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Listen Again: Our Great High Priest

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
The Truth Network Radio
June 26, 2021 12:00 pm

Listen Again: Our Great High Priest

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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June 26, 2021 12:00 pm

It's the summer for Hebrews! Listen back to Pastor Russ Andrews explore Hebrews 5: 1-4 and answer these three questions: What are the qualities for a High Priest? Why was Jesus qualified? What makes Jesus such a great High Priest?

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This is Sam from the Mask and Journey Podcast, and our goal with the podcast has helped you to try to find your way in this difficult world. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network. Do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill? Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations?

I can do this, but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God, find God, and please God are futile? Do you feel like your faith is dead or alive? Today, Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions. Join us on Finding Purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.

For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and Finding Purpose, you can visit us online at or connect with us on Facebook. Now, let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious. Let's get the Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, thank You for this night. Thank You, Lord, for Your incredible kindness to us because You have dealt kindly with us. You're a gentle high priest.

You're a sympathetic and loving and merciful and gracious high priest. And Lord, we thank You and we welcome You into our presence tonight. Lord, I pray that You would make Yourself so present tonight that it would be palpable, that we would actually feel You here with us, Lord, almost like in a tangible way. And I pray, Lord, that Your Holy Spirit will penetrate my mind and the minds of every man here and every man and woman listening, dear Heavenly Father, that You will penetrate our hearts because Your Word is living and active. And I've so experienced that, Lord, in my own life.

I love You, Lord. Give us a joy and a love for Your Word. And may Your Word go forth now and accomplish the very purpose for which You intend. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. I marvel at the timing of God's Word, and I love reading God's Word. I shared this at Chris Perri's funeral service on Saturday, God's Perfect Timing.

It's so interesting to me that he passed, remember we talked about entering God's Sabbath rest last week, and that's what happened to Chris Perri last week. Do you see how God's Word just lines up with events sometimes? And tonight, I have to be honest with you. I came here tonight weary and burdened. And maybe you come here tonight weary and burdened. And what we're going to see tonight is that we have a Lord and a Savior who sympathizes with us in our weaknesses. I want you to take your Bibles and turn to Hebrews chapter 5.

Now, here's how I want to begin tonight by saying this. Most people really have a misconception of who Jesus really is. They don't really understand the great love, sympathy, and understanding that He has for all of us, but particularly for the brokenhearted, the downtrodden, the lonely, and the hurting sinner. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is found in John chapter 8 verses 1 through 11.

And here's what John writes for us. At dawn, Jesus appeared again in the temple courts where all the people gathered around Him, and He sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?

You see, they were using this question, it says here in the text, as a trap in order to have a basis for accusing Him. Now, y'all put yourself in that woman's shoes. She is standing there having just been caught in the act of adultery. One question, well, where's the man?

It takes two, remember? That's another sermon. But imagine her filled with shame. These men standing around, all these religious men in robes, and there's Jesus who she probably knows is a holy man.

She's been thrust into the public arena. You know what Jesus did in that moment? It says, but Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. Nobody knows what He was writing. Some have said He was writing about the sins of all those Pharisees standing there. The other said He was writing the names of their mistresses in the sand. That's the first question I'm going to ask Jesus. Jesus, what were you writing in the sand? Don't y'all want to know the answer to that? It says, when they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, if any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

How good is that? Again, He stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left with the woman still standing there. Jesus then straightened up and He asked her, woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?

No one, sir, she said. Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared. Go now and leave your life of sin. No condemnation came from those lips, just a look of love and understanding. See, so many people believe that God is a God of nothing but condemnation. He's just waiting for us to mess up so He can judge us. However, John 3 17 does away with this idea, for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

See, that's the heart of God. He wants to save us, and when a man reads through the Gospels and observes the life of Jesus, he sees a man who is full of grace and mercy and who came for one purpose, to save sinners. In Luke chapter 5, we find Jesus at the home of Matthew, who was a tax collector, eating and drinking with a large crowd of tax collectors. What did Matthew do? He invited all of his sinful friends.

Hey, come on over to my house. I'm going to have some wine and some food, and guess what? I'm bringing Jesus with me. See, Matthew was not ashamed to let people know that he believed in Jesus. But see, the Pharisees, you know, asked Jesus, why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners? To which Jesus responded, it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. Is there anyone righteous? No. So why did he say that?

