Sinless High Priest (Hebrews #12)

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Text: Hebrews 4:15

If you’ve dealt with personal failure or personal debilitating pain and come through those, you are more likely to defend someone else who is going through that.  Especially to someone who hasn’t gone through it.  If you’ve gone through cancer for instance and felt all the anxieties, frustrations, pain, not knowing, all that goes along with it, you’ve experienced it.  Now imagine someone who has never experienced that coming to you and complaining that their friend is depressed all the time because they found out about a cancer.  You would defend that friend because you know it’s not  as simple as snapping out of it.  You’ve walked through the pitfalls of the flesh and you know the steps to take to navigate this experience.  Whereas the complainer has no idea of those pitfalls and ditches.  That complainer can’t imagine why someone can’t just have a heavenly view of things.

Consider the Lord Jesus Christ’s role as High Priest.  The job of the priest made several things possible between God and man.

  • By the priest God would commune with man.
  • By the priest man could commune with God.
  • By the priest sin and judgment were dealt with for the people.
  • By the priest the people would be consoled.
  • By the priest the people’s desires would be taken to God.
  • By the priest was the people were instructed and reproved.

Experience

  • feeling of our infirmities… how do your infirmities feel?
    • God chose to experience life under the curse of flesh and blood in the person of Jesus Christ.  1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…
    • You’ve been tired and you know the pitfalls of being tired.  God never got tired outside of flesh and blood.  But when he wrapped himself in the curse of flesh and blood he needed sleep.  Matthew 8:24
    • You’ve been hungry and you know the pitfalls of being hungry.  God never got hungry outside of flesh and blood.  But when he wrapped himself in the curse of flesh and blood he needed food.  Matthew 21:18
    • You’ve been thirsty and you know the pitfalls of being thirsty.  God never got thirsty outside of flesh and blood.  But when he wrapped himself in the curse of flesh and blood he needed water. John 4:7
  • Jesus Christ is the body of God Almighty.
  • Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.  The Lord Jesus Christ is what the eternal Creator of the all things, all powerful, all knowing, looks like and acts like as a man.
  • He is the express image of God’s person according to Hebrews 1:3.
  • Not only did he wrap himself in flesh and blood, but experienced ministry in flesh and blood
    • Isaiah 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows… is fulfilled in Matthew 8:16-17.
    • I don’t know how to take that cross reference.  That looks like Jesus Christ took on the sickness experienced by the Jews.  He became a curse the Bible says.

Empathy

  • The question of whether or not Jesus Christ could sin has been a great one for armchair theologians.  He ‘was in all points tempted like as we are’ answers that question.  If he could not have sinned, he was never really tempted.
  • He had two natures at work.  He had the will of his own flesh in competition with the will of the Spirit of God.  Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
  • All points tempted
    • So you’ve never experienced temptation that Jesus Christ didn’t face.  You’ve never faced temptation to the extent Jesus Christ faced it.
    • Someone has complained that Jesus Christ never experienced marriage so he didn’t really experience all the temptations.  That argument is irrelevant because every temptation is an offshoot of three points.
      • 1 John 2:16 – Lust of flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life
      • Genesis 3:6 – good for food (lust of the flesh), pleasant to the eyes (lust of the eyes), make one wise (pride of life)
      • Matthew 4:1-11 – stones to bread after fasting 40 days (lust of flesh), throw yourself off a pinnacle of the temple (pride of life), shown all the glory of the kingdoms of the world (lust of the eyes)
      • John 19 – How about at the crucifixion under more intense pressure than at anytime.  Sees his mother and knows he could instantly make it all better (lust of the eyes), his thirst from loss of blood and grueling 48 hour ordeal (lust of the flesh), accepting reproach, beating knowing he could call down angels and turn the Pharisees and scoffers into ash (pride of life)
  • All of this leads to the Lord being a sympathetic priest with a gentle nature.
  • The Lord is quick to recognize the failures and faults in the flesh that make navigating righteousness difficult.
  • He experienced mental temptation, spiritual temptation.

Excellence

  • Three words that make the difference between you going to Hell and you going to Heaven; yet without sin.
  • When I read those words I get a little anxiousness in my stomach that had the Lord yielded one time to his flesh, he could not have been the spotless lamb of God.
  • Then to consider that he experienced temptation unto blood, temptation much more intense than I’ve ever experienced it and he didn’t stumble and he didn’t fall.  He pressed on.
  • This is so he can make an offering in righteousness.