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Our Only Priest

The preeminence of Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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INTRODUCTION

Today we return to our walk through the Book of Hebrews. The Book is written by an unknown author, however the theme of the book is clearly established. The sole purpose of the Book of Hebrews is the Preeminence of Jesus. The first part of the book we observed that Jesus is Superior to the Angels, He is superior to Moses the great emancipator of Gods people from slavery, and He is superior to Joshua the conqueror of the promised land. For the Jewish people reading these words is a huge challenge to their imbedded doctrines. I mean for the Jews there is no one more revered than Moses, so hearing these words would have shaken the very fabric of their faith. But the Book of Hebrews was not written for the unconverted Jew it was written to the Christian Jew. The people who by faith put their trust in the Messiah Jesus. For them, hearing the greatness and superiority of Jesus solidified their faith and commitment to Jesus. It gave them hope and encouragement in times of struggle and doubt, qualifying their decision to accept that Jesus was messiah and validating their repentance. The author now continues to challenge the Jewish thought and belief system once again. This time the Author shows that Jesus is superior to the most sacred of calling and that is of High Priest.
For us today in our culture we find it hard to connect with the thought of an earthly priest. Standing before us and God as a mediator and intercessor. If you have a Catholic background it is much easier to understand. In our current world we find two contrasting ways of handling the idea of priesthood. Within Protestantism, with its emphasis on the priesthood of all believers, there is little or no sense of the need for a priest. We feel perfectly capable of managing our relations with the divine in our way, at our own pace, and according to our own desires. The distance between God and ourselves is minimal, and we can bridge that distance on our own with relative ease. Within Catholic and Orthodox circles, there is a strong sense of distance and a huge sense of need for help. They need those who will go into the holy of holies and take care of business for us; their job is to do whatever mysterious thing needs to be done on our behalf. In the meantime we can carry on as usual, immersed in our secular interests and duties, leaving divine service to the spiritual officers in charge of the divine economy. One group ignores the distance between God and ourselves; the other conceives the distance in such a way that it can be managed by handing it over in an external manner to religious professionals.
There is a Gap between us and God that is for sure. And their is a Great need for a Priest, However the author of Hebrews makes it Clear, crystal clear that Jesus is our only Priest.
TURN IF YOU WILL TO
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. 3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. 4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” 6 As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”; 7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.”
-PRAY-
6 As He also says in another place:
As we examine the text from chapter 5 and try to unpack what the author is saying, what can we observe about the Priesthood of Jesus. What qualities made Jesus’ priesthood superior to all others.
“You are a priest forever
One quality that we see distinguishes Jesus’ Priesthood is that
According to the order of Melchizedek”;
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”

Jesus was Appointed to be the Final and Absolute High Priest

vs. 1 we read that human priests were appointed and selected by other men. But in verse 5-6 we read the God appointed Jesus to the position of High Priest. “So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” 6 As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”
Aaron was taken from among men and elevated to the position of high priest. He passed this honor along to his eldest son, and thus the line continued. Aaron belonged to the tribe of Levi; this tribe was set aside to be the priestly tribe for the nation of Israel.
But Christ’s ordination was greater. For one thing, He is not merely man; He is God in the flesh, the Son of God and the Son of Man. He did not selfishly take this honor of the priesthood for Himself.
a. The priesthood was a calling - Jesus had a Greater calling because His calling was not from man, But the father . Lev 8:1
b. The priest made offering for sin - That was his duty to call upon God for forgiveness and mercy. However Human priests were sinful just like every human. He would have to make a sacrifice for his own sin. However Jesus did not have to offer sacrifice for His sins for he had no sin nature.
C. Jesus’s role as priest was greater than that of any man’s because He was not a levitical priest from the line of Aaron, but His priesthood was from that of Melchizedek. Jesus’ role was that of a Kingly Priest.