Here's what he means. I did not come to call people who think they're righteous, like you Pharisees, but I came to save sinners like these friends of mine over here who are drinking and carousing, and I'm getting ready to share the truth with them. Do you come here tonight feeling like a no-good sinner, unworthy of being in the presence of God? You're the very person that Jesus came into the world to save. If you recognize yourself as a sinner, that's good, because we're all sinners, and that's the first step towards finding God. It's just recognizing that you're a sinner, and that brings us to Hebrews 5, and I've entitled this message, Our Great High Priest, beginning with verse 1.

Y'all follow along with me so you can see I'm not making this up. Every high priest is selected from among who? Men.

I have to say that in this world of political correctness. Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He's able to deal, I love this, deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people, and no one takes this honor on himself. He must be called by God just as Aaron was.

So tonight I want to try to answer, well I'm not going to try, I'm going to answer three questions. Here's the first question. What qualified someone to be a high priest? Kind of looking back at the Old Testament time up to Jesus's time. Secondly, why was Jesus qualified to be our personal high priest? And what makes Jesus such a great high priest?

So let's look at this first question. What qualified someone to be a high priest? He had to be a man from the tribe of Levi and from the line of Aaron. The Levitical priesthood began with Aaron who was the older brother of Moses. God is the one who chose men, both Levi and Aaron. In Genesis 28 verse 1, God said to Moses, Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. So you can see right there that God is the one who chose Aaron to begin this priestly line. And that line began with Aaron and it extends all the way to the high priest who served at the time of Jesus.

I think all the way up to the time the temple was destroyed when they lost all their genealogical records and they could no longer determine who comes from the line of Aaron. Do we need an earthly priest today? No.

Why is that? Because Jesus is our high priest and also did you know if you're in Christ you're a priest? That's what we believe in the priesthood of the brothers.

If you're in Christ then you are a priest and you can go to Christ who is your high priest. Now let's take a look at Levi. Levi was the third son born to Jacob and his servant Leah. In Genesis 49 7, Jacob who was nearing his death, you remember he calls in his 12 sons and he prophesizes over them. He basically blesses them and when he gets to Levi he says, This is really the Holy Spirit speaking through Jacob about Levi and his descendants.

He says, I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in and throughout Israel. And this is what happened when Moses led them in and they took the land and the Levites did not get a share in inheritance of the land because God was their inheritance. And so they would put these priests all over the nation of Israel.

We see this prophecy of Jacob fulfilled as these priests were spread all over Israel. So in order to qualify as a high priest you had to be a man who came from the tribe of Levi and from the line of Aaron. Secondly, you had to be a man who was appointed by God to represent the people in matters related to God. So Aaron and his descendants served as the priest in the land. They served in the tabernacle and then later they served in the temple in Jerusalem.

There were three offices available to men in Israel. The office of high priest who served as man's representative to God. Then you have the office of prophet who served as God's representative to men. So the high priest represented man to God. The prophet represented God to the men. And then you have the office of king who ruled over God's people as we see in Saul and then David and then Solomon and then the future kings.

And as we shall learn in Hebrews we will see that Jesus served in all three of these offices prophet, priest, and king. Third, to qualify as the high priest he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for the sins of the people. And the reason he had to do this, and this by the way was the most important responsibility of the high priest, it was to bring reconciliation between God and man. You have to reconcile enemies, right? And when we were born, according to Romans 5 10, we were at one time God's what?

Enemies. And we need to be reconciled to God. And that was the role of the high priest back then. And it was all done kind of symbolically through the temple and all of the temple feast and sacrifices. And they were, you know, sacrificing the blood of goats and bulls to cover their sins.

And that was a picture of what? The lamb of God who would come one day and shed his blood so that he might bring about reconciliation for you and me so that you and I can be reconciled to God. The high priest identified with the people.

How so? Because he remembered that he was weak just like them. He was a sinner. And that's why on the day of atonement he first had to be cleansed himself and he had to sacrifice blood for himself.

Then he could sacrifice blood for the people. So those are the qualifications for a man to be an earthly high priest. But now I want to shift gears and I want us to focus on Jesus the rest of tonight, okay? This is where we really enter into the Holy of Holies. Look at verses 5 through 10. So Christ, by the way, is that his name or is it his title?

It's his title. What's another way to say Christ? Messiah.

Jesus the Christ. Jesus the Messiah. So right here, notice it didn't say Jesus is talking about Christ. So Christ, I mean that is Jesus but it's referring to his title, okay?

So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, you're my son. Today I have become your father. Do you know he can say the same thing over you and me? Today.

