TEXT: Hebrews 4:14-16
ETS: Jesus is our great High Priest.
ESS: The believer can live in confidence knowing that Jesus is his High Priest.
OSS: Believers will boldly seek Christ for the power to live for Him.
PQ: What makes our relationship with Christ so special?
TOPIC: “Our Great High Priest”
SERIES: “Oh, What a Savior”
Jesus, our great High Priest, is ever in the business of hearing and answering prayer.
A very timid woman wanted to participate in the visitation program of her church, but was petrified by the thought of actually visiting somebody. The pastor, sensing her anxiety, recommended that she pray before each visit. He noted God's promise to give peace which surpasses all understanding. A week later the woman was walking on Cloud Nine. She jubilantly told her pastor, "You were right--prayer works! Before each one of my visits I prayed that the people wouldn't be home, and they weren't!"
Prayer is built upon a solid relationship with our Great High Priest. That relationship is summed up in three words.
I. ASSURANCE (V. 14).
A The person of our High Priest gives us assurance.
1. He is the Savior.
(Luke 2:11) “ For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
(John 4:42) “ And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
2. He is the Son of God.
(Matthew 8:29) “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”
(Matthew 27:54) “Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”
B The place where our High Priest resides gives us assurance.
1. He was once on Earth and was where we are.
(John 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
2. He has passed into the heavens, the dwelling place of the father.
a) He is at the right hand of the Father.
(Colossians 3:1) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
b) He is our heavenly advocate.
(1 John 2:1) “ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
(Romans 8:34) “ Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
C The plan of our High Priest gives us assurance.
1. We are not to hold onto the things of this world . (1 John 2:15) “ Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
2. A very nervous airline passenger began pacing the terminal when the bad weather delayed his flight. During his walk, he ran across one of those life insurance machines. It offered $100,000 in the event of an untimely death aboard his flight. The policy was just three dollars. He looked out the window at the threatening clouds and thought of his family at home. For that price it was foolish not to buy, so he took out the coverage. He then looked for a place to eat. Airports now carry a good variety of eateries so he settled on his favorite, Chinese. It was a relaxing meal until he opened his fortune cookie. It read: "Your recent investment will pay big dividends."
3. The plan is for us to hold onto our profession of faith in Him.
a) In so doing we allow Him to do the keeping of our souls. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
II. ACCEPTANCE (V. 15).
A He is sympathetic with our feelings and weaknesses.
(Psalms 103:14) “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
1. He understands what we feel, for he experienced those feelings too. Note the following:
a) Jesus grew weary (John 4:6).
b) Jesus cried (John 11:35).
c) Jesus felt loneliness (Matthew 27:46).
d) Jesus felt discouragement with people (Matthew 17:17; John 14:9; Matthew 16:8)
B He shared in our problem of temptation.
1. He was tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11).
2. He was tempted in every way we are.
a) Panta = “in every way”
C He did not sin even in the midst of living as one of us.
1. cwriv amartiav = “without any sin”
III. ACCESS (V. 16).
A We are to come to Him to find grace and help when in need.
1. We must first realize that we can’t help ourselves.
2. We must recognize our utter dependence upon Him.
a) The old adage, “God helps those who help themselves.” Is not correct. He helps those who trust in Him. (Prov. 3:5-6).
3. We must recognize that what we receive from Him is grace!!!
(John 1:16) “ And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”
B We are to come boldly to seek His help.
1. parrhsia = boldness, confidence, freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech, openly, frankly
2. It is related of Alexander the Great that on one occasion a courtier asked him for some financial aid. The great leader told him to go to his treasurer and ask for whatever he wanted. A little later, the treasurer appeared and told Alexander the man had asked for a large sum and that he hesitated to pay out so much. "Give him what he asks for," replied the great conqueror. "He has treated me like a king in his asking, and I shall be like a king in my giving." Oh, for the realization of the greatness of the God to whom we come in prayer! From such a God we can only beg humbly; we cannot demand anything.
3. We are not to be timid about asking our Father in Heaven for help when we are in need.
a) What is it that you desperately need for Jesus to do for you?
(1) The salvation of a loved one?
(2) The restoration of the joy of salvation?
(3) Finances for the basic needs of life?
b) Note some scriptures:
(1) (Matthew 7:11)”If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
(2) (Matthew 7:7)”Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
(3) (James 4:2)”ye have not, because ye ask not.”
Jesus is our great High Priest. He is the one who understands us better than anyone else, yet loves and intercedes for us anyway. Seek Him now for the deepest needs you have. He will answer.