest any time, in any circumstance, & find the help that we need.
B Jesus operates in a way that Aaron could never operate, and because of Jesus’ supremacy as High Priest, we can draw these two conclusions:
1 There is no need to give up profession just because we’re going through a testing (v.14.)
a Profession means confession & these Hebrew Christians were tempted to give up their confession of faith/confidence in Christ.
aa This isn’t a matter of giving up their salvation, since salvation through Christ is eternal (Heb. 5.9).
bb By returning to their former religion, it would be telling everyone that they had no faith in Christ.
cc This kind of unbelief would only bring reproach to Christ’s name.
b The great purpose of salvation is the glory of God.
Ephesians 1:6 (NASB) 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:12 (NASB) 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1:14 (NASB) 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.
aa In Ex. 32, when Moses came down from Sinai to see that Israel had erected a golden calf, it was God’s glory that concerned Moses.
bb God was ready to destroy Israel, start with a new nation from Moses, but he refused on the basis of God’s glory & promise, so God spared the people (punished them, yes!)
2 There is no need to go back because we can come boldly into the presence of God to get help we need it.
a No temptation, fear is too strong that Jesus can’t give us the grace & mercy to overcome.
aa It’s easy to think, “He’s so far away! He’s perfect. What can he know about the problems of a scared, weak sinner like me?”
bb This is a part of His greatness! He knows all about our plight because He’s walked where we’ve been.
cc Consider this, Jesus is/was sinless when He went through temptation/testing. . . I have to imagine His temptations/trials had to much greater for Him to overcome because He never sinned. (IL. Just a pinch, bite to see what’s like) . . . yet He didn’t even get a pinch, bite of sin!
dd He’s able to help us overcome when we are tempted.
b If we fail to hold fast our confession, we are not proving Jesus failed in saving us . . . we are only telling our friends/family that we failed to draw on His grace & mercy when it was freely available to us “in our time of need” (v.16b).
II He is a Sympathetic Priest (4.15-5.3)
Hebrews 4:15 - 5:3(NASB) 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; 2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; 3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.
A Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves . . . and He still loves us!
1 He knows our nature. (V.15)
a We have weakness, flaws that are inherent in our human nature.
aa Jesus became one of us, walked our roads, experienced our weaknesses.
bb He knew what it was like to be lonely, hurt, weep, fatigued, hungry, thirsty, rejected.
b AND He had the Chief Angel of hell assault Him personally, yet did not sin.
2 He knows our need
a The Lord Jesus left His throne of glory to come to earth, to ascend to sit on a throne of grace.
aa From that throne He reaches to help us with our needs.
bb Although a throne represents authority, dominion . . . it’s a gracious authority, Good King.
cc Those who will not come before His throne of grace will have to stand before the Great White Throne of grief.
B 5.1-3, gives us the characteristics of a faithful priest under the covenant of Law.
1 The true Priest was an intercessor for others.
a He had compassion on the spiritually ignorant & lost, met the needs of others.
aa The priests offered up sacrifices for themselves and for the nation.
bb But Jesus had no need to offer an offering for Himself (sinless), but He did offer up Himself as our sacrifice because we needed Him to.
cc O.T. priests offered sacrifices to cover sin, Jesus sacrifice on Calvary cleansed sin
b Jesus didn’t stop meeting our needs at Calvary, He still meets our needs on a daily basis as we come to His throne of grace.
2 It’s incredibly encouraging to know that He sees our every thought/motive with complete understanding, He cares about us!
III He is a Suffering Priest
Hebrews 5:5-8 (NASB) 5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"; 6 just as He says also in another passage, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK." 7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
A In the Old Covenant, the priest brought a sacrifice but in the New Covenant, our Great High Priest became the sacrifice Himself.
1 The Father did not force the Son to become the propitiation for sin.
a The Father chose the Son, but the Father did not force the Son to become the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world.
aa The Son was obedient, submissive to the Will of the Father.
bb The Son voluntarily took the sins of the world upon Himself.
b V.7, brings us to the Garden of Gethsemane, a place of agony; where our sins were first pressed against His sinless lips . . . a cup that would be fully drained at Calvary.
aa “prayers” & “supplications” are not the usual koine greek words for praying.
bb Prayer has do with a request made out of great need; Supplication refers to a call for urgent aid. (IL. When we go to a grave side service Ron will call the police (826.5454) to block the road, if there is an accident he calls 911.)
cc Jesus knows what it is like to cry out to the Father in the depths of His need, He knows what we’re feeling when we cry out to the Father in a frantic 911 prayer!!!
