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Jesus Is Better - 29

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
May 5, 2024 7:00 pm

Jesus Is Better - 29

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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May 5, 2024 7:00 pm

This passage in Hebrews teaches four ways that Jesus Christ and the New Covenant are better than the Old Covenant. Pastor Greg Barkman continues his expositional series.

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Micheal R James
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Alistair Begg
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Greg Laurie
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David McGee
The Christian Worldview
David Wheaton

I have entitled today's message, Jesus is Better. Now in truth that could be a good title for the entire book of Hebrews because that's what the book sets out to demonstrate. It is written first to Hebrew Christians who were feeling nostalgic about the old covenant and their former way of worship ingrained in their minds and practices from childhood forward. And yet they needed to hear the proclamation again and again and it is repeated frequently throughout this book that Jesus is better.

But of course in saying that, that's a comparative and the question is better than who or better than what. And the answer is Jesus is better than anyone or anything represented by the old covenant. And that's what the Hebrew Christians needed to understand and that's what we need to understand today as well. And so the writer of Hebrews is assuring Hebrew Christians of the superiority of Christ and of the superiority of the new covenant which Christ inaugurated when he came. And our text for today which covers verses 18 through 25 shows four ways in which Jesus is superior to the old covenant. So gird up the loins of your mind.

We are plowing through some rather thick soil. And the writer of Hebrews warned us about that a couple of chapters ago when he said, Now I need to tell you about Melchizedek and it's clear now that when he said that he didn't just mean a thing or two about Melchizedek. He meant several chapters built upon the truth about Melchizedek and his relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. And he said, Now I'm going to tell you about Melchizedek but you probably won't be able to understand it very well because you are sluggish mentally. You're lazy spiritually. You aren't giving yourself to the study and reception of God's word like you ought. So in some ways you're only capable of milk and Melchizedek represents meat. Nevertheless, here we go with Melchizedek and he charges right on and basically says, You catch up. You listen up. You understand what I'm saying.

You can by the help of God if you will not be lazy. And so today gird up the loins of your mind as we consider these great important truths about the Christian faith. Jesus is better. Jesus is first of all a better hope, verses 18 and 19. Jesus is secondly a better covenant or maybe I should say Jesus brings a better covenant, verses 20 through 22. Third, Jesus provides a better priesthood, verses 23 and 24.

And finally, Jesus accomplishes a better salvation, verse 25. First of all, Jesus is a better hope. Now what is hope in the biblical language, biblical definition of that word? Hope is not wishing something to be true that may or may not be true, but we sure wish it were.

Not that at all. A biblical hope is an earnest expectation based upon the promises of God. A biblical hope is an expectation of something yet to come that is as sure as God is sure, that is as sure as God's word is sure. So you decide how sure God is and you'll know how firm your hope is.

You decide how sure God's word is and then you will know how sure your hope is. And Jesus is a better hope than the old covenant was, verse 18 of chapter 7. For on the one hand, you can see there's going to be a comparison here, something on the one hand and something on the other hand. For on the one hand, verse 18, there is an annulment of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness for the law made nothing perfect.

That's on the one hand. But on the other hand, verse 19, there is the bringing in of a better hope through which we draw near to God. Jesus brings a better hope. And the Bible tells us something here about what we are calling the old covenant hope.

I've been using that term even though the text hasn't used it yet but will in a couple of verses. But the old covenant, which is the system of religion, the system of law, the system of sacrifices, the system of priesthood and all that went with it that was brought in through Moses, given to Moses by God for the national people of Israel. And the old covenant hope, and there was a measure of hope in the old covenant, was weak because the old covenant law was weak. And the hope of the old covenant was all tied into the law, that is the word which God gave, the promises which God gave in the old covenant. And therefore the old covenant hope was only as strong as the old covenant law and the old covenant law we're told in verses 18 and 19 was inadequate and it is described first of all as being weak and secondly as being unprofitable.

Or some translations say it was useless. Verse 18, it was weak. On the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness.

It was weak in what way? Well as the context reveals to us, it was unable to achieve reconciliation with God. Man's problem is his estrangement from God, his being cut off from union with God, from a right relationship with God which is caused by man's sin.

And therefore what sinners need is a way to become reconciled to God, a way that that sin can be dealt with so that having been removed, men and women can be brought into a right relationship with God, a living relationship with God. And the old covenant couldn't do that. It was unable to achieve reconciliation with God. What the old covenant did was pointed to the need for reconciliation but it could not achieve the task, the accomplishment of reconciliation.

