Christ, Our Priest

Christ, Our Priest

Scripture: Hebrews 8:1-2, Psalms 110:1-5, Genesis 14:18-20
Date: 11/23/2013  Lesson: 8
"This week we will study the work of Jesus during His daily ministry and see some of the practical ramifications that His work has for us. We can, indeed, draw great comfort from knowing that Jesus is now standing in the presence of God, ministering the merits of His sacrifice in our behalf."

The High Cost of the Cross (PB) by Joe Crews

The High Cost of the Cross (PB) by Joe Crews
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church right here in Sacramento, California. We're so glad that you're tuning in. Whether you're joining us live on our website at 'saccentral.org' or on the various television networks, or you're listening on the radio, it doesn't matter. We're just glad that you are joining us and you're part of our extended family around the world. We're ready here in the sanctuary.

We've warmed up our voices and we're ready to sing your favorites that you have sent in. Our first song - #523 - 'my faith has found a resting place'. We're going to sing all four stanzas. This is a request from julie in Canada, joyce-lum in cameroon, Karen in montserrat, and allan and janice in the united arab emirates and many more of our family around the world. #523 - All four stanzas - 'my faith has found a resting place'.

'I need no other evidence, I need no other plea, it is enough that Jesus died and rose again for me.' What other evidence do you need when you see what Jesus can do in someone's life? I think that's evidence that he did rise and he's working in each of us. If you have a favorite that you want to sing with us on an upcoming program, it's really simple. You just go to our website at 'saccentral.org' and click on the 'contact us' link and you can send in your favorite song and we'll do our best to sing that for you on an upcoming program. And start sending in your Christmas songs, it is time. So go to our website, click on the 'contact us' link and send in your favorite Christmas songs and we're going to start singing those sooner than later.

Our next song is #79. This is our new one for this week as we're continuing working our way through the hymnal singing songs we've never heard before. #79 - 'O love of God, how strong and true!' This is from tim and jess in australia, helena in grenada, josefin in ireland and assenth in Mexico and some others around the world. We're going to sing all five stanzas because it's very short. #79 - Join with us.

Let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, we know that you love us and just like the song said, that your love is deeper and stronger than man's hate. And we know how people can hate. We know how it devours people's hearts and their lives and they're consumed by it. But when we look at you and we realize that you love us even more - father we stand in awe.

We thank you so much for the love that you do have for us and I pray that we will show your love to this world - the world that is full of hate and evil - that we can be lights and share your love with others. Please be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together right now. We thank you so much for pastor Doug Batchelor and his ministry here at central and around the world and I pray that you will give him the words that you have for us this morning. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Thank you very much to our singers. Welcome everybody to Sacramento central Sabbath school and we're glad that we can be studying God's Word together again today. We have a free offer that goes along with our lesson today and that free offer is called 'assurance: justification made simple' and if you'd like a copy of this all you have to do is call the number. -Study-more - that's -866-788-3966 and we'll send you this book on assurance. People want to know 'how can I have assurance of salvation and yet, at the same time, not be presumptuous?' And so we'll give that to you for free.

And, you know, I just want to say a special greeting to our friends that are in china. Since I saw you last I was in hong kong and they had a convocation there and a lot of people came even from the mainland of china over to hong kong and they said, 'we watch central study hour. We participate in the Sabbath school class.' And that was just thrilling to hear. They don't do it so much by satellite there as they do by internet. But I want to greet our friends that are watching in china and I want to welcome, in advance, our friends that study with us in romania because we'll be - in a couple of weeks we'll be on the other side of the planet and I'll be - Pastor Ross and I'll be going to romania and doing some evangelism there.

My first trip - we've got a whole romanian congregation here at central church and I've never been to romania and so we're looking forward to that. We'll see our friends in bucharest. And it's always encouraging when we see the letters coming in from around the world - people that study with us. Our study guide today - we're continuing going through a variety of studies on the sanctuary. A very important study - all through the Bible the sanctuary appears and one of the most important things we can study is today's lesson 'Christ our high priest'.

We have a number of verses that talk about that theme and our memory verse comes to us from Hebrews 8:1 and 2. I always appreciate if you could say it with me. Hebrews 8:1 and 2, and today it's coming from the new American standard Bible. That's one of my favorite translations - the new American standard Bible. One more time, Hebrews 8:1 and 2 - you ready? "Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.