2 When Jesus placed His own 911 prayer, it was not save Him from dying, but out of death.
a The physical pain of the cross, is beyond our comprehension, but it wasn’t the torture that burdened Jesus’ heart in the Garden.
aa It was the fact that He would be made sin & separated from the Father.
bb Jesus was praying for resurrection from the dead, and Thanks be to God, on Easter morning, God answered that prayer.
cc v.7, “. . . and He was heard (answered) because of His piety.” His prayer was not to circumvent the cross, but to defeat the grave!!!
b Jesus experienced the ultimate in suffering and, therefore, He is able to sympathize with His people when they are suffering.
B No matter what trials we meet, Jesus is able to understand our needs and help us.
1 It’s worthy to note that sometimes God allows us to go to the valley of the shadow of death so we’ll emerge on the top end of it with a testimony.
a I wish He didn’t that! I wish they could just read a book.
aa Jesus’ suffering enabled Him to do that very thing for us!
bb He went through death & dying, tasted everything we have tasted so He could minister to us in our time of need.
b As the Lord Jesus suffered the pain we deserved, He was weeping/crying out loud.
aa He obeyed the Father & took our sins.
bb The Father heard his prayers & Christ arose from the dead.
c Today, the Father hears the prayer of the Son in our stead.
aa Jesus saves every repentant sinner that comes to Him.
bb We are His sons/daughters... He cannot turn us away & the Father can’t turn away the presence of His Son.
2 Because we know that Jesus knows what we’re going through, we can trust that He will give us the grace we need in our most difficult hours of need.
IV He is our Saving Priest
Hebrews 5:9-10 (NASB) 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
A v.9, “made perfect” refers to the absolute fulfillment of every part of His work, His completed sacrifice.
1 Because He finished the job, Scripture says, “He became . . . the source of eternal salvation.” (v.9)
a Salvation is God’s total work of delivering humankind from:
aa the penalty of sin (spiritual death, hell)
bb the power of sin (dominion, authority, bondage)
cc and one day from the presence of sin. (Thanks be to God, some sweet day sin will be taken off the market!!!)
b “. . . to all those that obey . . .” Does this mean that if we don’t obey Him, we may lose that eternal salvation?
aa To obey God is the same thing as trusting God.
bb It describes one who has put their faith in Jesus Christ.
c Acts 6:7 (NASB) 7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
aa Romans 10:16 (NKJV) 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?"
bb 1 Peter 1:22 (NASB) 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
cc Once we have put our faith in Jesus Christ, and thus obeyed His call, we experience His eternal salvation.
2 In other words, “that obey Him” is descriptive of those who are saved rather than describing the grounds of their salvation.
a It is not describing works, but rather obeying the call to come to Christ.
b We’re all guilty of “disobedience” to living holy lives, but if you have obeyed His calling on your life, responded to His offer of salvation . . . it is Jesus, not your works, that is the source of your eternal life.
B Just as Jesus has surrendered to the Father, the lost person must surrender in obedience to Jesus as Lord, our Great High Priest.
1 He is our eternal High Priest.
a Remember, Paul has shown Jesus supremacy over angels, Moses, Joshua, Law . . . now He’s showing Jesus supremacy over earthly priests like Aaron.
b Jesus is a royal priest in the eternal order of Melchizedek.
aa Melchizedek was a king & a priest by divine calling (not because his daddy was a priest)
bb Jesus is our eternal High priest forever, and right now He is praying for us.
cc Hebrews 7:25 (NASB) 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
1 John 2:1 (NASB) 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
2 Having this Great High Priest, what are we told to do?
a Hebrews 4:14 (NASB) 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
aa We are stay faithful/true/draw near to Him in times of testing & temptation.
bb In our times of doubt, frustration, weakness is when we need to double-down on our commitment to Christ.
b Hebrews 4:16 (NASB) 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.“
aa We are to come to God with our burdens, concerns, needs.
bb We can exercise our freedom of speech to God, open our hearts.
cc Jesus is always there to help us just when we need Him most.
c Don’t be afraid to come to His throne of grace & mercy . . . draw near right now.
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