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The Superiority of Christ - Pinehurst Church

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A Great High Priest
Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10
A Great High Priest
Our lesson today has two partsHebrews 4:14-16 discusses Jesus as Our High PriestHebrews 5:1-10 speaks to Jewish objections that Jesus does not meet the rigid requirements of being a High Priest, examining three particular aspects of the High Priest (calling, suffering, obedience)This teaching focuses only on Jesus as Our High Priest
A Great High Priest
Review of Hebrews 1-4We have already seen the message that Jesus is betterHe is better than angelsHe is better than MosesHe is better than JoshuaHe provides a better rest than was ever seen in the Promised Land
A Great High Priest
In today’s lesson, the author of Hebrews wants us to see Jesus as our High PriestHe is a better priest than Aaron (representative of all earthly priests)
A Great High Priest
A major responsibility of the priest was to facilitate worshipTo enable God’s people to come before God and have communication and conversationTo bring an offering of worshipTo find strength, encouragement, healing, and powerThis is what Jesus has done for us – He has bridged the gap between us and God and has made a way for us to come before God and worship Him, giving us His blessings
A Great High Priest
The Author’s Context (Hebrews 4:14-16)After leading His people out of Egypt, God provided them with a detailed description of how to worship HimA significant part of this description was the setting aside of a large group of people (the tribe of Levi) to be priestsTheir job was to serve the Lord in His Tabernacle (later Temple), to offer the sacrifices brought by the people
A Great High Priest
The Author’s Context (Hebrews 4:14-16)The people would bring their offering of grain, or of animals, and give them to the priests who would present them to GodThe responsibility of the priests was to present the people to GodThey functioned as a “go-between”
A Great High Priest
The Author’s Context (Hebrews 4:14-16)Though this overview is simplistic, it enables us to understand Jesus as our priest – ourHigh PriestThese three verses introduce the next five chapters of the book of Hebrews – a detailed discussion about Jesus as our
A Great High Priest
The Author’s Context (Hebrews 4:14-16)Though this overview is simplistic, it enables us to understand Jesus as our priest – ourHigh PriestThese verses introduce the next five chapters of the book of Hebrews – a detailed discussion about Jesus as ourGreat High Priest
A Great High Priest
What can we learn aboutwho our priest is?
A Great High Priest
“a great high priest” (v 14)Out of this entire group of priests (Levi tribe), one priest was chosen by God to be the High PriestThis one man had additional responsibilities, most notably for our lesson was an annual duty on behalf of all of God’s peopleOn the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would recount all of the sins of God’s people and those sins would be atoned forHe would put his hands on the head of the goat and recite out loud all of the wicked and rebellious acts of God’s people
A Great High Priest
“a great high priest” (v 14)Then the goat, now known as a “scapegoat” would be led out into the desert and released, symbolizing the carrying away of all the sins of God’s peopleThat being done, the High Priest was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place, The Holy of Holies – to enter the very place that God dwelt – to make sacrifices for the sins of the peopleThis was the only day that entrance was permitted, and the High Priest was the only man permitted to enter
A Great High Priest
“a great high priest” (v 14)Jesus fulfilled this roleHe made atonement, or provision, for our sin in a way that no sacrifice or scapegoat ever could
A Great High Priest
“passed through the heavens” (v 14)This second descriptor of Jesus most likely is a reference to Jesus’ ascension into heaven following His resurrection (Acts 1)It parallels the part where the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies – the idea that Jesus left our sight and went into the presence of God just like the High Priest left the sight of the people when he went into the Holy of HoliesThe emphasis is on the uniqueness of Jesus – the fact that Jesus is God
A Great High Priest
“Jesus the Son of God” (v 14)There can be no misunderstandingThe text states that this Great High Priest is JesusIt emphasizes that Jesus is God’s Son, stating it clearly and directly
A Great High Priest
Who is able “to sympathize with our weaknesses” (v 15)Jesus can identify with usHe understands and sympathizes with our weaknessesIllustration of Third Grade Classroom
A Great High Priest
Who is able “to sympathize with our weaknesses” (v 15)This story illustrates a simple pointSince Jesus had become human, had fully entered in and participated with us and lived our life with us, He understands and He sympathizesHe knows what it feels like to stub your toe, be hungry or thirsty, to be dirty and coldHe knows what it feels like to be joyful, and to be angryHe knows what it is like to be betrayed by a friend
A Great High Priest
Who is able “to sympathize with our weaknesses” (v 15)Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why we can and need to have a closeness to JesusSometimes we feel like since He is God, we can not get closeHe is too different – He is too holy – He is too powerfulThis descriptor tells us the oppositeHe sympathizes with our weaknessesHe understands, and we know His response will be one of compassion and acceptance
A Great High Priest
He “has been tempted as we are” (v 15)He understands our temptationsHe understands how we get caught up in sin, not because He gets caught up in sin, but because He has been temptedThink of the story of Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desertThese were the devil’s best attempt to draw Jesus to sinHe offered Jesus an alternative to the Cross – “I will give you back the whole world if you bow and worship me” (Luke 4)Tempting?