Today. The day that you receive him into your life, God said over you, today you are my son. Today I have become your father. Do you know God is your heavenly father? And he says in another place, you are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Then verse 7, it says, during the days of Jesus's life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Let me ask you something, men. If Jesus prayed, do you think we need to pray? Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, this is talking about Jesus now, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and he was designated by God to be a high priest in the order of who?

Melchizedek. So now I want us to look at what qualifies Jesus to be our personal high priest and what makes him such a great high priest? Well first, Jesus was sent by who?

God. In John 8 16 it says, I stand with the father who sent me. And then in John 3 16 it says, for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son. So Jesus was sent by his heavenly father to be the greatest gift that the world has ever received. Now look at verse five, so Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. So Jesus going to this title is the Christ, the anointed one of the old testament, the promised savior of the world who was sent by God and having been commissioned by God, Jesus according to Philippians chapter 2 made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man. He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on the cross. Therefore God did what? He exalted him to the highest place where he now serves in heaven as our great high priest.

And that's where he is right this moment. Secondly, not only was Jesus sent by God but he was designated by God to be a high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Now this requires a little explanation because formally all the high priests had to come from the line of who?

Aaron. But Jesus did not. He came from what line? Judah.

It's the kingly line of Judah. So we've seen a little something different here about Jesus. So who was this Melchizedek? Well I like to refer to him as the mystery man in the old testament who actually appeared out of nowhere and then almost as suddenly he disappeared. In Genesis chapter 14 Melchizedek appeared to Abraham after Abraham had defeated these four armies. Abraham had gone after them because they had taken Lot of Sodom and Gomorrah which is where his nephew Lot was and he went after he went to rescue his nephew and when he came back Melchizedek appears out of nowhere.

So this is Hebrews 7 verses 1 through 3. 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 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.

Who do you give a tenth to? Notice he's giving it to Melchizedek. First, his name, Melchizedek, means king of what? Righteousness. Then also king of Salem means king of peace.

Now catch this. The rite of Hebrews is describing Melchizedek. He says, without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the son of God, he remains a priest forever.

So who was this mystery man by the name of Melchizedek who appeared to Abraham out of nowhere? I personally believe he was the pre-incarnate Christ who has no beginning of days or end of life, who is the king of righteousness and peace, and who remains priest forever. So Jesus has been appointed our high priest in the order of Melchizedek who himself was both a king and a priest of God. So like Melchizedek, Jesus is both king and priest but he's also what? A prophet.

So he holds all through those offices. When Jesus came to this earth, he came as a prophet like Moses. Do you remember in Deuteronomy where Moses was told someone like you will come one day? Well, that's Jesus. So when Jesus came to this earth, he came as a prophet. When Jesus ascended to heaven, he became our great high priest. Romans, and this is where I want you to get a picture of who Jesus is and how much he loves you and what he's doing right now for us. Romans 834 says, Christ Jesus who died, more than that, who was raised to life is also at the right hand of God doing what for us?

Interceding. He's praying for us with loud cries and tears just like he did when he lived and walked among us. How does that make you feel to know that Jesus is actually praying for you, particularly when you are hurting? When Jesus returns, he will return as king of the world to rule and to reign forever and ever and ever. And who's going to reign with him? All those who belong to him. In Genesis 49 10, when Jacob was blessing his son Judah, remember we just looked at his blessing over Levi? When he got to Judah, he prophesied one of the greatest prophecies in the Old Testament. He was talking to Judah, Jacob was, and he said, son, the scepter will not depart from Judah.

Notice he didn't say from you because he's really talking to us. The scepter will not depart from Judah nor the rule of staff from between his feet until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. When Jesus began his public ministry, he announced, the time has come, the kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the good news. Remember when he stood before Pilate, he said, yes, I am a king, but my kingdom is not of this world. When Jesus ascended to heaven and sat down upon the throne of God, he took hold of that rule of staff and assumed his office as king of kings and lord of lords. Hebrews informs us that Jesus is our priestly king in the same order of Melchizedek. In Matthew chapter 3, when Jesus was baptized by John, scripture says that he came up out of the water and it says the spirit of God descended upon him like a what?

Like a dove. And then they all heard a voice from heaven that said, this is my son whom I love, with him I'm well pleased. About two years ago, I stood in the Jordan River, probably close to where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. It's a real place.

It's a real river. Jesus is a real man. Jesus is the greatest high priest of all time because he is the son of God.

And so, when you come to Jesus, you're coming to the son of God. Fourth, Jesus is qualified to serve as our high priest because he has been made perfect by his obedience and by suffering. Now, what does it mean that Jesus has been made perfect? I can hear some say, well, I thought he's always been perfect.