It kept pointing to something that was needed and it kept pointing to something future. It was, in the words of our text, weak. And it was secondly, in the words of our text, unprofitable or useless and for exactly the same reason because it was not capable of reconciling sinners to a holy God. And so the old covenant hope was a lesser hope because the old covenant law upon which Old Testament believers based whatever hope they had, that law was weak.

It couldn't bring about reconciliation with God. And it was weak because the law was inadequate, verse 18, and it was furthermore weak because the law was, and here's another word to describe it in verse 19, it was imperfect. Verse 19, for the law, mosaic law, old covenant law, for the law made nothing perfect. It made nothing perfect. Now what is perfect again? We've seen that word before but we need to remind ourselves what is perfect. And perfect means complete. Perfect means being brought to the fullness of what is possible.

Complete means, or perfect means reaching the final goal for which something is intended and the law made nothing complete, the same thing we've been talking about. It kept pointing to the need for reconciliation and showing some truth about the way of reconciliation but it never could bring people completely to the accomplishment of reconciliation. It was imperfect.

It did not bring reconciliation to completion. It in a sense started the process but it really was just showing the direction in which the process must come from but it never could bring sinners to the finality of saying, now I am reconciled with God. It kept saying, you need to be, you need to be, you need to be and reconciliation comes by blood, it comes by sacrifice, it comes by substitution but it never brought sinners all the way to the accomplishment of that reconciliation.

The law was imperfect. It brought believers far enough to recognize the need for something better, to recognize the need that would be supplied by the promised Messiah which was promised in the Old Testament Scriptures. But you see it kept believers looking forward to something else, something else has got to come, something else has got to complete the process, something else is needed before we can be reconciled to God. And so it brought believers close enough to anticipate the promised Messiah but it kept them far enough away to recognize that the need had not been met. There's so many things we could point to about the old covenant system that demonstrated you can't get all the way to God.

Think about the temple in the days of Christ. There was the court of Gentiles. Gentiles could come that far but no further barrier. There's the court of women. Jewish women could come that far but no further barrier. There was another court that Jewish laymen could come into.

They could come that far but no further. And then there was the area where the priests could come. They could come farther, they could come into the holy place but no further. And God manifests his presence in the Holy of Holies.

That's where his Shekinah glory manifested his presence. And only one man, whoever was high priest at that particular time, one day out of 365 days of the year could go behind that veil with the blood having made sacrifice first for himself and his sins. Then he could take the blood of the animal that was shed for the sins of the people and take that into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and then make his exit.

And that covered the sins of the people of that nation, the believing people of that nation for another year. But that's the only time he could go there. Nobody else could come into the very presence, the very close proximity of God. Not another priest, certainly not a layman, certainly not a man, certainly not a woman, certainly not a Gentile.

Barrier, barrier, barrier, barrier, barrier. You can't get all the way to God. The old covenant was inadequate. It was imperfect. It didn't accomplish the purpose for which the system was designed to show the need but it didn't accomplish that need. It revealed sin.

It took men and women far enough to recognize that there was a need but to realize the need was not met. The old covenant revealed sin. It even covered sin for a time but not permanently. Another year but then you'll have to do it again next year or your sins won't be covered.

Another year, another year, another year, another year was never done, never complete. Because it did not actually remove sin, it only covered it until the next requirement for another sacrifice for sin. It did nothing to bring sinners to the final goal of full, complete and accomplished salvation. So we're talking about the hope. Jesus brings a better hope. There is an Old Testament hope but it's not a very vibrant one. The old covenant hope at its finest and I say at its finest because it's clear that a lot of people were involved in all of the ceremonies and rituals and requirements of the old covenant and they didn't even understand that it was pointing to a messiah. Some did but a lot did not.

But even those who understood it at its fullest and finest, what did they understand? What was their hope? Their hope was an expectation, we're back to that word again, hope is an earnest expectation based upon the promises of God. Their hope was an expectation that God would send a messiah, he promised to, that God would send the promised messiah who could and would accomplish reconciliation with God.

A hope that a future day would accomplish what the present day could not. That was the old covenant hope. There is a measure of hope there but it's not the glorious hope, it's not the vibrant hope, it's not the living hope that new covenant believers have.

What is the new covenant hope? It is that perfect reconciliation is here. As verse 19 says, there is the bringing in of a better hope.

