Forward in Faith #11
Able to Save
I told you that there was an accident where someone fell over a cliff and was hanging on the cliff tangled in a bush. Then if I told you a hero went over the edge freed the person from the bush and started bringing them up to the safety but before they reached the top, he dropped the person he had freed and they fell to their death, was the Hero Able to Save?
What if I told you that a person was in prison and the Warden let them out of solitary confinement and they had the free run of the prison. They could do anything they wanted, well that is until the day for their execution to be carried out because the Prison Warden didn’t have the authority for that, only the governor could pardon them and he wasn’t willing. Is the warden Able to Save?
If you feel like there is a theme working here over the last several weeks, WELL … I’m just following the teaching of the Holy Spirit here in this letter to the Hebrews. And he is wants to make sure that they understand something.
Read 7:23-28 – restate v25
Our writer again, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is making sure we understand the difference between Christ and the Old way or economy of Salvation.
He is better in three categories
The Priesthood, The Sacrifice, and the Covenant …
Let’s look at them … Because in Christ we have …
1. A Different Kind of Priest
A. PRIESTS HAVE COME AND GONE
I love verse 23 our writer states the obvious … we have had a LOT of priests. Why? Was it because they didn’t want to be priest or because they couldn’t do the job? Well while that may be in some cases, the simplest reason is pointed out … There were a lot of priests because they kept dying. Sick? No because they were HUMAN! So they died and every time the priest died you needed another priest.
B. But Jesus was part of a different kind of priest
It says his priesthood was in the order, or style of Melchizedek – some of you know who this guy is and some of you don’t let me give you a quick overview on this interesting character. As a matter of fact, if he were not mentioned in the New Testament we might not even care about him. Because he just appears quickly in the Old Testament. But his appearance was important because it was, as always, to paint a picture of what Jesus would be.
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi,
He appears in Genesis 14:18
- a. He was a King of the city of Salem – that is the same city that would eventually be Jerusalem.
- b. He was also a priest of “The Most High God” … that means BEFORE the law, before Moses established the priesthood he was serving God
It is important that he was a KING and a Priest because in the Covenant of Moses no man could be both and God separated those offices but not with this guy
His Name was important too. His name meant KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
And his Title, King of Salem, means King of Peace
Without righteousness we cannot be at peace with God so the two really go hand in hand
Isaiah 32:7 – the fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness with confidence forever
Abraham in gratitude for how God had protected him and blessed him offered an offering of a tithe to Melchizedek … BEFORE a tithe was laid out in the law. Which by the way gives us a reason to still bring our tithes to the Lord Jesus Christ through the church after the law.
Melchizedek was a normal man so he had parents but we don’t have RECORD of his parents which again is a picture of Christ who had no earthly parents. Though was birthed of Mary and raised by Mary and Joseph.
The priests in the law had to prove they were in the right family, that of Levi or they couldn’t serve. But not Melchizedek, since we don’t know his family and he was BEFORE Levi who was the great grandson of Abraham. Melchizedek again is NOT an angel, or theophany, he was a man, listed in a real place, listed King over a real city but things were left out of his BIO for us so he could SHOW us Christ to come.
So that’s who he was and we’ve already alluded to how Christ related to him. But what else is there about this different priesthood that sets Jesus apart?
C. Jesus’ Priesthood was not Levitical
Again, like Melchizedek, his priesthood was Not Levitical. First of all, Jesus was born in the line of David which means he was from the tribe of Judah. So how could he be a priest?
Verse 11 says if perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood … why was there still need for another priest to come – one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? Well, one from the tribe of Judah, as Jesus was, couldn’t be a priest. But Jesus was different. Jesus was, if you will, BORN IN Abraham’s line. He was born IN Judah’s line, but not OF their line. That is to say he was BEFORE Abraham … that’s what Jesus said in John 8:58 – before Abraham was born, I AM” Jesus had already been BEFORE Abraham like Melchizedek, except Jesus was Eternally God.
And so he was born IN Judah’s Line, IN Abraham’s line not OF it. He was one of a kind.
The priesthood from Aaron’s order in Levi’s line were Appointed by men … but not Melchizedek, not Jesus. They were Not Appointed by men. How could they be a priest?
