October 27, 2018
Read Matthew 20:24-28
Read and discuss the following examples of how Jesus served others while He was on earth. Discuss the variety of people and their needs he ministered to.
The 4 gospels describe the work of Jesus on earth: Hebrews describes His work in heaven.
A. Jesus Serving as Our Advocate/Mediator
Discuss George’s following point:
It is interesting that the Epistle to the Hebrews doesn’t mention the resurrection of Jesus. The focus of Hebrews is not Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, but Jesus’ ascension into glory. This raises the question, “which is more spectacular & remarkable – Jesus rising from the dead or Jesus ascending into the clouds?”
In any human terms you think, both are amazing. The ascension of Jesus to a position of honour, regal splendour, & acceptance in the presence of God the Father, is a crucial factor in the argument of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The elevation of Jesus into the presence of God in Heaven bears testimony to the successful completion of what He accomplished on Earth.
This is the crucial point for the writer to the Hebrews. Whether the work of salvation Jesus accomplished on earth was a success, is only determined by whether Jesus’ work of salvation is accepted in Heaven. Heaven, in the presence of God, is where the work of salvation has to be effective & accepted.
Read Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:24-25, 1 John 2:1.
Consider and discuss the following:
After Jesus ascended to heaven and was seated at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 1:9; Colossians 3:1), He returned to the glory He had before His incarnation (John 17:5) to carry on His role of King of kings and Lord of lords—His eternal role as the second Person of the triune God. While this old earth continues to be “won” for Christ, Jesus is the Advocate for Christians, meaning He is our great Defender. This is the intercessory role He currently fulfills for those who are His (1 John 2:1). Jesus is always pleading our case before the Father, like a defense lawyer on our behalf.
Jesus is interceding for us while Satan (whose name means “accuser”) is accusing us, pointing out our sins and frailties before God, just as he did with Job (Job 1:6-12). But the accusations fall upon deaf ears in heaven, because Jesus’ work on the cross paid our sin debt in full; therefore, God always sees in His children the perfect righteousness of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, His righteousness (perfect holiness) was imputed to us, while our sin was imputed to Him at His death. This is the great exchange Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 5:21. That took away forever our sinful state before God, so God can accept us as blameless before Him.
Finally, it is important to understand that Jesus is the only human mediator between God and man. No one else—not Mary, not any previous Christian saints—has the power to intercede for us before the throne of the Almighty. No angel has that position. Christ alone is the God-man, and He mediates and intercedes between God and man. “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). *
B. Jesus Serves as our Great High Priest
Read and discuss what the role of the high priest in the old covenant was. Hebrews 9:1-10.
Read Hebrews 9:11-28, 10:1-18. Compare the old and new covenants.
In what ways is the new covenant greater than the old covenant?
How is Jesus as our Great High Priest superior than the high priests in the old covenant? Hebrews 7:18-28, 10:11-14, 9:11-12, 24-28.
With the above in mind what are we encouraged to do? Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19-23, 2:16-18.
How has this study helped you in your understanding and appreciation for Jesus as your Great High Priest “who came not to be served but to serve….” Mark 10:45?