FreshSermon
Books
Consulting
Devotionals
Illustrations
Sermons
Pastoral Ministry
in the Real World Click Now to Order

Gaining Access to God


 

 Today our service will focus on two aspects of Jesus’ saving work.  The first half of the service will focus on his role as the perfect High Priest as we explore the teachings of Hebrews 4:14-16.  During the second half of the service, we will consider the work that Jesus did on the cross through singing several great hymns, and gathering around the Lord’s Table.  I encourage you to set aside anything that will hinder you from fully engaging in this worship experience.  Shall we pray?

Hebrews 4:14-16 
“Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” (HCSB)

 You will remember that when we read Hebrews 1:3 a few weeks ago I told you that this verse was a foreshadowing of this discussion about Jesus being the Great High Priest.  It says, “He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3 HCSB)  Because the great high priest never sat down until his work was finished, the very act of sitting down shows the completed work of Jesus.  In the first chapter, the writer of Hebrews is arguing that Jesus’ work is completed, in this chapter, he elaborates on the nature of the work. 

 The writer of Hebrews teaches that Jesus is the perfect High priest. Hebrews 4:14 says, “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession.” (HCSB  The writer of Hebrews draws an analogy between the great high priest who “passes through the veil” to enter the holy of holies on the day of atonement and Jesus Christ, the perfect high priest who “passed through the heavens” and then presented the sacrifice to the Father. 

 Remember Jesus’ words on the cross, “It is finished?” (John 19:30)  When He said those words, He didn’t mean that it was finished for now, but will have to be repeated every year, he meant that the job was done, never needing to be repeated.  This is in sharp contrast to the work of the priest on The Day of Atonement.  Yom Kippur rolled around every year. The priest made the sacrifice annually, but not anymore. Because Jesus, the perfect High Priest “passed through the veil (heavens)” and made the perfect sacrifice (His blood), it was finished. Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” (HCSB)  This one sacrifice was sufficient for all times. 

 Yes, He passed through the veil—He made the ultimate sacrifice. In another place in Hebrews, the writer refers to hope as an “anchor of the soul” that “enters within the veil.” Hebrews 6:19 says, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,” (NASB)  Our only hope is on the other side of that veil.  Jesus passed through the veil, made the sacrifice and secured our hope.

 Actually, when He offered the sacrifice, he tore the veil. Matthew 27:51 says, “And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.”  (NASB) 

 When He died on the cross, the veil in the temple-the veil that separated God from man, the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple was torn in two. The veil was torn before the earthquake-only the hand of God could tear the 60-foot high (pulpit commentary, vol 15, p. 594) veil.

 By “tearing the veil” and “passing through the veil (heavens)” Jesus opened the door for us to boldly approach God. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” (HCSB)

 Because of the completed work of Jesus, believers have access to a Holy God.  It isn’t just that we can approach Him, it is that we can approach Him with confidence.   You can approach Him with confidence because He understands.   The preceding verse, Hebrews 4:15 says,  “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.” (HCSB)

 WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED, YOU CAN TURN TO HIM and He will understand.  He knows what it is like to have physical needs.  Luke 9:58 says, “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (KJV)  He knows what it is like to be hungry (Mark 11:12) and thirsty (John 19:28).  He knows what it is like to mourn (John 11:35) and He knows what it is like to be tempted (Luke 4).  He knows.  There isn’t a problem you’ve been through that He can’t relate to, so take a minute and talk to Him.  Don’t hesitate, there is no reason to be shy, approach His throne boldly to speak to Him.  Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and wondrous things you do not know.” (HCSB)

 Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” (HCSB)  Call on Him with your needs.

 Perhaps some of you have struggles right now in your life that you need to talk to God about.  Let’s pause for a few minutes to allow you to do so right now.  Let’s pray.

 You also can CALL ON HIM WHEN YOU ARE TEMPTED.  The writer of Hebrews says that He’s been tempted, just like us, the only difference is that He’s never sinned.  Let me give you two pieces of advice about what to do whenever you are tempted.  First, turn to Scripture, as Jesus did.  When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus responded by quoting scripture to him.  (Matthew 4:10)  Second, speak to God.  You can approach Him with confidence to ask for His help.  He will help you, He understands what you’re going through.

 You can CALL UPON HIM FOR SALVATION.  Acts 2:21 says, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (KJV)  Undeserving as we are, God will save us if we call upon Him.

 Has there ever been a time in your life when you called upon Him to save you?  If not, you can do so today.  Because of the completed work of Jesus Christ, you can ask God to save you, and you can do so with confidence.
 

Impact Preaching: A Case for the
one-pointexpositiory sermon

...href="http://www.thefuturechurch.com/index.html">....