It is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an INDESTRUCTIBLE LIFE
D. An Indestructible Life
Remember we learned in Galatians 3 that the law and that priesthood was intended to be a “teacher” to bring us toward Jesus. The law couldn’t give us eternal life … but if someone … if we could find someone who had ETERNAL LIFE … then we might have something. The other priests were dying men. THIS Preacher is a DYING Man. I can’t give you eternal life. If we JUST HAD A PREACHER, a PRIEST who was Eternal … Wait a minute … Jesus did it with an indestructible life
The word is akatalytos ak-at-al-oo-tos - endless, indissoluble, not subject to destruction
Because his life is endless he offers something that a priest who is dying doesn’t offer. Jesus is Eternal from everlasting TO everlasting King and Priest
E. King of Peace and Righteousness
Melchizedek was the King of Salem (peace). His name means King of Righteousness. And so in Jesus we have King of Righteous who brings us to the Kingdom of Peace. Jesus has a permanent priesthood most importantly because he will never die. He died once but that was not as priest but as sacrifice, which we will get to in a minute. But Jesus, after he died and rose, ascended to the right hand of the Father to serve as our High Priest FOREVER … that’s different. That’s never happened and it will never happen again.
Isaiah 63:1 says
Who is this, robed in splendor,
striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
So we can come confidently to Jesus because he RULES Peace, he RULES Righteousness and so he alone can GIVE Righteousness that we might have peace with God.
But the Priest’s job was to offer a sacrifice … what kind of sacrifice did Jesus offer for us …
2. A Different Kind of Sacrifice
Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
A. Earthly Sacrifices
The problem with the Old Testament sacrifices were that they were working with earthly vessels. There were earthly priests and earthly sacrifices. Both man and beast were subject to a fallen world. And so they didn’t MEET our Need. When Aaron or the High Priest would offer a sacrifice, they had to come with a pure lamb raised for this purpose, without spot or stain symbolizing holiness. He himself would offer sacrifices for his own sin then he would put on special clothing made of linen which symbolized purity so he had to set himself apart. That would be yearly on the Day of Atonement. But daily according to Exodus 29 they offered daily sacrifices too. They offered 2 year old lambs one in the morning and one at twilight. With those lambs a grain and drink offering were offered. These were offered every day in order for the Lord to meet with them daily. Imagine - let your mind wrap around the innocent carnage to atone for our sin. How many sacrifices would have to be offered for your life if that were still intact?
What if Jesus Christ himself had to be offered over and again? But that is NOT our sacrifice any longer
Jesus Christ does not enter the Heavenly Temple day after day after day. Because HE is a Perfect Priest
And because HE HIMSELF, our perfect priest is ALSO our Sufficient Sacrifice. He doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sin because he is sinless. And thus his sacrifice is perfect and eternally accepted by God once and for all
1 John 2:1-2 – my dear children, I write to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
As believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we do not HAVE to sin, but when we DO Christ has already made atonement for us. Again and again? NO
1 Peter 3:18 – for Christ died for our sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God …
Hebrews 9:25-28 (Christ did not) enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him
B. His Sacrifice
Go back to verse 27
- 1. He sacrificed – the literal translation of this is “this he did”
- 2. THIS houtos hoo-tos - (demonstrative) this
- 3. “HE DID” – poieo poy-eh-o - to make; to be the author of Don’t miss the significance. They didn’t take his life FROM him. Jesus was not a Martyr. He was not an unwilling sacrifice
- 4. “He DID this”, he GAVE himself and he SACRIFICED himself
John 10:18 - Jesus said no one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
- 5. Once for all – ephapax ef-ap-ax once, at once, all at once, once for all
- 6. Offered - Himself
When Jesus Christ died on the Cross and presented himself to God in our place AT ONCE – Even though we had not yet received it – our sacrifice had been already offered.