" Now there, when it talks about a true tabernacle, it's not being opposed to a false tabernacle, it's talking about the real heavenly tabernacle as opposed to the man-made ones that were on earth. And in opposition to the priesthood of men on earth, it's talking about the priesthood of Christ in heaven. But yet the Lord still has a priesthood on earth of sorts. Do you have your Bible? To better understand the high priest we need to know something about the low priests and so turn to - let's see, I think it's in 2 Peter chapter 2 - I'm sorry, 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 9. Now a priest usually ministers in a building, right? So is there still a priesthood in the world today? Now I'm not talking about the pope and his priests, I'm talking about biblically is there still a priesthood in the world today? Yes.

Is there still a temple in the world today? Yes, there's still a temple on earth. It's a spiritual temple but it's very real and the Bible tells us in Ephesians 2, 'we are living stones building up a spiritual house'. Jesus is not only the lamb and the high priest, he's the cornerstone. Jesus said, 'destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I'll raise up one made without hands' - speaking of what? His church - his body - his church is called 'the body of Christ' and so there is a spiritual house. Paul said, 'what? Don't you know that ye' - collectively - 'ye are the temple of God'.

And in the same way that we compose the Spiritual temple, there is a spiritual priesthood and you see here in 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 9, "but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;" so right away we see part of the work of a priest is to proclaim. Now we're going to - well let's - maybe I'll start with a definition for a priest. And this is sort of a composite of definitions that you would find in merriam webster and wikipedia if that can be trusted. But it seemed accurate to me. A priest is 'a person authorized, ordained, or set apart to perform the sacred rituals of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and a deity or deities' - depending on if it's a pagan priesthood - 'to represent the said deity.

The priest's duties may include preaching, teaching, blessing and judging between parties.' And so that just kind of gives you an overview of what a priest's responsibilities might be. And then the high priest would sort of be the priest in charge of all the other priests. It's the supreme priest. We have a whole section that deals with that. Now going into our lesson right away, I want someone to look up for me Revelation 20, verse 6.

We've given out some verses - right over here. Andrew, get the microphone. And we'll get to you in just a moment. Before we do I'm talking about that spiritual priesthood again. Three examples just in Revelation.

There are others. I just read you one from Peter. Revelation 1:6, "and has made us Kings and priests to his God and father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." That was Revelation 1:6. If we go to Revelation 5:10 - "and have made us Kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.

" It tells us we're going to heaven but it says ultimately we reign on earth. Now we have, if we're ready, go ahead and do Revelation 20, verse 6. Are we ready? Yes we are. Revelation 20, verse 6, "blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

" Okay, I want you to notice something, when did Jesus begin serving as our high priest? Well, specifically, when you read our memory verse here it says, 'this is the main point, we have such a high priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty and the heavens.' When he ascended and he presented his blood he really entered into his priestly work. I'm sure Jesus was mediating and doing other things that a priest might do but he really entered into his work in a specific way following his sacrifice, because if a priest has no blood to offer it's not the full priesthood at that point. And when did the Spiritual priesthood begin? Of all believers? Well, prior to Christ there was a line within a tribe that were priests but now, being a nation of priests, that began at the same time. Okay, here's the next question: when do we cease to be a nation of priests? The church? Well, the verses we just read it's talking about even beyond the millennium - forever. You know, we'll get to it more in a little bit but the Bible - well, I'll go ahead and read it now.

Yeah, let's look at Hebrews 6, verse 19 - a lot of our verses today are from Hebrews - let me just read this to you. Hebrews 6, verses 19 and 20, "this hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become high priest forever" - how long is he going to be high priest then? - "Forever according to the order of melchizedek." So if he's the high priest forever and we just read that we will be priests and Kings with him and it's talking about even beyond the millennium - even beyond sin being dealt with - then how long are we priests? Forever. So what is the work of a priest? Is it to just constantly be offering blood, or it is also to proclaim? Didn't we just read 'to proclaim the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.' Why did the levites get ten percent? Why did they get the tithe? What was their work? Were they to do anything in exchange for that? The levites didn't all offer sacrifice, that was The Sons of aaron, but all the levites received of the tithe because they had a job to do, along with the children of aaron, to go and to teach and to preach the things of God. Will we have a work to do as ambassadors for God through eternity? Are we going to be proclaiming the praises of the one who saved us - among unfallen worlds and angels - through eternity? So in that respect we're going to continue with some of the proclamation part of the priesthood. And we are also there to represent God.

