Summary: A sermon that takes heart from the teaching of Hebrews chapter 5. It shows how this chapter can increase our courage.
It wasn’t an easy task. The best runners in the world were there - world record holder Roger Moens, Ernie Cunliffe, George Kerr, Christian Waegli, Istvan Rozsavoelgyi, Jerry Siebert, Bulyshev, Balke, Murphy, Matuschewski, Schmidt. Any one of these could be the winner.
High up in the pressbox looking out across the packed terraces to the brilliant green of the Olympic Games stadium international sporting writers chewed over who would win the 800 metres.
In the first four man heat a BBC comentator said; "This is ridiculous. A four man field and you can write down the first three names before the race starts." His three out of four selection didn’t include the winner either. He could be forgiven.
The winner looked awkward - he didn’t inspire confidence - Only the few who knew him recognised that the awkwardness was an outward indication of the immense strength that was soon to burst on the world running scene.
Four races later, everyone, of course, knew him. Peter Snell, of New Zealand, suddenly became a name to talk about.
Peter Snell, history was to go on to prove, was superior to any other Middle distance runner that the world had every produced.
Today of course he couldn’t win a B grade athletics race such is the toll time takes on people.
Jesus too did not appear as superior - as Isaiah says:
ISA 53:2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
But Jesus was superior as we have been learning and what is more he still is today.
Jesus is a winner!!
So if you are on his team you are too as Isaiah goes on to say:-
But ISA 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Today we consider Hebrews chapter 5 - Already in the preceding chapter the writer has shown how superior Jesus is.
He is superior to the angels.
He is superior to Moses.
He is superior to Joshua.
The rest that He provides is a superior rest to what was enjoyed in the Promised Land.
Now we come to a new aspect with regards to the truth that Jesus is better. It is that Jesus is a better priest than Aaron.
In Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 3 we read
Consider Him-------------- and over the last few weeks we have been doing just that!
Today in Hebrews chapter 5 the scriptures speak for themselves.
As I read them I asked myself what this passage should produce in me. My answer was courage.
Then I was reading in Acts chapter 4 where Peter and John healed a lame man and ended up in deep trouble with the religous authorities:-
AC 4:5 The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name did you do this?"
Here is an interesting clash - Peter and John , two men who follow Jesus who we find described in our reading from Hebrews as
AC 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
When these men saw the courage of Peter and John we are told that they took note.
And what was it that they took note of?
The answer is that they had been with Jesus.
You see there is something about Jesus that gives men courage.
There is something about Jesus that changes peoples lives.
There is something about Jesus that made Peter and John couragous.
In Hebrews chapter 5 there are three important matters raised which should give us great courage.
The first is Jesus is the High Priest - What does that mean?
Of course it means many things but one thing it does mean is that Jesus is appointed by God to carry sin in his own body:-
5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
"You are my Son;
today I have become your Father. "
HEB 5:6 And he says in another place,
"You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek."
Jesus as High priest also became the sacrifice.
In the old days the priest used to get sacrifices and give them to God for sin.