When you come to Christ with a sin debt that you could never repay, he doesn’t then go to the Father and pay your debt now that you asked. At Once when he entered for us into the Holy of Holies our sin debt was paid for. When we said “yes” to the offer of Grace we find that the debt has already been paid. At once … he offered himself
Once and for all
That’s a different kind of sacrifice is our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of Glory …
- Slain from the Foundation of the Earth,
- Slain on a hill called Calvary
and when we see him in glory
- he will still remain our lamb slain for us
A different priest
A different sacrifice and so that produces
3. A Different Kind of Covenant
V12 for when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law
It doesn’t mean every time a new levitical priest came they had to have a new law. No, the rule of High Priest Changed and Aaron’s line was done away with and THAT required a NEW Covenant a new agreement
IN this New covenant Jesus has
A. An Eternal Office
V21 – he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: ‘the Lord has sworn and will nto change his mind: you are a priest forever.’”
I’ll tell you what, at this point, I sure like it when God makes promises … because God doesn’t change his MIND … and it’s impossible for him to lie, we learned that last week. So he has given Jesus this Promise to be High Priest FOREVER … there are no future changes to the covenant because we no longer have a part to play in it. In the Old Covenant we had to do something. In the NEW Covenant it’s all about what Christ has done … so an Eternal Office leads to …
B. An Eternal Covenant
V18 – the former is set aside because it was weak and useless
- 1. Weak – asthenes as-thin-ace- unable, helpless condition
- 2. Useless – anopheles an-o-fel-ace - not advantageous
what was it about the Old that was unable and not advantageous, leaving us helpless?
V19 says the law made Nothing Perfect
… well that’s a problem …
And so JESUS …
V22 because of this oath Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant
The Old Covenant promised to appease God for a time. The new Covenant in Christ is once for all eternal
An Eternal Office
An Eternal Covenant makes Christ
C. An Eternal Intercessor
V25 – he ALWAYS LIVES to intercede …
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Guarantee that he intercedes for us …
- 1. HE LIVES – zao – a verb – to live, breathe, being alive
that does not mean that he keeps having to go back to the Father every time we mess and say “Father I know you want to wipe them out but let them slide for me” … No it means he has ALREADY interceded for EVERY ONE of our sins and AS LONG AS he lives, our intercession is complete. And because he will never die … our intercession is SECURE …
BECAUSE HE LIVES!!
And he Always Will Live
And so He is Able to Save Completely – to the Uttermost
Able – Oh People he won’t set you free but fail to deliver you all the way up. He won't free you from the back room only to let you die in the front room. He won't release you from a cell but fail to get you out of prison. He won’t lift you up only to drop you
- 2. He is Able – dynamai – ABLE, having power, by virtue of one’s own ability, resources, or state of mind, through favorable circumstances or by permission of custom
Jesus is ABLE because he has the ability in his sinless nature, he has the resources of the entire godhead, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and he has satisfied the law
He is Able
- 3. TO SAVE – sozo so-zo - rescue, save, heal/
He is Able to rescue us from our enslavement to sin
Save us from the condemnation and judgment we were under, and Heal us from the infirmity and death that are the result of our iniquity
Not just a little
Not just until we wiggle free
Not just until we mess up one time to many
- 4. But TO THE UTTERMOST - COMPLETELY – panteles pan-tel-ace - all complete, perfect, completely, forever, perfectly, utterly
Oh I feel so sad for those who don’t understand this truth … Oh how terrible to believe that Jesus can only save you partially, for a little while or until you mess it up
My Bible says he is ABLE!!! ---empowered, to rescue, save, and spiritually heal me, COMPLETELY, FOREVER
YES YES YES!
That’s What I’m Talking About!!
That’s why he writes …
V26 – such a high priest meets our needs, one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens
Jesus Christ Alone
He is MIGHTY to Save
Able to Save Completely
Savior, he can move the mountains
My God is mighty to Save, he is Mighty to Save
Oh Listen to me Today
Jesus Christ Offers you something no one ever has or ever will
He is an eternal Priest he will never die nor his office ever be erased so his work for you is secure
Forever Author of Salvation, he rose and conquered the grave, Jesus conquered the grave
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
He is a Perfect Sacrifice, without sin or stain
He is acceptable to the Father for your sin and mine
He LIVES today to make his Intercession for us Secure
Oh Choir I should have had you sing the Marvin Winans Song …
To the Utmost Jesus Saves
To the Utmost Jesus Saves
He will pick you up
And turn you around
Alleluia -- Alleluia
He is Able
He is Able
He is Able
Pray with me