Bringing in, it has been brought in. It is that perfect reconciliation has been achieved. There is a bringing in of a better hope, what? Through which we draw near to God.

Not far, not even reasonably close, but near, right into the very presence of God. That's what was indicated by when Christ died upon the cross. What does Matthew tell us? That the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom, that Holy of Holies was flung wide open, there was no more barrier. Anybody who could get into the temple could walk right into the Holy of Holies that had been denied all of these centuries. Because Jesus had died and now had provided a way for sinners to be reconciled to God.

To be brought right into the presence of a holy God. That's the new covenant hope. But, for those who continue to cling to the shadow, the old covenant, they forfeit the hope that even it represented.

That's the problem, that's the point. Once Christ came, even the hope of the old covenant that God has promised the Messiah, someone is coming who will accomplish reconciliation, but when that one promise by God had come, then the promise was no longer a promise of something future, it was the accomplishment that the promise had been pointing forward to. And now you must receive the promised Messiah, the old covenant with its types and shadows and limited hope that was sufficient basis for salvation of Old Testament saints who trusted in that promise that God had given. But now that God has fulfilled his promise and you won't accept it? God has brought the promised Messiah and you won't receive him? God has brought in the way of full and final reconciliation and you take a look at it and say, I don't like that as well as the old way.

I'm going back to the old way. You have no possibility of salvation. The old covenant hope, which believed by your forefathers, did bring them salvation because they were going to be saved the same way we are by the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross. And so they were saved, as it were, on credit until Jesus came. And that's good enough because they're covered under the same blood. They're covered by the same sacrifice for sin. They're saved the same way we are. But if when that one has come and that death has has occurred upon the cross of Calvary, and it had by the time the Book of Hebrews was written, and you say, no, I don't like that as well as the old one. I'm going to go back to the old way.

Sorry. There is no other sacrifice for sin. Your fathers were looking forward to the one that would come, but it has come. You've got to trust in Jesus, for there is none other name under heaven given by which we may be saved. And if you won't accept him, you have no salvation, no possibility of it.

Because Jesus brings a better hope, a full hope, a complete hope. Number two, Jesus brings a better covenant, verses 20 through 22. And inasmuch as he was not made without an oath, for they have become priests without an oath, that is the Levites, but he with an oath by him who said to him, the Lord has sworn and will not relent. You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek, by so much more.

Here we've got this comparison again. Inasmuch as he was not made a priest without an oath, that's one category. But now the comparison, by so much more, verse 22, Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Now the word covenant is not new to you because I've been using it all along, but this is the first mention in the book of Hebrews of the word covenant. And the word covenant will be used a total of 17 times in the book of Hebrews more than in the rest of the New Testament books, all 26 New Testament books altogether.

Sixteen times in the rest, the other 26 New Testament books, 17 times in the one book of Hebrews. Hebrews is truly the book of the covenant. This is the book that explains the covenants in a way that no place else can be found in scripture. And we're told here that Jesus brings a better covenant. We're told that the old covenant was established without an oath. We're told that the new covenant was established upon an oath. And we're told that the new covenant established a better surety, we'll get to that word in time, for a better covenant.

The old covenant, we're told, was established without an oath. Back to verses 20 and the first part of 21. And inasmuch as he, that's Jesus, was not made priest without an oath, which is another way of saying the old covenant priests were made a priest without an oath.

That's what verse 21 goes on to say. For they have become priests without an oath, but, here's the contrast, he, that is Jesus, with an oath. He was made a priest with an oath.

By him who said to him, that's God the Father, quoting again from Psalm 110 verse 4, the Lord has sworn and will not relent. You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek. Jesus brings a better covenant. The old covenant was established without an oath, unlike the new covenant as we see here, which was established with an oath of God. The Old Testament priest, the Levitical priesthood, was appointed, or the Levitical priest, plural, were appointed, without an oath. That's what verse 21 says. Which means they were appointed by divine command, but not established on the basis of a divine oath. That seems like such a fine distinction that I think I wouldn't have noticed it if the writer of Hebrews hadn't brought it out as an important distinction that we should be aware of. And sure enough, if you go back to the Old Testament, you will search and search and search and search in vain to find any reference to the Old Testament Levites being established by God with an oath.

It's not there. They were not established with an oath. They were established by a divine command. God said, this is what I want you to do. These are the ones who will be the priests. These are the qualifications for the priests. But the Lord didn't swear.

