Introduction: 1. Last Sunday evening our lesson was based on Hebrews 3:1 -- we are to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." 2. The book of Hebrews contains a lengthy discussion of the Lord's priesthood (2:17-ch.10). a. Throughout this section, Christ is repeatedly shown to be far superior to the Old Testament priests. b. The reason for this is to prevent Christians from falling away from the Lord. c. When we have a proper appreciation for the Lord's priesthood, we should be motivated to remain faithful to Him. 3. In the verses we are studying, Jesus is shown to be: a. a great High Priest b. a compassionate High Priest.
I. FROM VS. 14, WE LEARN THAT JESUS IS A GREAT HIGH PRIEST
A. This can be seen when we compare Jesus to the Jewish high priest. 1. (Hebrews 5:1-4) The Jewish high priest: a. was a man (vs.1a) b. offered gifts and sacrifices for sins (vs.1b) c. had compassion on the ignorant and on those out of the way (vs.2) d. made offerings for the sins of others and for himself (vs.3) e. was called of God (vs.4). 2. Jesus is shown to be a greater High Priest in that: a. He is the Son of God (4:14) b. He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice once for all (7:27) c. He has compassion on others because He was tempted (2:17-18) d. He had no sin for which to offer a sacrifice (7:26) e. He was called of God after the order of Melchisedec (5:10). 3. When we study this comparison carefully, we see that Jesus is indeed a great High Priest. B. His position also indicates that He is a great High Priest. 1. He is passed into the heavens. 2. (1:3) He is seated at the right hand of the Father. 3. There He makes intercession for those who come to the Father by Him (7:25). C. (vs.14b) Since Jesus is such a great High Priest, we are given an appeal -- "let us hold fast our profession." D. In addition to being a great High Priest, . . .
II. WE LEARN FROM VS. 15-16 THAT JESUS IS A COMPASSIONATE HIGH PRIEST
A. He is compassionate because He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." 1. He is touched because He "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." 2. (Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. 3. However, Jesus also experienced: a. the pain associated with death 1) of a family member -- John (Matthew 14:10-13) 2) of a close friend -- Lazarus (John 11:35-36) b. rejection 1) by His disciples (John 6:66) 2) by His family (John 7:5) 3) by His countrymen (John 8:59) c. betrayal by His own apostle (John 18:3-5) d. unjust treatment (John 19:1-3) e. being forsaken by His close friends (Matthew 26:56 -- "Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled"). B. Since Jesus is such a compassionate High Priest, we are given another appeal - we are encouraged to approach His throne of grace. 1. We are to do so "boldly" [with undoubting confidence, courage, and assurance]. 2. At His throne of grace we can find: a. "mercy" b. "grace to help in time of need."
1. Jesus is truly a great and compassionate High Priest. 2. This should motivate: a. those who are outside of Christ to become Christians b. those who are Christians to be more dedicated to serving the Lord. 3. See Hebrews 7:25a