Session 6: Bridge
One of the big ideas that runs throughout the entire book is that Jesus serves as our great high priest. This is not an image of Jesus that is common through the rest of the New Testament. What thoughts first come to mind when you think of Jesus as a high priest?
- Play: Session 6 Video
- One of the big ideas that runs throughout the entire book is that Jesus serves as our great high priest. This is not an image of Jesus that is common through the rest of the New Testament. What thoughts first come to mind when you think of Jesus as a high priest?
Making sense of the high priest:
- The job of the Jewish high priest was to mediate the covenant by offering sacrifices in the sanctuary. Hebrews sets out to show that Jesus is greater than the Jewish high priest because he mediates a greater covenant by offering a greater sacrifice in a greater sanctuary.
- The priest was a bridge between God and his people. Everything including the way a priest dressed was intended to communicate this fact.
The priest’s ephod and breastplate are both made from the same material used to make the tabernacle itself. Both use blue, purple and scarlet thread and employ the use of gold clasps or rings (Ex. 26:1, 6, 32, 37; 28:5, 23). The priest’s garments are also made of the same material as the veil separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, so he is the walking embodiment of the tabernacle as well as the access point to the presence of God. It is particularly interesting that Hebrews calls Jesus’ own body the curtain opening the way to the Most Holy Place (10:20).
The breastplate of the high priest was also symbolic of his role as a bridge between God and the people. On each shoulder there was an onyx stone with the names of the tribes of Israel engraved. In this way, the priest “bears the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord” (Ex. 28:12). He also had 12 precious stones on the breastplate each containing the name of one of the tribes. So the weight of the tribes was on his shoulders and the responsibility of representing them was on his heart. As he went before God, he symbolically carried the tribes with him.
- The point that Hebrews makes is that whatever the high priests came to symbolize was reality in Jesus
Making sense of Melchizedek:
- Commenting on Psalm 110, Hebrews says that Jesus is a priest like Melchizedek. Read Genesis 14:18-20 and Hebrews 7. What do we learn about Melchizedek in these passages?
- How does the author use Melchizedek to talk about Jesus’ unique priesthood?
- In the video I referenced the example of Job, a man who was crying out for a mediator between himself and God. Have you ever felt like Job?
- Focus on Hebrews 4:14-16 and 7:23-28. How does the priesthood of Jesus help us to persevere?
Jesus, the High Priest of God (Summary Observations from chapters 5-10)
Jesus The Earthly High Priest His Ancestry: His Ancestry: - From the tribe of Judah - From the tribe of Levi. - In the order of Melchezidek - In the order of Aaron - He is a priest forever - Subject to death His Nature: His Nature: - He was tempted in every way, yet was without sin. - Subject to sin, and therefore he had to offer sacrifices for himself. - A son appointed by God. - A mere man called by God. His Ministry: His Ministry: - He continually serves in the true tabernacle in heaven. - He serves only once a year in a man-made tabernacle that is merely a copy of heaven. - His voluntary sacrifice of himself has removed sins once for all. He is the source of our salvation and saves us completely. - He sacrifices bulls and goats year after year which can never completely remove sin. - He is the mediator and guarantee of a superior covenant relationship with God. - He is the mediator of an obsolete covenant that is passing away. - He has granted us intimacy with God. He meets our needs. - His ministry leaves us wanting.
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The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.