He just declared. Here's a summary of it in Exodus 28, 1. God through Moses said, God said to Moses, Now take Aaron your brother and his sons with him from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to me as priest.

Aaron and Aaron's sons, Nahab, Abihu, Eliezer, and Ithamar. That establishes the Levitical priesthood. Now there are chapters that give details of other elements and requirements about that, about the clothing they shall wear, about the rituals which they will perform. There's much more to be said about it, but you won't find an oath anywhere. God just said, this is what I want you to do, a divine command. And so the priests were appointed without an oath. They were appointed by divine command, but not with a divine oath. And now we are forced to think about that.

Well, what's the difference? If God says something, isn't that just as certain as if He swears by it in an oath? And the answer is yes, because of the nature of God. If God says something, it's true. If God says something, it's sure.

If God says something, you can rely on it, unlike human beings who sometimes you can't know whether they're telling the truth or not. So to try to make them tell the truth, particularly in courts, you bring them in and make them swear an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Nobody used to object to that, but nowadays that's dropped oftentimes, so we don't swear to anybody in particular, except we just swear to tell the truth. And then many times, the people who made that oath lie through their teeth on the witness stand, don't they? Well, we're sinful creatures, aren't we?

And the sin comes out in so many ways. But when God says something, you can count on it. It's just as certain if He says it as if He swears it, but there is additional significance to an oath. We already saw that earlier in chapter 6 in regard to Abraham, remember? We'll have to skip around here a bit, but Hebrews 6 13, for when God made a promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself. He made a promise to Abraham, and then he took an oath. Verse 17, thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath. Now I think we begin to get the importance here, the distinction. What's the difference between a divine command and a divine oath?

It is this. A divine command can be changed. God commands something, and then God can say, now I withdraw it. That's what happened to the law of Moses.

God gave it by divine command, and then God said, I abolish it and I replace it with the new covenant and with the law of Christ. God can do that with commands. You say, well, God's God. He can do whatever He wants to.

Yes, but He's telling us here what He does. When He commands something, it stands until He changes it. When He swears an oath, He's telling us this is something that I will never change. A divine oath will not be changed. So in regard to an oath, an oath does not have greater truthfulness, but it does have permanence.

The command may or may not have permanence. God can change it if He chooses to. But an oath is His way of telling us this promise will never change. So when He swore to Abraham that through him all the families of the earth will be blessed, though it took hundreds, yes, we would say thousands of years for the fulfillment of that to be realized, and it's still being realized, nevertheless, it has not been changed. It will not be changed. God swore that particular promise to Abraham with an oath, and an oath means that is a permanent declaration of Almighty God that will not be changed.

And that's what we have here. God brought the Levitical priesthood into being with a command, but commands can be changed. At the time appointed by God, He said, okay, no more Levitical priesthood. I'm changing that command. But to Jesus that the psalmist declared hundreds of years before this took place, but to Jesus the Father said to the Son, you are a priest after the order of Melchizedek, and I swear that, which means that will never be changed, which means that though the old covenant law will be changed and has been changed, the new covenant law never will be changed. I think I mentioned last Sunday there are certain requirements of the new covenant law that people don't like and they take it upon themselves to change, but I said you can't do that, only God can change it, but God makes it clear that He's not going to. It's there. It's there. Forever and forever, amen.

How do I know? Because the Lord has sworn and will not relent. You, my son, are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. So the old covenant was established without an oath. The new covenant was established upon an oath. The new covenant priesthood was established with an oath. The old covenant priesthood was established with a command, the Levites, Aaron and his sons, the priests. The new covenant priesthood was established with an oath.

Who's that? Jesus. He's the new covenant priesthood. He said, where are all the others?

There aren't any others. It's Jesus. He is the new testament priesthood, the new covenant priesthood. And that was all foretold in Psalm 110 verse 4.

I tried to do this, but I knew I couldn't, so I finally agreed to let it go. But I was going to show you in my sermon today, but I knew I wouldn't have time. Psalm 110 is quoted five times in this passage, well, in these two, three chapters. And every time it's quoted with a different emphasis. Here the emphasis is upon God's oath. The previous time, closest to this one, the emphasis was upon forever. You are a priest forever. This time it is, I have sworn and I shall not relent. The oath is emphasized. You go back through the five times and you can see each one of them has a different emphasis that brings out a full orb truth about Jesus and the new covenant. I'm not saying I will, but it's possible. I'll just make those five times five points of a whole sermon sometime because to do it justice, that's what you'd have to do. So I skip it for now, just pointing out that it is so, and we move on.

