The Weekend Word
Jesus is the Great High Priest
One of the major thoughts of this epistle is that Jesus is our great High Priest. The writer proceeds to reinforce his exhortation to enter the rest with a reminder of the character of our High Priest.
Jesus is one with his people and for them he offers the perfect sacrifice.
This is seen largely in terms of the Day of Atonement ceremonies in which the role of the High Priest (not simply any priest) was central. Note; Good Friday was the last Day of Atonement.
Here is the BIG question – Do we need a priest today to go to God? Yes, Jesus is that High Priest.
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
- What are the things that a high priest does?
- Aaron was the first HP
- All HPs come from Aaron’s family
- Aaron was a Levite – Levites make up the priesthood – but all Levites are not priests.
- Anyway, that was God’s plan and then it turned into a political favor type position – and that is where it was at the time of Jesus.
- The High Priest passed through the curtain of the Holy of Hollies – but Jesus passed through the heavens.
- Jesus, the Son of God. = not a distinction – not a lesser God.
- John 5:18 “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
- Let us hold fast our confession = what is our confession?
- Law & the Prophets and the continuing revelation – the totality of scripture.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
- Jesus was fully man – this is important, because if he was anything different than me, then I could doubt this statement
- What are the different views on Jesus’ temptation?
- Could Jesus have succumbed to the temptation? I can and I do.
- Is being tempted a sin?
- The impeccability of Jesus deals with the question: could Jesus have sinned? While it is fundamentally agreed the Bible teaches that Jesus did not sin, there has historically been divided opinion as to whether or not He could have sinned.
- Who was tempted – the divine or the human? (can they be separated?)
- What is tempting – testing?
- Think of when they build a new railroad crossing – they run a train across it – not to see if it will fail, but to show everyone that it won’t.
- Adam and Jesus were alike – they were sinless
- Adam succumbed and Jesus did not.
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
- With confidence = believing
- OK, you are to draw near – where is your throne of grace?
- How about at the altar at the time of communion?
- When is our time of need? Always – because we sin always.
Go daily in the power & confidence that comes with the power of Jesus.
1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
- One man – Once a year – chosen to meet with God
- One man – Once a year – chosen to transact man’s business with God… for all
- What is our relationship??
- If Jesus Christ is truly present in the elements at communion – are we not all “touching” God?
2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.
- This is probably an “ideal” state that the High Priest should be – but we have seen then AND NOW – how prideful powerful clergy can be.
- He can have compassion – he can be empathetic – because he is they.
- The priests and the High Priest are ordered by Jewish Law to a higher standard
- But he is still a man – with the passions of a man
- He can … or at least should identify with the people.
- The “ignorant and wayward” – not very Politically Correct”
- The writer ascribes weakness to the priests.