Summary: 1 of 2. Hebrews sets before its audience a deeper consideration of the priesthood of their Christian confession. But what challenges do traditionists face in this? Challenges traditionists face in accepting a Perfect Priesthood are...
SERIES: The Careful Considerations of Our Christian Confession
Hebrews 3:1-6; 7-17; 3:18--4:11; 4:11-13; 4:14---5:11
The Hebrews writer pressed upon his audience to deeply/profoundly consider the aspect of their Christian confession concerning Jesus as their Apostle & High Priest.
The Hebrews writer pressed upon his audience to further consider the intricacies of their Christian confession.
Christians, tempted by tradition, are encouraged toward a deeper/further consideration of their Christian confession.
What barriers/tendencies do Christians, tempted toward tradition(traditionists), face in their Christian confession?
5 Challenges traditionists must face/reckon with in their Christian confession.
A—A challenge traditionists face in their Christian confession is acceptance of a...GREATER / LESSER STEWARDSHIP(3:1-6) Faithfulness
B—A challenge traditionists face in their Christian confession is acceptance of a...SINGULAR / DIVIDED HEART(3:7-17)
C—A challenge traditionists face in their Christian confession is acceptance of a...PERMANENT / TEMPORARY REST(3:18--4:11)
D—A challenge traditionists face in their Christian confession is acceptance of a...FULL DISCLOSURE / SECRECY(4:11-13)
Tiger Woods--John Edwards--Jesse James, etc.
E—A challenge traditionists face in their Christian confession is acceptance of a...PERFECT vs. an Earthly PRIESTHOOD(4:14--5:11)
Last time in Hebrews, we looked at...
D— The challenge of choosing ...
FULL DISCLOSURE vs. SECRECY(4:11-13)
Today’s Consideration is...
E— The challenge of choosing ...
PERFECTION(PRIESTHOOD) vs. IMPERFECTION(4:14—5:11)
The CHALLENGE of CHOOSING a PERFECT PRIESTHOOD/Mediator
Representative/Go-between who fails.
Our trips to car dealerships to buy:
A new Chrysler, Town & Country in Jax, FL
Jerome—mislead us from the get-go.—Make, Model, Wheels, Stereo
A Used Nissan in Salisbury, NC—passing prices back & forth on sheets of paper—What’s up with that?
Neither of these were reliable mediators in getting us a car.
Why would I want to choose Jesus when I can go to the church building, walk up to the priest, share my concerns with him directly, & receive his blessing?
The practical aspects of Catholicism are of this genre/ilk/stripe. The religion(approaching Jesus) takes precedence over the relationship(with Jesus).
The writer to the Hebrews set before his audience a deeper/further consideration of a Perfect Priesthood.
Christians, tempted by tradition, are encouraged toward a deeper/further consideration of a Perfect Priesthood.
What challenges do Christians, tempted toward tradition(traditionists), face in the consideration of a Perfect Priesthood?
6 Challenges traditionists must face in their confession of a Perfect Priesthood.
1—The challenge of choosing a Perfect Priesthood is accepting
The Priest’s PATH(:14)
:14—“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”
See 3:1—As a result of our possessing for our own, a “High Priest” of such “great” stature & station, then we are compelled to, thru our own power, take possession(to ourselves) of that “confession” we have made in Christ.
This High Priest is none other than the only One who has Himself “passed thru the heavens” of which there are three recognized. 1st—atmosphere, 2nd—outer space(universe), & 3rd—God’s abode. God’s abode is not those places where only His glory dwells(encompassing all three realms) but where He Himself dwells—This being the true Holy of Holies.
This three-layered existence of the heavens is patterned in the layout of the tabernacle & temple—Courts--Holy Place--Holy of Holies(Mercy Seat).
His passing thru the heavens means He has perfectly represented our need & its solution as mankind’s redeemer before God the Father Himself.
The priest “taken from among men”(5:1) passes thru the mere pattern that is the Temple complex. He enters the Holy Place(built by human hands) & enters the Holy of Holies(built thusly). Therefore his so-called ‘path’ is limited only to earth & is earthly & the created, but is NOT heavenly & creat-ing.
What a statement of short-sightedness by those who trust in the material representations of such overwhelming greatness & inconceivable power.
Lest anyone question the identity of this High Priest, it is “Jesus” who is Himself, “the Son of” the very “God” of the third heaven.
Recognizing the truth of Jesus’ High Priesthood, we thus have encouragement to “hold fast” our Christian “confession.”
“High Priest”—arciereuv—Strong—The high-priest (literally, of the Jews, typically, Christ); by extension a chief priest:-- Chief (high) priest, chief of the priests....Thayer—1)‘He above all others was honored with the title of priest, the chief of priests. It was lawful for him to perform the common duties of the priesthood; but his chief duty was, once a year on the day of atonement, to enter into the Holy of Holies (from which the other priests were excluded) & offer sacrifices for his own sins & the sins of the people, & to preside over the Sanhedrin, or Supreme Council, when convened for judicial deliberations. According to Mosaic law, no one could aspire to the high priesthood unless he were of the tribe of Aaron & descended from a high priestly family; & he on whom the office was conferred held it till death. But from the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, when the kings of Seleucideae & afterwards the Herodian princes & the Romans arrogated to themselves the power of appointing the high priests,the office neither remained vested in the pontifical family nor was conferred on any for life; but it became venal, & could be transferred from one to another according to the will of civic or military rulers. Hence it came to pass, that during the one hundred & seven years intervening between Herod the Great & the destruction of the holy city, twenty eight persons held the pontifical dignity.