That's another very important part of a priest - to represent God. And, alright, I tell you what, someone look up for me - we're going to talk about melchizedek - Jesus a priest like melchizedek. Someone look up for me psalm 110 - psalm 110, verse 4. Who - someone got that verse? Hold your hand up if you got that slip of paper with a - psalm 110, verse 4. I'm not seeing any takers and we'll take a volunteer from the floor who's willing to read that for us.

We've got a hand right behind mike here. Hold your hand up so the microphone people can see you. You see her? Okay, we'll get to you in just a second. Now first, if we're going to understand how Jesus is a priest like melchizedek, we've got to go back to the first mention of melchizedek. Revelation 14:18 - no, no - Genesis, sorry - Genesis 14:18.

I had the verse of Revelation just above that. And here's the experience: "then melchizedek king of salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God most high." - Notice that, he's the priest of jehovah - "and he blessed him" - blessed Abraham - "and said, 'blessed be abram of God most high, possessor of heaven and earth and blessed be God most high who has delivered your enemies into your hand.' And he" - it's telling us Abraham - "gave him" - melchizedek - "a tithe of all." Tithes of what? Of what he had just obtained during his victory and battle. So to give you the background, lot and his family and the people of sodom and gomorrah are conquered in a war by chedolaomer - these five Kings of the north - they come down, they fight with sodom and gomorrah and four of the cities of the plain and they win. They put the city to the torch, probably, and they take all of the bounty of the war and they carry it up north. One of the people comes and tells Abraham, lot and his family and all these people of sodom and gomorrah and the cities have been conquered and Abraham prays and God says, you know, 'go rescue them.

' Kind of like God told David to go rescue the captives from ziklag. And so Abraham gets the 300 trained servants in his house - he's got servants in his house that are actually trained for war - Abraham had a very big household - and he gets together with mamre and some of the other powerful sheiks in his country. They all go together and they fight against these Kings from damascus and they're celebrating. They were not prepared to be attacked and they're overcome. Abraham and his forces attack them by night and they win.

They bring back not only lot and his family but they get all of the possessions that these Kings had acquired in their raids and it's a great bounty - just camels laden with gold and treasure. And Abraham says, 'look, I'm not going to take for myself anything - just what belongs to the soldiers for their rights of war - but I'm going to take ten percent of all this bounty of the victory and I'm going to give it to the high priest of the country, who serves the true God, named melchizedek. Now melchizedek is much debated and many believe this is a real mystery, but he's a type of Christ and - go ahead, read for us. I think I gave you Psalms 110, verse 4. Read that for us and you'll understand why it's referred to a lot in the new testament.

"the Lord has sworn and will not relent, 'you are a priest forever according to the order of melchizedek.'" Alright, thank you. The word melchizedek has a key right in the word that tells us something about how this king/priest is a type of Christ. The word melchizedek means 'king of righteousness'. Well, right away, Jesus is our king of righteousness. But then, if you look in Hebrews chapter 5, verse 9 and it says, "and having been perfected, he became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him, called by God as high priest 'according to the order of melchizedek' of whom we have much to say," - and you read through Hebrews and Paul has a lot to say about melchizedek - "and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

" Paul is basically saying to the Hebrews he's writing to, 'you need to be able to put on your spiritual thinking cap to understand this - that Christ is a high priest, not after the order so much of aaron as much as the order of melchizedek, because way back when God called Abraham, melchizedek was already a high priest. Now, when God called Abraham, there was a specific people. But melchizedek was a high priest before Abraham was even called as a specific people, meaning he was a priest of God to all people back then. He appears out of nowhere. The Bible says - you can read, for instance, Hebrews 7 - another one - Hebrews 7, verse , "for this melchizedek, king of salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the Kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated 'king of righteousness,' and then also king of" - let me see here, I messed up - "'king of righteousness,' and then also king of salem, meaning 'king of peace,' without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like The Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils." Alright, some say, because it says that melchizedek was without beginning or end, that he was eternal - he didn't die - and that melchizedek was really the Holy Spirit that Abraham paid tithes to. No, I don't believe that. I believe melchizedek was a real person. The reason it says 'without beginning of days' - it's just saying that he has no genealogy. You know, typically, when someone appears in the Bible it tells what people they come from and most of the prominent people mentioned can be traced to some nation or genealogy that you find there in Genesis.

