David Jeremiah - Christ is All You Need
Counselors tell us that one of the deepest needs of the human heart is to know that someone understands us. I'm David Jeremiah, and I'm happy to tell you today that God has met that need. Today's message is called, "Christ Is All You Need". It is from our series based on the book of Hebrews called, "Jesus Is Enough". And the truth that we'll examine today is one of the most amazing revelations in the Bible, that Jesus Christ, because of his human experience on earth, can sympathize and empathize with us in our times of deepest sorrow, and our moments of greatest joy. We can pray confidently knowing that he completely understands all that we are experiencing because he has been where we are. I hope you'll join me for this transforming message, on today's edition of, "Turning Point".
No matter who we are or where we have been in our journey with Christ, there will inevitably come a time when we feel that nobody on earth can understand our situation. Our most intimate friends, our spouses, our parents, will not be able to feel what is going on in our lives. Our questions and doubts may not even be translatable into words, and we will ache for someone to whom we can go with our soul's needs. This section of Hebrews is about that someone. The writer of Hebrews speaks of him as our great High Priest. Say that with me, "Our great High Priest".
The High Priestly ministry of Jesus Christ has been hinted at in all of the chapters we have so far studied. In fact, in every chapter, up until this one, he's been either referenced or spoken of specifically. In the third verse of the first chapter, we are told that Jesus sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high. Chapter 2 and verse 17, we're told that we have a merciful and faithful High Priest. In verse 1 of chapter 3, we learned that our Savior is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. In every chapter thus far, the ministry of Jesus Christ, as our High Priest is mentioned, but hardly anything is said about him. We don't know what he does, how he functions as a High Priest in our lives.
The Lord has given us his Word, to be our monitor, to help us know how we're doing. We're told the Word of God is sharp as a two-edged sword and it pierces into our lives. It helps us know where we are. Basically, there's no posturing with the Word of God. And along with the Word of God, we have the God of the Word before whom everything is demonstratable, and God knows our hearts and our motives.
So, here we are now, we're on this journey from Egypt to the Promised Land from our salvation in Christ until the time when we're in heaven. We're in this in between time, pilgrims and strangers. We have the Word of God, we have God in heaven, but there's one more piece of this puzzle that the writer wants us to acknowledge and that is, we also have someone in heaven whose specific responsibility and promise is that he will help us in every situation that we face.
Now, with that in mind, let's look at these verses together. And notice, first of all, that we have heavenly High Priest. We have a heavenly High Priest. Verse 14 says, "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest, who has passed through the heavenlies, Jesus the Son of God". Who is this High Priest, and what is our relationship with him? Well, we'll get to that as we answer some questions. First of all, whose he is. I know that doesn't sound like a good sentence, but it is a good sentence. Whose is this High Priest? Notice, we have a great High Priest, we have him. Every one of you here today, if you're a Christian, Jesus Christ is yours. He's your High Priest.
Let me say it this way, he's your High Priest as if you were the only one who had a High Priest. He's yours. He's not just ours as a church. He's yours. He's mine. He belongs to us. He wants us to take ownership of him in his role as our High Priest. Whose he is. Number two, what he is, what is a great High Priest? Well, obviously, this is a reference back to the Old Testament. Remember, again, I keep reminding you, what's the name of this book? It's called Hebrews, and it's written primarily to the Hebrews with application to all of us. All the Hebrews would have known all about priests. Let's face it, in Baptist churches, we don't know much about priests, but the Hebrews knew about priests. They knew that in the Old Testament, priests were appointed by God to be mediators between God and man.
The writer of Hebrews refers to Jesus Christ, not just as a Priest, or even as a High Priest, but as our great High Priest. The Bible says when Jesus had finished his atonement for our sins, we are told that he went into the Holiest of Holies. He went in to the very real literal presence of God, the Holiest of all Holies, and presented the blood of his own sacrifice and the Bible says, having done that, he sat down at the right hand of God. The sacrifice was made by the perfect High Priest. The sacrifice itself was perfect, and Yom Kippur would never ever have to occur again to atone for the sins of people.
Hebrews 9:12 says, "Not with a blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, he entered the most holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption". Now, the interesting thing is that the death of Jesus Christ was the end of Jewish priesthood and sacrifices as they were known. Whose he is. He's my High Priest, I have him. What he is, he's the great High Priest. Here's the third question, where he is. The Bible says that he's in heaven.
