To die for, part 2 (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. He filled the 3 offices of priest, prophet and king. In Hebrews 4,14, Jesus is referred to as “a great high priest.” At that time, the Hebrews were taken from their traditional Judaism to their new faith in Christ. They had always had a priest who went before God as their mediator, so Christ became that high priest.

There were approximately 84 high priests from Aaron to Christ. Every year, the priest would have to make an atonement for the sins of the people. They had to provide a sacrifice. The priest would go into the “holy of holies” once a year to make atonement. This was not to take away the sins, but to cover them. Animals would be used as a substitute for their sins.

Even today, Jesus makes continual intercession on our behalf as the great high  priest. His ministry did not stop when He ascended into heaven. Jesus’ earthly ministry may have ended, but His work is still not finished. He is the one begotten Son of the one true God. He is part of the trinity of the God-head (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

Jesus was all God, but also all man. He is the only perfect sacrifice we could have. He was the only perfect man who resisted all sin and temptation. The high priest had to first cover his own sin before he could come into the presence of God. We don’t hold closely enough to Jesus as the atonement for our sins. Too often, we cling to other earthly things more than we hold fast to Jesus.

Our high priest, our king, our prophet had all the characteristics of a human: hunger, thirst, emotions, etc. He was lied about and betrayed. He was tempted just as we are. Yet He knew no sin. In our time of need, we obtain mercy before the throne of grace. In the Old Testament, they could not approach the throne with the same boldness we do under the new covenant.

In the Old Testament, God sat upon the mercy seat. Now we have our high priest, Jesus, upon the throne of grace & interceding for us. We are not worthy of anything God’s grace gives us. But He loves us to the extent that He “snatches us back” from sin and condemnation.

We call the “Lord’s Prayer” by that name, but it can’t really be the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus had no trespasses to forgive. So it should really be ccalled the “Beliver’s Prayer.”

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