But here melchizedek appears, apparently out of nowhere, he's called 'the King of righteousness' and there's been a lot of speculation about 'who is he?' Now, I'll tell you one theory that's very interesting and it does kind of work. And I'm not totally subscribing to this but many have wondered if melchizedek was shem - shem, The Son of Noah. Are you aware that melchizedek, in this battle with the Kings, this all takes place in about bc and shem was still alive then. Matter of fact, shem lived another 45 or 50 years beyond that. And the theory is that after abram, because of the idolatry that had come in around the tower of babel and among the people there, when God called him out of ur of the chaldees, shem was still alive, as were his brothers, and Noah was even alive for a little while, up to the tower of babel, and when Noah left and tereh left and they went to heron, it wasn't long after that then, things got so bad that shem said, 'I've heard that God has called abram to this land of canaan where he's going to be established.

I'm going to follow him.' And so shem came with his family and they moved to a country called salem, which later is known as jerushalom - it just means 'peace'. This is where Jerusalem was later situated and he's a type of Christ. Now, he would have been in his th year, but he lived 600 years. Who would have been a worshiper of the most high God, living among the canaanites, that Abraham would have seen as superior to himself, to whom he would have paid tithe, feeling confident that that tithe was going to the priest of the most high God. Priests were typically the heads of families.

Who was the priest for the family of job? Job was. And who was the priest for the family of Jacob? Jacob was. Jacob said, 'let us go to bethel and we'll offer sacrifice.' Who offered sacrifice? The high priest for the family was the patriarch. So this is an aged patriarch - melchizedek. Don't know, can't prove it - it could be that one - you know, sometimes Bible characters had more than one name that were descriptive and him being called 'king of righteousness' - I mean, here's somebody that lived and saw the world before the flood and the fact that shem was still alive, he would have been looked upon as the patriarch of patriarchs.

And his brothers may have stayed in mesopotamia. The line of Jesus came through shem. Could have been shem. I don't know, I'm just saying that's an interesting theory. And he probably died about 1796 bc near as we can tell.

By the way, I've mentioned this before, but if you want to see some of these dates and ages and how they overlap, Amazing Facts spent about a year and a half developing an internet timeline. It's free - it's for Bible study and it shows all the Bible characters and Bible history on a timeline and how the prominent characters their lives overlapped and it's on a graph that you can move back and forth. It's really neat. It shows the times and the ages and if you want to look at that it's just - go to 'Biblehistory.com'. It's really easy - 'Biblehistory.

com' and you'll see how the life of shem overlapped with the life of abram. So he could have been melchizedek. Look at the - look at the clues now about how he's a type of Christ. It says, 'without beginning of days' - well his genealogy is not mentioned. The Bible says Jesus is from everlasting to everlasting.

Is Jesus our king of righteousness? That's what melchizedek means. Is he our king of peace? Isn't he? What does melchizedek do when Abraham comes to him? He brings forth bread and wine. What did Jesus do to seal the covenant with the apostles there at the last supper? What are the two principle emblems that are used? It's bread and wine. Is Jesus the King of the earthly Jerusalem or the new Jerusalem? You see all the parallels that we see. And he's the high priest, not for just one tribe or one people, but for all people.

And so he's compared to a high priest like melchizedek. Alright, moving along here, if we look in - another example - Hebrews 2, verse 17, "therefore, in all things he had to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted." Something else we learn about the high priest - the high priest was made from among the people. It's unusual to have a high priest who comes from another people and another country to say, 'I'm going to be priest over your people and your country. The high priest usually can relate to the people.

