I know you want to quit.
I know you want to give up because life is hard. But Dr. Tony Evans reminds us we have a friend in high places. You have a high priest who can sympathize and when the knowledge of God the Father meets the sympathy of God the Son, you got a double hitter. Celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, this is the alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. A lot of people can point you toward God, but today Dr. Evans explains that only one person can connect you with Him. Let's join him for some fresh insight into a title associated with Jesus that's packed with life-changing power. Today I want to speak with you about another name, a name that is deep, rich, often not known, understood, misunderstood, and underutilized. I want to talk to you today about Jesus, our great high priest. This is a title given to Jesus Christ that is daunting in its definition and its implications for your life and mine.
The discussion of Jesus as your high priest is found predominantly in one book of the Bible, and that is the book of Hebrews. The book of Hebrews boils down to three words. Never give up. It was written to people who were tempted to throw in the towel. They were tempted to walk away. They were tempted to give up or to give in, because life had become too hard. Being a Christian had become too difficult.
Persecution, pressure, challenges were overwhelming them. And chapter after chapter after chapter, He tells them, don't you quit, don't you throw in the towel, never give up. And the reason why He doesn't want you to give up is because of Jesus's name. He is the great high priest. He begins the first four verses of chapter 5 by defining the qualifications even to be a priest in the Old Testament. He said, first of all, that a priest had to be taken from men and appointed on behalf of men. In other words, a priest had to be equal to the one they were being a priest for. So they had to partake of humanity in order to qualify to be a priest. He goes on to say the priest had to be appointed by God.
You couldn't wake up one morning and decide, I want to be a priest today. In addition to that, he goes on to say that the priest had to offer sacrifices for sins, his own sin, verse 3 says, and the sins of those that he represented. So the priest went to the temple or the tabernacle to offer sacrifices. The sacrifices could not take away sin, Hebrews 10-4 says. No sacrifice could take away sin.
It only delayed judgment. In fact, the sacrifice of the killing of the animal was to remind the people that sin brings forth death. There was one other qualification that any priest had to have, and that is that the priest had to be, watch this, verse 2, beset by weaknesses.
He had to struggle in his own life. Well, how does that relate to Jesus? He says in verse 5, so also Christ. In other words, Christ had to qualify like the priest had to qualify. He did not glorify himself, verse 5 says. He was appointed by God. He was human. God became a man so that you qualified for men because you are a man.
He then had to be appointed. It says, you are my beloved son. Today I have begotten you. He says in verse 6, you are a priest forever.
Ah, but now he throws something else, and this something else is a zinger. He says that he is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Now all I've said thus far is the introduction, because he takes all of chapter 7 to talk about Melchizedek. There is more in the New Testament on Melchizedek than in the Old Testament, because he wants you to understand why that matters to you and me today, that Jesus is after the order of Melchizedek. Verse 1 of chapter 7, for this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God.
Okay, let me stop there. He's not only priest, he's priest of the Most High God. The Hebrew word for Most High God that we found in Genesis 14 is the Hebrew word El Elyon.
El Elyon is the name for God that means that he trumps anything else that thinks they're God. It's like the Supreme Court. No matter what a lower court says, if the Supreme Court agrees to hear it, their decision overrides whatever the lower courts decided. The problem is, when you go to court you need a lawyer. You need somebody to represent you, and that somebody needs to know what they're doing.
They need to know what they're talking about. He says that Jesus Christ is behind the veil. He's after the order of Melchizedek, so he's both king and priest, king of righteousness.
He's priest, king of Salem. And 1 John 2 says, and we have an advocate with the Father. The word advocate means a lawyer. We have an advocate with the Father. Watch this.
Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins, but not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world. You got a lawyer. Where's the lawyer?
He's behind the veil. So the lawyer and the judge got a thing. The lawyer and the judge hang out together. The lawyer and the judge are a posse. The lawyer and the judge roll together, because the lawyer is the son of the judge. This day have I begotten you. And he's behind the veil.
He's in the courtroom. He says, this Melchizedek of the most high God, the one who can overrule whatever other gods are talking. It says, when Abraham met him, so he goes all the way back to the Abraham story, returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom Abraham apportioned a tenth part of his spoil. Here's the part you don't want to hear. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe. I knew you didn't want to hear. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe.
Why? This is where you need to know the difference between the old program and the new program. Before I explain it, let me give you the word for the new program, okay? The word for the new program is found in chapter 8 verse 1.
Now the main point is this. What has been said is this. We have such a high priest who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. Verse 7, for if the first covenant had been faultless, there would be no occasion sought for a second covenant. Verse 13, when he said a new covenant, he has made the first obsolete.
But whatever is becoming obsolete is growing old and is ready to disappear. Many Christians today are operating on the wrong program even when it comes to this tithe, because you will listen to the television, you will listen to the radio, and somebody will tell you to give a tithe or to give money to get your blessing. That's old news. That's fake news, because that's old covenant. That was Moses. You had to give a tithe to get a blessing. So to get a prayer cloth, to get this, to get that.
