Family Bible Study lesson for March 27: Jesus - Our High Priest : Friday, March 11, 2005
March 11 2005 by John Pond

Family Bible Study lesson for March 27: Jesus - Our High Priest : Friday, March 11, 2005
Friday, March 11, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for March 27: Jesus - Our High Priest

By John Pond
Focal Passage: Mark 16:1-7; Hebrews 7:23-28; 9:11-14

Before Christian missionaries arrived, Rwanda had a legend about a redeemer, Imana, who came to restore man's relationship with God. He fell from the sky and was caught by a special tree that grows on the hills. The story states that his blood was absorbed by the limbs and leaves and can be seen today.

This ancient legend describes one who gave humanity access to God. One can imagine the response of the Rwandan people to the message about one who died upon a tree, shedding his blood to redeem the world of its sin.

Jesus, in His prophetic role, stands as God's representative over against men. But, in His priestly role He also stands as man's representative over against God. His sacrifice signifies what the ancient sacrifices pointed to, definitive peace with God. Standing in mankind's stead, Jesus has broken down everything that divides us from God.

Living Lord

Mark 16:1-7

They had come to pay their final tribute to Jesus, bringing additional spices and perfumes. This was to be their last act of love and devotion. Brokenhearted, the women approached the tomb.

But the gospel does not end with a word of defeat and despair. It shouts with triumph. "Don't be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here."

The event they had witnessed resulted in a new event - resurrection. The very focal point of the gospels was now a reality - Jesus had been raised from the dead.

In the space of two verses everything was made right. The young man calmed the women's fears by pointing them to the resurrection and inviting them to look into the tomb to verify it. "See the place where they put Him." Then, he commissioned them to go and tell the disciples that He would meet them in Galilee, as promised. "You will see Him there just as He told you." With these words Jesus had forgiven and restored His doubting followers and was truly ready to make them become "fishers of men" for the kingdom of God.

Permanent Priest

Hebrews 7:23-28

Death is a reality we all must live with. It reveals the fact of our mortality. This is especially true of the priesthood, as described in the book of Hebrews. Over the millennia, there have been a plethora of priests. No one priest has been allowed to remain permanently.

God's ultimate goal was to establish a permanent relationship between Himself and His people. Jesus' death and resurrection placed Him at the right hand of God, where He serves as our high priest. His priesthood is permanent. This means no one can take His place and He is always available to save and sustain. Scottish theologian William Barclay wrote, "He is the priest for ever, the One who is forever opening the door to the friendship of God and is forever the great Servant of mankind."

Unlike earthly priests Jesus is unique: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

By His sacrifice, given "once-for-all," Jesus accomplished what no earthly priest could do. He broke down the barrier between sinful man and holy God and opened the way back to God for men.

Sufficient Savior

Hebrews 9:11-14

Jewish people looked to the day when the messiah would come and redeem them from the oppression of pagan nations. Each sacrifice became a testimony to that belief. The sacrifices made on the Day of Atonement declared the people clean and redeemed, but Jesus' sacrifice accomplished a far greater redemption for all people.

The Levitical sacrifices cleansed the body, but Jesus' cleansed the soul. Unlike the former, Jesus touched and changed the very heart of mankind. Whereas each sacrifice looked to temporal redemption, Jesus brought about eternal redemption from the slavery of sin. Lastly, the former sacrifices merely whitewashed the individual, but Jesus enabled man to leave permanently his deeds of death and become a servant of the living God.

His sacrifice was sufficient. It was enough for the sin condition of all humanity. By His obedient and spontaneous giving of Himself, Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice, not out of law, but of love.

3/11/2005 12:00:00 AM by John Pond | with 0 comments

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