Did you know that when Jesus was on this earth during his incarnation, he functioned primarily as a prophet. He forth told the Word of God. He's coming back again someday and the Bible says when he comes back, he's gonna come back as our King. But in between his role as a prophet when he was on the earth, and his role as the King when he comes back again, he functions as our priest. He's our priest in heaven, taking care of the interceding for us, that is so necessary. Whose he is, what he is, and where he is.
And now finally, almost like the first question, but not quite, who he is, who is he? Notice it says, he is Jesus, the Son of God. Say it with me, "Jesus, the Son of God". This puts together in one phrase his humanity and his deity. Jesus is his human name, and he's the Son of God. That's his divine name. And just in case we've forgotten who this great High Priest is, the writer wants us to remember our High Priest is none other than Jesus the Son of God.
And here's an interesting thought that I don't want you to miss because I kind of ran into this this week, and then it brought back memories of having studied this a long time ago, but having almost forgotten it. And once you listen carefully so you don't misunderstand what I'm saying. When Jesus left this earth to go back to heaven, hear me carefully, he did not lay aside his humanity. Jesus is in heaven as in his humanity, he was after his resurrection on this earth.
When I pray to Jesus, I am praying to not only Jesus the Son of God, I am praying to Jesus who is in his humanity at the very right hand of the Father. Now, that helps me and encourages me because sometimes we think, "Well, maybe he's back and he's in a spiritual form like his Father". No, no, the Bible says he never ever laid aside his humanity. In fact, the Bible says it this way, there is one God and one man between God a man, who is that? It is the man Christ Jesus. The Bible says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
When Jesus answers our prayers in heaven, he answers those prayers as if he were here in his resurrection body interacting with us, person to person, human to human, and that's why we can have such great confidence when we go to him. He is not just the Son of God, he is Jesus the Son of God. He is our great High Priest. So, we have a heavenly High Priest, but that brings us to the second point in this outline. Because we have a heavenly High Priest, we have a human responsibility.
Notice it says in verse 14, "Because of all that I have told you so far, let us hold fast our confession". Our confession is important to us. The Bible says that with our mouths, we confess our faith. You know, there are a lot of Christians today who have joined the Secret Service. Have you noticed that? They're underground Christians. They're covert Christians, but the Bible says if we're gonna make it through this wilderness, if we're gonna get through Egypt to the Promised Land, if we're going to experience our quest for the best, we need to understand the importance of holding fast our confession, not being ashamed of who he is.
Now, let me tell you, you confess Christ with your lips, but you also confess Christ with your life. It's not just what you say, it's what you do. And here's the thing that I think is so interesting, the writer of Hebrews is telling us to confess Christ, to hold fast our confession, not because it's simply a requirement, but in order that it might be beneficial to us in our walk.
How many of you know that when you are outward by your faith, when you confess Jesus Christ openly, it gives you courage to face the challenges of the day because you have declared who you are. You've declared your allegiance to the High Priest who is in heaven, and you're walking in fellowship with him, and somehow your walk is stronger, your steps are brighter, and you get through the wilderness a whole lot better than you do if you try to be a covert Christian.
Now, the third thing, we have a heavenly High Priest and we have a human responsibility. Number three, we have a human High Priest. Notice what it says in verse 15, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses". Our High Priest in heaven, as I've already told you, who is he? He's Jesus Christ in his resurrection body, still in his humanity, and the Bible says this Jesus Christ, who is our heavenly High Priest is also our human High Priest, and because of that, he can sympathize with our weaknesses.
When you go to Jesus with whatever it is you've got going on in your heart, you tell him what you're going through, he's already been there and done that and he knows exactly what you're experiencing. The Bible says he sympathizes with you, and the word "sympathize" is made up of two words which means to suffer with, to suffer with. It means he doesn't just look upon our suffering from the outside and try to get a gauge on it. No, the Bible says he enters into our suffering and literally suffers with us. No matter what it is we're experiencing, he sympathizes with us in our weaknesses.
The Bible says he sympathizes with us when we are, say this with me, "without strength", without strength. And the Bible tells us that not only can he sympathize with us in our time of testing, but he can strengthen us in our time of temptation. Notice the end of verse 15, "But he was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin". Hebrews 2:18 puts it this way, "For in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are also tempted". He's seen it all. He's felt it all, and he understands what's going on in your life and in mine.
Say, "Pastor Jeremiah, I'm under such temptation pressure right now". Well, the Bible says there is no temptation taking you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may be able to overcome it. Listen, you have someone in heaven, not only who feels your suffering, but understands your temptation.
