Hebrews Lesson 4: Jesus the Superior High Priest who Mediates and New and Better Covenant - Heb 8:1-13
In our passage today, the preacher summarizes the main point of this section and, arguably, of the whole book: "Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven" (8:1). After opening with some defining reasons why Jesus is the superior High Priest, he goes on to express how the covenant is so much superior to the old one - 1) it provides inward change; 2) it provides intimacy with God; 3) it provides knowledge of God; and 4) it provides complete and eternal forgiveness from sins. May we never lose sight of the privilege we have because of Jesus, our High Priest!!
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Fully half of the book of Hebrews (4:14-10:18) is devoted to the idea that Jesus is our High Priest. This is a concept which is likely foreign to most of us in that interactions with priests are not a part of our daily life. So it is necessary to pay close attention to the words of the text. In this first half of the 'high priest section' (4:14-7:28), the main idea is that Jesus is the High Priest who is in the order of this rather mysterious Old Testament character called Melchizedek. We explore this idea today by asking 3 questions: 1) what are Jesus' qualifications to be our great High Priest; 2) what does He do as our High Priest; 3) how are we called to respond to the truth that Jesus is our High Priest?
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Our preacher (author) uses language in this section of the book that implies urgency. There is no more important story in the history of the world than the story of Jesus. The preacher is anxious to know that all who read or hear this message will hear it clearly and also respond with a wholehearted response. May we be among those people!
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