A Great High Priest
He “has been tempted as we are” (v 15)Jesus knows the draw of sinJesus has felt the enticementYet
A Great High Priest
He was “without sin” (v 15)The previous two points emphasized Jesus similarity with usThis point emphasizes the distinctionThough tempted, Jesus did not sin – He lived a sinless life
A Great High Priest
These descriptors give us a picture of JesusHe is our Great High PriestHe has gone through the heavensHe is the Son of GodHe sympathizes with our weaknessesHe was tempted like we are, yetHe was without sin
A Great High Priest
Because this is who Jesus is, His role as High Priest changed everythingIn the old system, the goat ran off with the sins of the people – a symbolJesus is the real thingUp until Jesus’ death, all the sacrifices merely covered over sin, temporarily
A Great High Priest
In Jesus, things change foreverBecause Jesus was sinless, and because He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sin, now the way is openThis results in two consequences of having Jesus as our High Priest
A Great High Priest
“Let us then in confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (v 16)Prior to Jesus, the people needed a go-between, a priestJesus removed that extra barrier, and now God Himself, Jesus, is the only priest we needLet’s revisit the Old TestamentThe High Priest could only go into the Holy of Holies, once a year
A Great High Priest
“Let us then in confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (v 16)This area was separated from the rest of the tabernacle by a large curtainThe first three gospels record that at Jesus’ death, the curtain was miraculously torn in two, removing the barrier that kept people away from the presence of GodThis is a powerful symbol – since Jesus has gone ahead as our Great High Priest – we can approach the throne of God with confidence
A Great High Priest
So “that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (v 16)Perhaps one of the things that keeps us from coming to God’s Throne is our expectation of judgment and punishmentWe expect righteous anger, and that is what we deserveHowever, instead, we find mercy and grace
A Great High Priest
So “that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (v 16)This is what we find inThe story of the woman caught in adultery, who was brought before Jesus (John 8) – Jesus extended grace and forgivenessThe story of the prodigal son (Luke 15) – instead of a lecture, a reprimand or punishment, the son received a kiss, a party, and a welcomeThat is what is waiting for us at God’s throne –
A Great High Priest
So “that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (v 16)This is what we find inThe story of the woman caught in adultery, who was brought before Jesus (John 8) – Jesus extended grace and forgivenessThe story of the prodigal son (Luke 15) – instead of a lecture, a reprimand or punishment, the son received a kiss, a party, and a welcomeThat is what is waiting for us at God’s throne –Forgiveness, Mercy, and Grace
A Great High Priest
Now that we have Jesus as our Great High Priest, one who can identify and sympathize with us, there is no longer any blockage that need keep us from coming to God and receiving His mercy and graceThere is nothing we have done, thought, or left undone that is beyond the reach of God’s mercy and His graceWe need to come before God – He will meet us in our time of need
A Great High Priest
Will you comebefore God’s Thronewith Confidence?

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The Superiority of Christ - Pinehurst Church