He's to represent the people. He's to mediate among the people. He comes from among the people. Does Jesus know how we feel? Is he a high priest who is able to sympathize and empathize with what we struggle with? Someone read for me Hebrews :15. Who has that? Let's get you a microphone.

Hebrews 4:15 and they'll let me know when we're ready for that. In the meantime, I'm going to read Hebrews 6, verses 19 and 20. It says, "this hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become high priest forever" - we already read this. High priest for how long? Forever - "according to the order of melchizedek." An anchor of the soul. What is an anchor used for? It's something that secures.

It's something you can tie off to. And because Jesus is in the very presence of The Father and he is our friend, we can tie our faith on Christ. Alright, I think we're ready. Hebrews 4:15. "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

" Can Jesus be a sympathetic high priest? Does he know how we feel? Was he tempted in all points as we are tempted? Can you ever say, 'Lord, you have no idea what I've been through?' You know, Jesus knows how you feel and he would have known if he had never even come to earth and lived as a man because just by virtue of being God, God knows everything, right? So there's nothing that Jesus doesn't know. But one reason that he was tempted in all points as we have been is so we will know that he knows. It helps us say, 'I really know that he knows because he was one of us. He lived as us.' We can never wag our fingers at God and say, 'you have no idea because you're not a human.' But he does know. He would have known either way because he's God, but he does know and he was tempted in all points like we are.

Now you might say, 'well, Jesus was never tempted with heroin or cigarettes.' Well, temptation really falls under three categories: you've got the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Those three temptations that Jesus experienced in the wilderness, they covered the whole spectrum of temptation. And those were not the only times the devil tempted him. Jesus was hounded by the devil all through his life. He was tempted in the garden of Gethsemane.

By the way, is it a sin to be tempted? No, we're all tempted. Giving in to temptation is something different. So we have a high priest who's on our side. So when he goes before the father and we pray in his name, is he able to be a faithful advocate and intercessor for us? That's our next section: 'advocate and intercessor'. Someone look up for me 1 John 2, verses 1 and 2.

Okay, mike has that right down in front. We'll get you the microphone. And in the meantime I'm going to read Romans 8:31. 'Jesus our advocate and intercessor'. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." You know, it's sometimes said, 'it's not what you know it's who you know.' And we think, 'well, you know, if you get a speeding ticket and then you're forgiven because you know somebody in the district attorney's office or you know the judge or you know somebody in the dmv, that's just not fair. And so we don't like that idea 'it's not what you know it's who you know.' We say, 'we want justice.' But all of us like it when we do know somebody that can help us with a situation. Or maybe you're trying to get to know - you're trying to get the attention of someone in high places to get him to invest in a project or to represent you or you want to appeal for a raise or whatever it is. Knowing someone who knows the boss or knows the owner or knows the governor - it's always kind of nice when you know someone who knows someone really important and they can bring your case before that person, right? Unfortunately, everybody knows, in American politics, it's not just what you know it's who you know and how much you donate to their campaign fund. And by donation you get to know them and they'll represent you.

I'd like to say that's not true but I think everyone here knows it is true. Well, here we have somebody that knows The Father that loves us. It's nice to have friends in high places. Do we have a friend in the high place? We do. And so, he is there to represent us.

And so, when others are condemning and accusing and pointing fingers, how does Jesus feel about that if you belong to him? Does the Lord defend his own? Now don't give the devil a reason to point his finger. But let me give you an example quickly from the Bible. When mary magdalene - we're assuming it was mary - that woman that was caught in the act of adultery - John chapter 8 - and she's brought into the temple and all the religious leaders begin to point their fingers and accuse her and say she should be stoned. How does Jesus feel about that? He sees mary is sorry, she's repentant, she's terrified and he becomes, really, Jesus becomes a defender of the defenseless in that story and he begins to write down the sins of her accusers. the Lord doesn't like when people are accusing others.

The devil is called the accuser of the brethren. And gradually, one by one, they all go out. And he says, 'woman, where are you accusers? Has no man condemned you?' She said, 'no man Lord.' He said, 'neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.' the Lord was not making an excuse for sin, but he also made it clear he doesn't want to condemn. 'He that spared not his own son but gave him up for us.