In fact, it's interesting in Hebrews 2:17 we are told that Jesus was in all things made like to his brethren. And in Hebrews chapter 4:15, we are told that he was tempted in all points. He was made in all things like us, and he was tempted in all points like us and because of that, he knows what we experience. He was made like us so that he could minister to us. We have a heavenly High Priest, and we have a human responsibility. Now notice, we have a human High Priest, and we have a heavenly responsibility. Notice verse 16, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need".
Now, the Bible says because we have a human High Priest who can identify with our infirmities, who understands our temptations, we have a heavenly responsibility. And what is that responsibility? Look what it says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace". Now, in this verse, let me again go back to the question method, this is kind of like a catechism, and let be asked these questions. This is about prayer. So, the first question is, How should we pray? Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace.
You say, "Man, I've heard people do that, they just sort of come after God with"... Wait a minute, boldly doesn't mean disrespect. Boldly doesn't mean get in God's face. Boldly literally means in the text itself, it means come to God in prayer saying it all. That's what the word means, come saying it all, putting it all on the table, leaving nothing out. Tell God everything there is to tell. Pray your prayers in technicolor. Pray your prayers in high definition. Pray your prayers saying it all. Tell God what's going on in your life. Tell him everything you're facing. Don't leave any of the details out.
If you want to learn how to pray like that, go back and read the Psalms. David prayed like that, "Lord, how long"? Remember that prayer? He was getting frustrated with God not doing what he thought he should do. Now, you say, "Well, Pastor, why should I pray like that? The Bible says he already knows what I need, why should I have to tell him"? Let me promise you, he's not asking for information. He doesn't need you to tell him because he doesn't know. He needs you to tell him because he needs you to know what it is that's going on in your life and the way to do that is to express it to the Lord, come boldly saying it all. That's how you should pray.
So, how should we pray? Let us come boldly. What should we pray? The Bible says we should pray that we may obtain mercy and find grace. Very simply, that means mercy for the things we've already done, and grace for the things we're involved in. How many of you know that there hardly is a day that goes by that we don't need God's mercy for something we did? You're looking at me like you don't understand why I'm saying. Every one of us have to throw ourselves on the mercy of God, don't we? "Lord, I never meant for that to happen. I never meant for that to happen in my life. Please have mercy on me and forgive me and forgive me", and he does.
The Bible says we come saying it all to the throne of grace, and we ask for mercy for what we've done, and grace for what's going on in our lives right now. How we should pray, what we should pray. And thirdly and finally, why we should pray. The Bible says we should pray that we may obtain help in the time of need. And I'll tell you what, we're in a time of need right now, are we not, as a nation, as families, and individuals? There's never been a better time for this message than this time. The Bible says we come and we ask God for grace and mercy, and then we asked him to help us in our time of need.
Once again, a little word study. The word "help" here is an interesting word. It's only found one other place in the New Testament, and it is really an interesting picture of what this means. The word "help" is also found in Acts 27:17. It says, "When they had taken it on board, they used cables to undergird the ship", and the word "undergird" is the word help.
Now, watch this picture. The ship had so much cargo on it, that it wasn't strong enough to get through the storm, so they undergirded it with cables. In the same way when we come to God in need, he undergirds us with his strong loving arms and makes it possible for our ship of state to get through the storm and not get blasted out of the water. How many of you know that's the kind of help we need? We need God to undergird us. We need him to come with his strength in our weakness and put his strong arms under us and help us get through the storm. We pray to him that we might find help in the time of need.
I don't know what's going on in your life today, but I do know this, and let me say it again. I have, you have a High Priest in heaven, seated on the throne of majesty at the right hand of God. He's offered up the sacrifice for your sin, and he's there in his body making intercession for you and me, and experiencing with us everything we experience, sympathizing with us in our infirmities, and identifying with us in our temptations, and he comes to us with this glorious invitation. "My children, come before the throne of grace saying it all and ask there for mercy for the things in the past and grace for the things in the present, and find there help for your needs so you can get through this storm".
I've been saying this and I say it again today, listen carefully. I recommend him. I recommend him to you. I want you to know him. I want to be a priest today for God, standing between God and you and saying to you, God loves you, Christ died for you. If you will put your trust in him, you can go to heaven and be with God forever. And the only thing that's standing between you and heaven is your own unwillingness to repent of your sin and accept the sacrifice which Jesus has already provided for you.
Will you receive him today? Will you come and be a Christian? Will you lay hold of your confession of faith and become today what God designed you to be? If you will, he has promised to come, live within your heart, and walk with you every step of the way from here all the way to the Promised Land.