Where are we? Well, the new covenant established a better surety, and now we get into another word in verse 22 for a better covenant. Verse 22, for so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Surety, the Greek word underlying that translation, means mediator, sponsor, or one who represents another. The strength of a provision rests upon the quality and reliability of the mediator. So if you've got a fully qualified and fully able mediator, then you've got a guarantee. And that's what the word surety means to us. It carries the idea of a guarantee.

And that idea is here, but you get to it kind of roundabout. But Jesus is a representative. Jesus is a mediator. Jesus is one who represents the people of God in a better covenant and because it is Jesus, it is certain, it is sure.

I have a hope which is steadfast and sure. Jesus has done it. So Jesus brings a better covenant. Number three, Jesus provides a better priesthood, verses 23 and 24. Also, here we move on, there were many priests in the Old Testament because they were prevented by death from continuing.

But he, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Here's another little nuance that we probably would have missed if we didn't study the book of Hebrews carefully. But it's telling us that the Old Covenant established a temporary priesthood indicated, first of all, by the great numbers of priests. How many priests served under the Old Covenant?

Nobody knows, thousands. If you restrict that question to high priests, how many high priests served in the days of the Old Covenant? Well, I don't think anybody knows that absolutely with certainty, Josephus, who is a pretty good Jewish historian and sometimes is correct and sometimes he's not, but Josephus said there were 83 high priests from Aaron to AD 70 and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem after which there were no more high priests, 83.

Other Jewish sources, I'm told, give a number that's closer to 100. So there were, let's take Josephus' number, 83 high priests, starting with Aaron and ending in AD 70. So there was, if you were just talking about high priests, the ones who went into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, the most important day, the most important sacrifice, the most important covering for sin under the Old Covenant. If you just take those high priests as the many priests, there were at least 83. One died, another rose. One died, another rose.

None died, another rose. And over the centuries, 83 high priests represented the people of God in the Old Covenant. How many high priests, either you can say priest or high priest, but let's focus on high priest. How many high priests do New Covenant believers have? One, because that's all we need. One, because he never dies. The Old Covenant offered a temporary priesthood indicated by greater numbers, indicated by inevitable deaths, indicated by limited duration.

They only served until they died or even in many cases retired before they died. But the New Covenant establishes a permanent priesthood. One in number, only one priest. Notice the contrast between he and they in verses 23 and 24. Verse 23, also there were many priests because they, plural, were prevented by death from continuing, verse 24, but he, singular, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. There's a great contrast between the plural Old Testament priest and the singular New Covenant priest. One in number, because he never dies.

He continues, he lives forever. He rose from the dead to eternal life and therefore has permanent duration as our high priest. His priesthood is an unchangeable priesthood.

The Old Covenant priesthood was a constantly changing priesthood to the extent that sometimes you didn't even know who the high priest was. Paul didn't know on one occasion. Remember he was called in before the Sanhedrin on his last visit to Jerusalem and he didn't even recognize the high priest. Paul, Paul of all people. You talk about a person saturated in Judaism. He didn't know who the high priest was at that time.

They kept changing. You and I don't have that challenge. The apostle Paul 2,000 years ago said, I have a high priest, his name is Jesus. God's people all down through the centuries can say, I have a high priest, his name is Jesus. The reformers all said, I have a high priest, his name is Jesus. My forefathers who trusted in Christ could say, I have a high priest, his name is Jesus. So have your forefathers who are Christians said the same thing. And here we are today more than 2,000 years later saying the same thing. I have a high priest, his name is Jesus.

And he will never change. He will always be the one and only high priest that we need. So Jesus provides a better priesthood. In the Old Testament, Old Covenant, they were innumerable priests because the priests were mortal men.

They kept dying off. In the New Covenant, there's one priest, the resurrected Christ who never dies. New Covenant believers, and get this truth, we miss this sometimes, New Covenant believers need a priest. A priest is a mediator who represents us before God.

We need that. Old Covenant believers had a temporary arrangement. Human priests upon the earth were always changing because they kept dying.

But New Covenant believers have a permanent arrangement. One eternal priest who ever lives in heaven will never die. You see, we all need a priest because reconciliation, back to that need that the Old Covenant couldn't supply, reconciliation with God, reconciliation requires a priest. In the Old Covenant, they kept going through priests to get closer to God, but they never could get all the way to God. But reconciliation requires a priest. But in the New Covenant, we no longer go through a mortal man who is a priest, but we go directly to and through Jesus Christ, the one high priest who is in heaven. Roman Catholics greatly err by apparently extending the Old Covenant system, which has been replaced into New Covenant history that says there are no more human priests. Now that Jesus has come, there is one God and one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus, one priest forever, amen. We need one.