How much shall he not also with him freely give us all things?' So not only does he want to forgive us, he's given his son that we might be saved. How much does God want us to be saved? So often I meet people, especially young people, and they think, 'oh, man, I'm such a mess. I fall so much. I don't know how God could ever save me.' And I say, 'well do you think that the Lord would give so much to save something that couldn't be saved?' I mean, we'll all make - we'll take a risk and we'll invest and make a sacrifice if we think it'll do some good. But if we think it's hopeless, who wants to waste their money? Would God have paid so much and given so much if it wasn't possible for you to be saved? Would he? Would you give your son as a sacrifice if it wasn't possible to save what you're sacrificing him for? See what I'm saying? The very fact that he made such a big sacrifice means there's a very big possibility for you to be saved.

And the very fact that Christ is there - The Father loved us so much he gave his son and The Son is at the right hand of the father interceding on our behalf, do we have a lot going for us? Then if we'll cooperate - that's where we get scared. What about me? We're the weak link in the chain, right? If we'll cooperate with Jesus we've got everything in heaven pulling for us, amen? And so we should remember that. He's our advocate. Alright, read that verse for us. John 2, verses 1 and 2.

1 John 2, verses 1 and 2, "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. And he himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." Yeah, that word 'propitiation' and boy, I struggled with that for awhile because we typically don't use that in our modern-day language. It's really saying that he is the ransom - he is the substitute for our sins and not just for ours, for the whole world. Can you think, in the Bible, of a story of someone who was an advocate for a king in behalf of others? I've heard things but I can't hear what I'm hearing.

Esther? Did Esther go before a king to intercede for her people? Did she do it at great personal risk? What was normally the decree for someone who came before the King uninvited? Death. She put her life on the line as an advocate to appeal for her people. And did the King hear her appeal? He held out the golden scepter - why? Because he loved her. Does God The Father love Jesus? And if he's appealing on our behalf, do we have a good chance? Yes. And how eloquently did Esther appeal? She poured out her heart to the king.

She said, 'take me - make us as slaves, but please spare our lives.' And Jesus is pleading - and sometimes we get this picture and I probably contributed to the misconception - I think we all do sometimes - that because Jesus is pleading and serving as a mediator and an advocate before The Father, that we have this picture that The Father is up there saying, 'let me at 'em, boy. I can't wait to destroy those sinners. Ah, they're wicked and I'm going to judge them. Just get out of my way.' And Jesus said, 'no father, please.' And we have this picture that if it wasn't for Jesus The Father would roll right over us. Well, The Father sort of represents justice but does the father love us less than Jesus? God The Father so loved the world he gave his son.

So they're all in this together. Jesus said 'The Father himself loves you.' But just to help us understand that there's justice, and the father is sitting there as a king that needs to administer the justice and the penalty for our sins is death, and Jesus is pleading, as the intercessor, his blood and there you've got the King's mercy. And so, just remember The Father wants us to be saved and forgiven just as much as The Son. Jesus is our intercessor and he is our substitute. Alright, let's go ahead and look at 'Jesus as mediator' - Jesus as mediator.

A mediator is somebody who works with both sides in a dispute in an attempt to help them reach an agreement. Now you've already heard me allude to this, that when something is medium it's kind of halfway, and a mediator is someone who is between both parties and they're, ostensibly, supposed to be objective to help bring some kind of reconciliation. If you look, for instance - alright, someone look up for me Timothy 2, verses 3 through 5. Who has that verse? Richard - over here - thank you andrew. And I'll be reading Hebrews 8, verse 6, "but now he has obtained a more excEllent ministry, inasmuch as he is also mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

" And then we can also read Hebrews 9, verse 15, "and for this reason he" - Jesus - "is the mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." So he is there mediating and representing that we might receive that eternal inheritance. Alright, go ahead, I think we're ready. Richard, read 1 Timothy 2 - what is it, 3 through 5? "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Alright, so you mean we don't need to go to an earthly priest to mediate and confess our sins? How many mediators are there between God and man? There's one. You don't have to go through the pastor.

You don't have to go through the priest. You don't have to go through the elder. The wonderful thing about salvation is that each of us can make a direct approach to the father by going directly to and through Jesus. Jesus is our mediator. Now why do we need a mediator? Why not go to The Father directly? You couldn't handle it.

