Think about our Great High Priest
Why consider this subject in Hebrews?
The subject in Hebrews, found not just in 1 section in Hebrews but 3:
2:14-3:1 – The Priest who succours: 'βοηθέω' : 'boetheo' :from 2 Greek words – one meaning to hear and the other meaning to run, He runs on hearing our cry! The responsiveness of our Great High Priest. I believe He is able to meet my need. Do I believe He is willing? Do I cry?
4:14-5:11 – The Priest who sympathises
chps 7 to 9 – The Priest who Saves
The Solution to the Problem of Hebrews:
Departure from the sanctuary
Disregard of the Word
Discouragement from the world
The solution to these problems is found in the High Priestly ministry of Christ – He brings us into the sanctuary from which we have departed and brings out a word for our souls.
It is the High Priestly ministry of the Lord Jesus which deals with my sin and brings me into the sanctuary (7:19; 9:1-8; 10:19ff)
The Great Rediscovery of Hebrews – what makes a Christian a Christian!
A better Hope (7:19)
A better Covenant (7:22; 8:6)
A better Sacrifice (9:23)
A better Substance (10:34)
A better Country (11:16)
A better Resurrection (11:35)
Better things (11:40)
Not only better things but things which 'we have' :
'we have a great High Priest' (4:14)
'we have a hope' (6:19)
'we have such a High Priest' (8:1)
'we have received the knowledge of the truth' (10:26)
'we have an altar' (13:10)
A Priest who Succors (2:18)
A Priest who Sympathises (4:15)
A Priest who Saves (7:25)
David: the forgotten background to Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:4-14 – 7 OT quotes
Christ is superior to angels
All 7 quotes are from the life of David
In the life of that great king there was the experience of the priestly care of His God
That priestly care was mediated by men
Not by one priest but by many
3 in particular:
Ahimelech (1 Sam 21)
Zadok (2 Sam 15)
Melchizedek (Psalm 110)
In these 3 priestly men we have 3 pictures of what we have in Christ:
Ahimelech (1 Sam 21)
The priest who met David in his need
The priest who brought bread from the sanctuary
Ahimelech is the priest who succoured
He did that at great personal cost – cost him his life
He died for David and died to meet Davids need
'Ahimelech' – 'my brother is king'
Ahimelech – a consecrated man – not every priest truly was: Eli – disqualified by weakness, Hophni and Phinehas by world and the flesh.
Consecrated bread brought by a consecrated man for the needs of a consecrated people (21:4-5); the people must be consecrated too; they need an appetite for the bread, an appreciation of the bread and to see their need for the bread. We won't enjoy the bread if we are sleeping!
Sometimes God brings the bread and we are not there to enjoy it!
This bread was:
Not secular – illustrations from the internet
Not second hand – oft repeated statements
Not superficial – 'study to show thyself approved unto God...'
Zadok (2 Sam 15)
Zadok accompanied David as he fled from Jerusalem as Absalom tried to usurp the throne.
Zadok went out with a weeping king (15:30) and a weeping people (15:23)
Zadok the priest who sympathised
Zadok of course returned to Jerusalem at the insistence of David and continued to be a covert sympathiser for David in Jerusalem
Zadok is the priest who gives counsel and help from the sanctuary (2 Sam 17:15).
A priest who though geographically distant (cf. Heb 4:14) 'passed into the heavens' is spiritually and emotionally close.
A priest who sympathises with us (Heb 4:15) because He has been through the same things we have.
The place where we find Him: 'The throne of grace' and in 2 Sam 15 we find Zadok with the ark of the covenant (2 Sam 15:24) and it is Zadok who has his place with the Ark when it is finally returned to Jerusalem in the reign of David in 1 Chron 16.
Zadok: name appears 49 X in scripture
Melchizedek (Psalm 110)
The Priest who Saves
A King Priest
New life emanates from His presence:
'Most willing will be thy people
In the day of thy power
Thine offspring shall be like the dew
from the womb of early dawn
Radiant in holiness'
(Psalm 110:3 – Spurrell)
Priest who succors (2:18)
Hebrews chp 2
The background lies in Psalm 8
This is the background to His Succor; to the High Priestly ministry of Christ
Psalm 8 – drawing from the promises made to Adam but never truly fulfilled in Adam
Adam made to have 'dominion over the works of thy hands' (Ps 8:6; cf Gen 1:28)
To what does Psalm 8 refer?
To Adam Historically?
But Adam failed in his purpose!
Psalm 8 is then a celebration of the frustration of Divine purpose!
To Man Ideally?
What do you mean by ideally?
Is it true or is it not true?
To Christ Prophetically?
Psalm 8 thus refers to 'another world' in which will be fulfilled by Christ Gods ultimate purpose for man.
What is the significance of Psalm 8 for the High Priestly ministry of Christ?
'thou hast put all things under His feet'
All things including:
As I come to Him as my Great High Priest I come to one who is in control of all things.
If there would be anything that would prevent the Lord Jesus from giving you help it would be this:
A problem too great for Him to deal with
An enemy too strong
A matter too big
Sometimes people come to you for help, but there is nothing you can do to help them; the problem is too great for you to deal with.
what about the Saviour?
Is there any problem too big for Him?
Any problem that He cannot deal with?
Is this not why we have the section on the High Priestly ministry of Christ open up with the Power of Christ over Satan?
I come to one who has won, completed and finished His victory over my very greatest enemies: the Devil, death and hell and the grave!
He has effected:
Destruction of Satan (2:14)
Resurrection through death (2:14)
Reconciliation with God (2:17)
Since He has won this victory over my very greatest enemy I can have confidence to come to Him with all other problems, knowing that these other needs pale into insignificance by comparison!
There are no 'no go areas for Christ' (2:14)
'through death He might destroy him that had the power of death...'
'power' : 'kratos' : 'dominion'
Christ has 'power' : 'kratos' over all things in 6 doxologies in scripture:
1 Tim 6:16
1 Peter 4:11
1 Peter 5:11
This final victory over death and the Devil secures the accolade to Christ that He has all power and dominion in these 6 doxologies.
Lets look at the illustration in the life of David
Lets look at the sanctuary of Ahimelech
What do we find hidden behind the ephod?
Goliaths own sword!
Used to slay Goliath by David in the valley of Elah!
Backing up the ministry of Ahimelech was the presence, in the sanctuary of the sword of Goliath, the weapon belonging to Goliath that had been used against him!
This gave substance to the ministry of the sanctuary!
Priest who sympathises (4:15)
Priest who saves (7:25)