Hebrews 5-7

The Lord, Our High Priest

In the last study we spoke of the New Covenant. In the New Covenant the Holy Spirit will convict mankind of guilt in regards to sin, who Jesus truly is, and the judgement to come. One of the things the Holy Spirit will do is write the Law on our hearts. He will make the Law living and active as He applies it to our life we read in Hebrews 4:12. Although we no longer have the Temple in Jerusalem, Paul told us repeatedly that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our life line to our Great High Priest Jesus, who is enthroned in Heaven seated with the Father. As a result we have a great promise given to us in Hebrews 4:16.

The writer of Hebrews is making it clear that Jesus fulfills every aspect of the Law. If we think of the Law as the Ten Commandments and the civil law we miss half the law. The Tabernacle, and later the Temple worship, along with the priesthood, feasts, and holy days are a major part of the Law. This illustrates to us how man is to relate to God and how God wants to relate to man. It also illustrates the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. The priest is the one who stands in the gap between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. The first 4 verses of Chapter 5 describe the priest, but it is clear, he is a sinner as well.

Howeve,r in verse 5, we read that there is a new Great High Priest. He is not from the order of sinful man. He is Jesus who was sinless. He is a priest from a different order, Melchizedek. Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God Chapter 7 tells us. He was also a King. Our High Priest Jesus, is not only the sacrifice for our sin, the intercessor between us and God, He is also our Lord or King. In Luke 17:21 Jesus told the Pharisees who had asked Him when the Kingdom of God was coming, Jesus said the Kingdom of God was in their midst or within you. Which is right? I believe both. The Kingdom of God is within the believer. The believers are in the midst of unbelievers and are a witness to them that Jesus is their Lord and King.

Our high priest is unlike the former high priest. Having a sin nature he died and another priest had to take their place. Jesus, being sinless, will remain our High Priest forever.

The same is true for His sacrifice for our sin. Jesus paid for our sin once for all. When I was much younger I used to believe that when I asked Jesus to forgive my sin He somehow went back on the cross to pay for my sin. Foolishness I know, but the Proverb says that foolishness is bound in the heart of a child.

Jesus will not be going back to the cross. When He said it is finished He meant that He completed His task and the sacrifice for sin is complete. Under the Old Covenant sacrifices had to be offered again and again. It is not necessary for Jesus to be crucified over and over for our sin. That is bringing Old Covenant practices into the New Covenant; doing so put faith in the practice which is works and overlooks the work of Jesus on the cross. The issue in Chapter 6 is not about sin it is about faith and whether or not Jesus is Lord. Verses 7 and 8 show what is in the heart.

Some take this to mean the person in verse 6 was never a believer. Others think the person lost his salvation. The reality is no matter which one we believe, that  person ends up in the same place, and that is not good. The purpose of the book is to keep people from abandoning their faith for works. So again, what we say and what we do are based on where our heart is focused and who or what is truly our Lord.

Is Jesus your High Priest and Lord of your heart?

Pastor Dave