Look at when that happened before. Deuteronomy 5 - this is a great illustration too - it's a Bible story - Deuteronomy 5:23. So when God gives the ten commandments, you hear it being repeated here in Deuteronomy 5, "so it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. And you said: 'surely the Lord our God has shown us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.

Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die." You know what that means? When God delivered the ten commandments, the Lord enabled them to barely survive hearing his voice - speaking with them - and the glory that they saw was all their eyes could barely endure. They knew if they heard it much longer, if they saw it much longer, if they were in the presence of God's glory much longer they would die. They could not survive it because God is a holy God. God is a consuming fire - the power of God. And so, you and I cannot go directly into the presence of God.

Our sins have separated us from God and so we need a mediator. So what did they say to Moses? It says, "if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore we shall die. For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?" Then they said, "you go near and hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it." So what are they saying to Moses? 'Look, somehow you're able to go up and talk to God. You're a holy man. He spoke to you.

He told you to bring us out of Egypt.' They said, 'you be the mediator. You talk to God and you bring us his message and we'll do it. You need to be the go-between.' So Moses is a type of Christ, isn't he? Matter of fact Moses said, "the Lord your God will raise up" - this is Deuteronomy 18:15 - "the Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me" - one of the ways that Jesus is like Moses is that he is the mediator. He's the transistor that connects heaven and earth, so to speak. Jesus is the ladder, he's the bridge - the cross is a bridge that, you know, there's this great gulf that separates us from heaven and the cross is the bridge that we lay down and go across that gulf.

And so Jesus is the mediator. That ladder that Jacob dreamed about, upon which the angels ascend and descend, that's Christ. He is the connecting link between heaven and earth. So Jesus is that mediator. Alright, and then the Bible also tells us Jesus is the great high priest.

Hebrews 10, verses 19 and 20, "therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, his flesh, and having a high priest over the house of God." Why is it important to know that Jesus is the high priest? In what way was the high priest different from the other priests? Were there privileges that only the high priest had? Who could only go into the holy of holies on the day of atonement? The high priest. The high priest had access to the presence of God that was the closest. And so when it tells us that Jesus is not only our priest but he's our high priest, that means that he has got the maximum access to the presence of God in our behalf. And so that's why it's important that we remember that. The other priests, they might go into the holy place, they might minister in the courtyard, but only the high priest could go right into the presence of the Lord.

You know, something else, historically, many kingdoms of many religions had priests and then they had high priests. Egypt - they had priests and they had high priests. Baal - they had priests and they had high priests. Sometimes it was a priestess, but there was the high priest and usually one of the other differentiations of the high priest - they had access to the monarch in a way that no other did. Not every priest could walk in and out of the palace before the King.

But the high priest typically had access to the King. Any of you ever play chess? What pieces do you have next to the King and the queen? The bishops. That's just - they're just considered one of the powerful pieces and it was right there. And you can see all through many of the ancient artwork that you had the monarch seated - you often then had the priest. You ever watch the wedding in england or a coronation in england? Who officiates a coronation and a wedding in england? Archbishop - the high priest of england.

And for the other kingdoms, like for charlemagne, it was the pope who would officiate. And so it was the high priest who had this access to the King. So Jesus has access as the high priest to the King of the universe and also to the presence of God in that special way. So it's good to know that he's the high priest. You know, one more thought here - I might have more than one thought, but part of the work of the priest was he was to represent God to the people.

Why did the priest have special garments? And the priest had a medallion that said, 'holiness to the Lord' above his head and he went through a special washing. Was the priest supposed to also be showing us what God is like - in his garments - in the rituals? It was all designed to also teach and represent something about this other kingdom of heaven - something about God. And so Christ is our high priest and we, as a nation of high priests, you can also use the word - I haven't used it yet - ambassador. A priest was an ambassador. He was there to represent another kingdom.

And, you know, the temple, to some extent, was an embassy. The sanctuary on earth was something like an embassy. When you entered it you entered, really, the enclave of another kingdom. Now you and I are ambassadors. Let me give you a couple of verses in the Bible that tell us this.