That's not the new program. In the new program, Melchizedek gave him bread and wine, then blessed him, then he gave a tithe. Abraham didn't give a tithe to get God to bless him. Abraham gave a tithe because God had already blessed him. It was a response to the goodness of God, not trying to manipulate God.
That's why we've got so much financial manipulation. Everybody wants to be blessed. If I can give you money so you can get blessed, then you'll get money because you want your blessing. That's not the way it is.
Come on, man. The old covenant, that's the old role. Now the Bible says in Ephesians 1-3, you have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
You are responding to the goodness of God, not being tricked by an old system that is now obsolete. And when did he bless him? He blessed him when he got the bread and the wine.
When he got restored at the place of blessing, he got blessed and out of response, he responded in gratitude to Melchizedek. Before Dr. Evans continues our message, I want to remind you briefly that time is running out to take advantage of our special offer on Tony's engaging large-format book, Experiencing Israel. Through stunning photos and insightful commentary, you'll get to relive one of his recent tours of the Holy Land.
You'll walk in Jesus' footsteps, seeing what he saw going where he went. Tony will teach you about the history, the geography, the customs, the people, everything you need to know to bring a whole new dimension to your Bible study time. This coffee-table style book will be a keepsake you'll want to display, as well as a resource you'll want to consult over and over again.
It also makes a terrific gift. We want you to have a copy of Experiencing Israel as our gift. All we ask is that you make a donation to help us keep Tony's teaching on this station. Your contributions are the only way we can continue our outreach on radio and TV, our work with pastors, their families, and with local church congregations around the world. Contact us today, let us know you can help, and we'll send you the book along with all 11 lessons in Tony's current series, Encountering Jesus' Names. It's a comprehensive study of what the Lord's various titles tell us about his nature and character. As you explore the deep meaning behind the many ways Jesus is referred to in the Bible, you'll find out that there's a description that matches up to any situation you find yourself in. Visit us today at tonyevans.org for details, or call our Resource Center at 1-800-800-3222.
That's 1-800-800-3222. I'll repeat that information for you after part two of today's message, and this. What's the best kind of self-care? Generosity. Giving Tuesday is right around the corner. At The Urban Alternative, we take hope to a hurting world by sharing God's Word. But to do that, we need your help. When you give to The Urban Alternative, you can help deliver hope and feel good while doing it. Learn how to contribute at tonyevans.org, and thank you for helping us take God's Word to a world in need on this Giving Tuesday. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens.
Okay, let me pause, let me pause. The human priest had to pass through three courts. The Bible says there are three heavens. There's the atmospheric heaven, the cellular heaven where the stars are, the planets. Then there is, the Bible calls it, the third heaven. That's the throne room of God. Jesus passed through the heavens. When did He pass through the heavens?
When He ascended on a cloud and left earth after His resurrection, He passed through the heavens and went up to sit on the right-hand side of the Father. So that's His kingship. But with the King who's seated on the throne is also a priest, and He's the great high priest. So watch this. Therefore, since we have such a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
So let's pause right there. Since you got somebody representing you in the courtroom of heaven, since you got somebody standing in your stead, don't you quit? Don't you give up? Don't you throw in the towel? Hold tight to your confession. Hold tight to your commitment to Jesus Christ.
Hold tight to your faith in who He is and what He has done. Don't you throw in the towel. I know you want to quit. I know you want to give up because life is hard, and we failed, and we've sinned, and it needs to be addressed. But He says, don't you give up.
Why? Because, He says, you got somebody up there. Now watch this.
Watch this. It's getting deeper. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. So He said, let me tell you about your high priest. He knows how you feel. That's why He became a man. God became a man so He could feel you. He became a man.
There is no category of life that anybody in this building has experienced that Jesus has not experienced that category. He knows what it is to be lonely. He knows what it is to be rejected. He knows what it is to be abandoned.
He knows what it is to be physically beat up. He knows what it is to be hurt. He knows what it is, the Bible says, He cried and He shed tears like drops of blood. So He knows when you're weeping how it feels to weep. He knows what it is to have people betray you like Judas betrayed Him. He knows what it is. And He even knows what it is to feel sin because on the cross He bore our sin.
It wasn't His sin, but He bore the judgment and the weight of the consequences of sin. So I don't care who you are, what you've been through, what you are going through, what you will go through, Jesus can tell the Father, God I feel that. I feel that. I can tell you how that feels because I've been there, done that, I have had that experience. I know what it is to be attacked by the devil in the wilderness and have him pounding on you and trying to get me to disobey you. I know what it is to go through that. I know what it is to be hungry.
I know what it is to be thirsty and they give me vinegar to drink instead of water. I know how to go through all of that. I know what it is to be homeless, for foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. I know what it is to be homeless.