Well, he has. According to Homer Kent, the point of the statement is that Christ was brought to full qualification as our priest, not only by his divine call and genuine humanity, but also by his suffering. His qualification to be our high priest was made perfectly complete when he died on the cross after saying, it is what? Finished. It was complete.

He had fulfilled all the qualifications. And in spite of all the assaults of Satan, through all of his pain and suffering at Calvary, Jesus retained his integrity that he never once faltered. He never once gave into temptation. He was and is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering, like one from whom men hide their faces.

He was despised and we esteem him not. When Jesus completed his life's mission by becoming a guilt offering according to the will of God, he became the source of eternal salvation for every man who chooses to follow him and obey him. Fifth, Jesus is qualified to be our high priest, and this is the one that I really like the most because he identifies with us and he's sympathetic to our weaknesses.

Turn back to Hebrews chapter 3 and I want to read these three verses here. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the fate we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without what?

Yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. At the beginning I said I want us to consider who Jesus really is, and this again is my favorite aspect of Jesus. He is sympathetic and merciful towards us.

Do you know why? He loves us. He understands because he became a man with flesh and blood just like you and me, and he experienced, listen, every temptation that you and I have experienced. He was tempted beyond what any human being has ever been tempted, and I'm going to try to explain this with a balloon. As you blow more and more air into the balloon, it continues to expand until the pressure on the inside has become so great that it what? It pops. So think of temptation as the air being blown into the balloon. With most of us, it only takes a little air, a little pressure from some temptation get our balloon to pop.

Just a little look right here, boom, and you're snagged. But not so with Jesus. He felt all the pressure that Satan and all of his demonic demons could muster as they assaulted him with wave after wave after wave of temptation.

The pressure mounted and mounted particularly after he'd been in the desert for 40 days and he'd had no food and nothing to drink, and yet Jesus's balloon never popped. But it doesn't take much for us to fall into temptation to sin. See, he understands the pressures of life that you're dealing with. He understands the toil and pain of your labor in the midst of this dark and sin-filled world that's so full of temptation. And listen, when you give in to temptation, he actually understands. He remembers that you are made of dust. He knows that you're weak. And no matter what you've done, he's always holding out his arms and saying, come to me. All you who are weary and burdened and I will give you what?

Rest. He says, take my yoke upon you. You know what that means? What does a yoke do?

You got one ox here and you put another one here, right? So you got Jesus right here and he said, come on, get in the yoke with me. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. So you're in the yoke with him and he's teaching you as you are going along. You're walking with him step by step. And then he'll show you that, hey man, I'm gentle.

I'm humble in heart. And I'll give you rest for your souls. There's nothing better than being yoked to Jesus.

If I wasn't yoked to Jesus, I'd probably be dead. Well, I've done something so foolish I'd be ashamed. What does Russ Andrews do when he feels defeated and downcast and lonely and hurting? By the way, those emotions right there, I feel them some every month. It's it's part of our human condition. We live in a fallen world and we're groaning.

The whole earth is groaning. Listen, when I give into temptation and sin, which I've done so many times it's ridiculous, and I find myself consumed with guilt, I approach the throne of grace with confidence and fall at the feet of my merciful high priest and he laughs at me again and again with waves of grace and mercy. See, forgiveness is the greatest aspect of Christianity. Hearing Jesus say, Russ, I understand and I forgive you because I see your opponent heart and I will help you overcome this temptation that you've been struggling with for so long. I love you and I'll be faithful to complete the work that I began in you when you were just a little boy growing up in the town of Bethel.

See, man, here's the truth. There is no sin so great that God cannot and will not forgive it. There's no place of darkness where God cannot and will not seek you out and rescue you. Micah chapter 7 verse 18 and 19 says, who is a God like you who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, God, but you delight to show mercy. You'll again have compassion on us. You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

That's the kind of high priest we have and that's why he's great. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, thank you that you are merciful and sympathetic high priest. Thank you, Lord, that we can come to you no matter what we've done, no matter how far we've fallen, no matter how dark life has become in our souls, no matter how much pain we've caused you. You're waiting for us with open arms. Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest. We love you, Lord. We ask you to draw us into yourself, help us to climb into that yoke and walk with you while we have breath in our lungs. Bring us to the end of our days, safe and secure in you. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to Finding Purpose with Pastor Russ Andrews, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources at or connect to Finding Purpose on Facebook. Pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him and over 300 other local men to study God's Word together every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in downtown Raleigh. Find out more at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-26 16:19:56 / 2023-09-26 16:31:04 / 11

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