Corinthians 5:20, "now then, we are ambassadors for Christ." Why? Because we are a nation of priests. We are to represent another kingdom. I was in Washington a few weeks ago for a conference and they drove us down embassy row. Have you ever been there? They have this - this one road - I don't think all the embassies are there, but a lot of embassies are there and each one of them are like these little mini fiefdoms. They're like mini kingdoms and they've all got their unique - you know, you can tell some of the middle eastern ones they had all the wording in arabic and you could see from different kingdoms their flags flew above their embassy.

Their walls and their architecture looked very different - it looked like their countries. And once you went through, and they're often high security and they're guarded, and once you could get into those little fortresses - those embassies - you really were under the rules of a different kingdom. If you go overseas and you can enter an embassy, while you're on the grounds of that embassy, you are under the law of the United States of America, even though that embassy might be in tunisia, for example. Or that embassy might be in england or, you know, pick any part of the world. Most parts, not everywhere, we have embassies.

I remember we were in cameroon, africa and got into the hotel elevator with a marine. At that time our son Daniel was still in the marines, and he was in his dress uniform - all the buttons polished, blue - very sharp looking - and so I was chatting with him a little bit. He said, 'we're here for the fourth of July banquet.' I said, 'so you're celebrating the fourth of July?' He says, 'yes, I'm stationed with our embassy here and we celebrate all the holidays that you celebrate.' And so he said, 'you know, I'm stationed with the embassy.' And, basically, it's like a little piece of the united states in another country. Our churches should operate a little bit like the embassy. You know, when you meet these people who are ambassadors in Washington, d.

c., They are dressing in the clothes and speaking the language of their kingdom and they are to represent their king in another country. We are to be living like the rules of our king in another country, aren't we? We are to be speaking the language and following the lifestyle of our king. Let me give you some other examples. Of course, Jesus said, 'if you've seen me you've seen the father.' You look in Luke 14:31 - Jesus tells the parable, "or what king" - Luke 14:31 - "or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off," - before they actually get into a battle - "he sends an ambassage" - ambassadors and desires conditions of peace." So ambassadors are also there to help mediate terms of peace between kingdoms or people that are at war. You got that? Is this world at war with the king of Kings? Is there a Great Controversy going on? Are people able - it says 'what king - the King is coming, he's got twenty thousand, you've got ten thousand.

You better find terms of peace.' We're supposed to tell the world, 'hey, our king is coming and his army is a lot bigger than your army.' Isn't that right? 'And if you'd like to make peace you need to settle that before he gets here - while he's a great way off.' And so as ambassadors of another kingdom we ought to be representing that king in our lifestyle - in everything from our dress and what we eat and what - our words that we speak. We need to represent another kingdom. Isn't that right? So we're ambassadors and that's part of the work of the high priest. And then it says, and this is important - last part - one sacrifice - one sacrifice. Hebrews 10, verse 8 - Hebrews , verse 8, "previously saying, 'sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin you did not desire, nor had pleasure in them' (which are offered according to the law), then he said, 'behold, I have come to do your will, o God.

' He takes away the first that he may establish the second.'" - He's quoting from Psalms - "by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Now why does it say in Hebrews Jesus is offered once for all but then you read in Hebrews 6, verse 6, "if they fall away," - it's impossible - "to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put him to open shame." How can it say in one place he's crucified once for all and then say he's crucified again? What does it mean there in Hebrews? It says they're crucifying the Lord again. Is Jesus physically going to be dying again and again and again for sin? No. But is the Lord grieved when we sin? Yes. Is he wounded? Was he wounded for our transgressions? Yes. He's not continually dying for us, he died once for all.

His blood, though, how often is his blood applied? Once? Was his blood only applied when he ascended to heaven? Or is the blood of Jesus still applied whenever any sinner through history comes to Christ? So even though he is offered once, his blood, somehow kept fresh, and it's applied all through history whenever sinners need it. Amen? And so that's an important, I think, distinction that we need to make. And with that, the clock tells me we're out of time. I think we got through the best part of the lesson and so I want to remind our friends that we do have a free offer and it's a book called, 'assurance: justification made simple' - by yours truly. And if you'd like a free copy, offer #727 is what you ask for.

Call that number 866-study-more - 866-788-3966 and we'll send it to you. And God bless you until we study God's Word together again.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question

Back To Top