Jesus’ compassion was greater than any human priest -

vs. 7 we read “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, “ Not only did the High Priest have to be Human he had to be humane. Jesus left the Glory of heaven and took on the likeness of man to fulfill a couple of roles. One of those roles was that of Priest. Verse 2 we read that the high priest could have compassion and gentleness, however Jesus is so much more gentle and merciful. . In vv. 7–8 we are told of the “training” Christ received as He endured suffering while here on earth. Keep in mind that, as God, Christ needed nothing; but as the Man who would one day become High Priest, it was necessary for Him to experience trials and suffering, a theme discussed in 2:10–11. The Jews might look down upon Christ and question His deity because of the suffering He endured. These sufferings, however, are the very mark of His deity. God was preparing His Son to be the sympathetic High Priest of His people.
Someone may ask, “But can the Son of God really know our trials better than another man would, such as Aaron?” Yes! To begin with, Christ was perfect and experienced each trial totally. He was tested to the full, tasting every temptation men and Satan had to offer. This means that He went beyond anything any mortal man could endure, since most of us give in before a test really gets difficult. A bridge that has endured fifty tons of weight has experienced more testing than one that has felt but two tons.
Jesus ‘ compassion is universal not selective
Jesus knew our struggle -
Jesus knows our deepest hurts and pains 1 Sam 16:7

Jesus did not offer sacrifices, He was the sacrifice

vs 8-10 we read “8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

APPLICATION

So how can we apply what we have learned today
We do not rely on any man/ woman for our spiritual health not even ourselves - There is a gap between man and God, but Jesus fills those gaps
One of the reasons Jesus was greater was His great compassion and gentleness - a quality that his followers must exhibit
Allowing the gravity of Jesus’ sacrifice compel us to live with Higher standards - Live you life as if your king were walking beside you
INVITATION
What about you today? You are a man or women just like The Human Priest. With all the same faults and sins who has to ask forgiveness of their sins before ever asking God to help another. Maybe you struggle with the same doubts, fears, anger, and weak faith, maybe you never chose to follow Jesus. You never committed to Live for Jesus.
If you are here today and you are not a Christian. If you are here today and have never believed that Christ died on the cross so that you can have forgiveness of sins and you know that you are not saved from God’s judgment I want to encourage you do not leave this place without getting right with God. The apostle Paul writes in the book of Romans verses 9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.”
If you are here today and you are not a Christian. If you are here today and have never believed that Christ died on the cross so that you can have forgiveness of sins and you know that you are not saved from God’s judgment I want to encourage you do not leave this place without getting right with God. The apostle Paul writes in the book of Romans verses 9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.”
Paul also writes in verse 13 that, “For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That word whoever means you. You can experience God’s amazing grace today. You can experience God’s forgiveness today. The apostle Paul makes it clear that if you call on the Lord, you will be saved. How do you call on the Lord? How do you ask Him to save you? You repent of your sinfulness, and through prayer, you simply ask Him to save you. When I committed my life to Jesus, I prayed a simple prayer. On a stool at a Dunkin Donuts about 2:30 in the morning I prayed, “Lord Jesus I am a sinner, and I need a savior, Jesus, please save me. I commit my life to you.” That was it I simply called on the name of the Lord, and He saved me. I want to encourage you to pray and ask Jesus to save you today. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. Today is the day of salvation. In a moment, we are going to have our closing hymn. I am asking you if you want to be a Christian today, if you want to commit your life to Jesus today, during our final hymn just step out and walk down the aisle. I would love to help you and guide you in this commitment. If you are not able to, it is ok to pray right there where you are. But don’t let another minute go by without responding to Jesus. If you do decide to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please come and see me after the service so that I can pray for you and talk a bit.
Paul also writes in verse 13 that, “For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That word whoever means you. You can experience God’s amazing grace today. You can experience God’s forgiveness today. The apostle Paul makes it clear that if you call on the Lord, you will be saved. How do you call on the Lord? How do you ask Him to save you? You repent of your sinfulness, and through prayer, you simply ask Him to save you. When I committed my life to Jesus, I prayed a simple prayer. On a stool at a Dunkin Donuts about 2:30 in the morning I prayed, “Lord Jesus I am a sinner, and I need a savior, Jesus, please save me. I commit my life to you.” That was it I simply called on the name of the Lord, and He saved me. I want to encourage you to pray and ask Jesus to save you today. Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. Today is the day of salvation. In a moment, we are going to have our closing hymn. I am asking you if you want to be a Christian today, if you want to commit your life to Jesus today, during our final hymn just step out and walk down the aisle. I would love to help you and guide you in this commitment. If you are not able to, it is ok to pray right there where you are. But don’t let another minute go by without responding to Jesus. If you do decide to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please come and see me after the service so that I can pray for you and talk a bit.
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