Don't lose sight of that fact. We New Covenant believers need a priest, but in Jesus Christ, we have a priest. Go to him. You don't need to go to anybody else. In fact, if you do go to anybody else, you are dishonoring the God who said that system's gone.

The present system is Jesus. Go to him. Honor him.

Trust him alone. Number four, Jesus accomplished a better salvation, verse 25. Therefore, the conclusion to all that we've been looking at here, therefore, he, Jesus, is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him since he always lives to make intercession for them. Here in verse 25, there is no comparison stated. All the other verses we looked at, it had on the one hand and on the other hand or something comparable to that. This as opposed to that.

This as compared to that. In verse 25, we don't have that. Why? Because New Covenant salvation, properly understood, is Old Covenant salvation. We don't have two different salvations. But there is, nevertheless, a comparison implied, though not stated.

Why? Because New Testament salvation, though it is the same as Old Testament salvation, trusting in the promises of God to provide a mediator, to provide a sufficient sacrifice, to provide a way to deal with man's sins that they might be reconciled to God, it's all through Jesus, one way of salvation. But New Testament salvation, to borrow the words from a chorus I used to sing as a boy, New Testament salvation is richer, fuller, deeper. Jesus' love is sweeter.

That's the difference. And how do we see that? Well, Jesus saves forever. He saves to the uttermost. The word uttermost is a word that can mean either degree or duration.

And most people think it's talking about degree. He saves to the uttermost. He saves to the utmost degree. We even hear the phrase sometimes from the guttermost to the uttermost.

Boy, I like that, but that misses what this particular verse is saying because the context makes it clear that here it's not talking about degree. It's talking about duration. He saves to the end. He saves forever.

He saves to the uttermost, to the uttermost duration. Jesus saves forever. Or number two, Jesus accomplishes reconciliation. Those who come nigh to God through him. In the old covenant, nobody could actually come nigh to God. They could get a little closer and trust the promise that God would provide a way to get there eventually, but they never could get there. But those who trust in Jesus are brought right into the presence of God, right into the very life of God, right into the very being of God, are joined together forever with him.

Hallelujah. And number three, and this is important to understand, Jesus provides intercession. Now the Old Testament priests provided intercession as far as they could to the extent that they were able, but not like Jesus does. What's Jesus doing in heaven? He's interceding for his people.

Why is that? Why is that even needed if his sacrifice on the cross took care of our sins, justified us forever and ever, amen? Well, evidently, as long as we're on the earth, we need intercession. As long as we sin, we need someone to go to the Father and say once to the Father, Father, this one's mine.

Yes, he sinned, but I died for him on the cross. I'm interceding for him. Banish that sin.

That has to be done as long as we live. He intercedes for us. And his intercession is a perfect, all-availing intercession. As long as Jesus lives, I can never die, because as long as Jesus lives, my sins can never be counted against me. If Jesus ever stopped interceding, I wouldn't continue to be saved. That's a strange thought to those who believe in eternal security, but that's exactly what this passage is teaching. The only reason that those who trust in Christ are eternally secure is because Jesus continues to intercede.

He continues to represent us. He continues to act as our high priest, representing us before the throne of God and continually presenting the sacrifice that he made once and for all. There's no more sacrifice for sin. The Roman Catholics are in that as well. They keep, as it were, crucifying Christ afresh with every Mass.

No, no, no, no, no. Old Covenant symbolism, you've got it. That's been dissolved. Jesus presented one final, full sacrifice, never to be repeated. But the application of it that takes place with his intercession with the Father in heaven must be repeated as long as I sin, which means, in practical terms, as long as I live. When I get to heaven, I won't need that anymore, but whoever's still on earth will still need it until the Lord returns. Well, I got the exposition in.

I didn't get to any of the applications, but we'll just stop right there. Let's pray. Father, thank you for such rich truth. Help us to grasp it. Help us not to be lazy and indifferent to it. Help us to hold on to it and understand this salvation that Jesus has brought, which is indeed richer, fuller, and sweeter. We pray in Jesus' name, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-06 22:23:29 / 2024-05-06 22:38:30 / 15

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