I know what it is to go through life struggles. So you have a high priest who can sympathize. See all God the Father can do is know it, but God the Son can feel it. And when the knowledge of God the Father meets the sympathy of God the Son, you've got a double hitter.
So what do you do? He tells you in verse 16. A woman has a baby and she got a male doctor. That male doctor understands, but he doesn't feel it. When she goes, uh, and she's hurting because she's in labor, he can talk a lot of smack. He can say, oh I know what you're going through.
No you don't. You ain't there been pregnant. You don't know it, you just understand it academically because of what somebody told you in class and what you've seen on the gurney. But if there's a female doctor who's had a baby, she can not only help you, but she can understand you because she's been there and done that. What God is saying is Jesus is saying is I not only can help you because I'm sitting on the throne, I can understand you because I've been where you are. I can sympathize with your weakness. So you say, well wait a minute, wait a minute, where can I get this help? Where can I get this help? He tells you in verse 16, he says, therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help in time of need.
Okay, here it is. Let us draw near. If you have a long-distance relationship with Jesus Christ, you'll never see his priesthood working for you. If all you are is a Sunday morning go-to-church Christian, you will never see his priesthood helping you in a time of need. You'll never see God intervening into your situation.
You will never see the priesthood of Jesus Christ. He says you got to draw near. You can't carry on this long-distance relationship with me and wonder why I'm not coming through for you. I'm not helping you. I'm not enabling you.
I'm not strengthening you. You cannot keep long distance and get the benefit of the priesthood. The priesthood happens because you drew near. Even when Jesus was on the cross or getting ready to go on the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane, he's weeping like a baby.
The Bible says the drops of sweat were like drops of blood coming down. He was sweating so hard at the fact that he was going to die for the sins of the world and he dropped on his knees in the Garden of Gethsemane and he said, if there's any way let this cup pass from me. I don't want this. I don't need this pain.
I don't want this problem. However, Father, not my will but thy will be done. He drew near to God at the point of his greatest pain. You don't want to walk from God if you're hurting. You want to run to God if you're hurting. You don't want to stay away. You want to draw near. In fact, he may let it last longer to get you nearer earlier because he knows that if he just ends it the day it happens that you're gonna just forget it the day after it happens.
So he let some of that stuff linger but he's letting it linger in love because he's trying to draw you closer and closer and closer so that you can see the high priest at work. Most of the time I watch national news. Those are the big stories. But when I want to find out what's going on in Dallas and all the idiosyncrasies in Dallas, I'm gonna switch to four or five or eight or eleven because that's local news. That tells me about the local weather in Dallas. That tells me about things I need to know in Dallas and they give me more details because that's local news. What you just heard me preach is national news. But in your time of need, you need local news. In your time of need, you don't need what's happening with everybody else. I need Jesus right here, right now, from me in my situation.
I need local news. As long as you're only a church-going Christian, all you're gonna have is national news. But the moment you draw near to Jesus Christ behind the veil, you get local news. He shows up. He gives you strength. He gives you ability. He gives you perseverance. He gives you deliverance.
It's different strokes for different folks. But if you're ready for some local news, because it's not good just hearing national news, you better draw near. And what he says, if you draw near to me, you will find grace and mercy. Ooh, ooh, ooh. Hurt me, why don't you? He says, you're gonna find two things, not one. First of all, if you draw near, if you make me part of your local news life, you're gonna find grace. That's getting what you don't deserve. You're gonna find mercy, not getting what you do deserve. You're gonna find grace and mercy.
And when grace and mercy join forces, because you've drawn near to me, guess what you're gonna get? You're gonna get help in time of need. Anybody need some divine help? I need divine help. You need divine help. And you have a great high priest who is looking forward to giving you the help you need. Don't wait another minute to take advantage of that divine help Dr. Evans is talking about. Here he is with a word about how to get it. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Guess what? God is gonna let you go to heaven on credit. He will credit to your account the righteousness of Christ, because God is credited to Jesus Christ your sin. So, your credit score can be 100 if you go to Jesus Christ for salvation right now.
Learn more about what that means and why it's so important. Visit tonyevans.org and follow the link that simply says Jesus. Tony has a quick video that explains it all, and you'll find some free follow-up resources there as well. That's tonyevans.org. And while you're there, don't forget to take advantage of our current special offer, Tony's beautiful book, Experiencing Israel, plus all 11 full-length messages in his current teaching series, Encountering Jesus' Names. As I mentioned, they're yours with our thanks for your donation to keep this listener- supported program coming your way. Again, visit tonyevans.org to make the arrangements before time runs out, or call our Resource Center at 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night. That's 1-800-800-3222. If you're waiting on God for a breakthrough or a comeback, you're in for some encouragement on Monday as Dr. Evans takes a look at more names used to describe Jesus, names packed with promises. You won't want to miss it. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you.
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