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Monday, March 23, 2020

2020.03.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 4:14–5:11

Questions from the Scripture text: Who is our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14)? Through what has He passed? To what, then, should we hold fast? What do we not have, according to Hebrews 4:15? Like whom was Jesus tempted? In how many points was He tempted as we are? What is the difference between Jesus’ response to temptation and ours? To where, then, should we come (Hebrews 4:16)? In what manner should we come to the throne? What kind of throne is it for us? What do we hope to obtain and find at the throne? When should we come to the throne of grace for mercy and grace? From among whom is a high priest taken (Hebrews 5:1)? For whom are they appointed? To whom do they relate upon man’s behalf? What do they offer for sins? Upon whom can a high priest have compassion (Hebrews 5:2)? Why is he able to do so? For whom is he required to offer sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 5:3)? Who can take this honor for himself (Hebrews 5:4)? Who called Aaron to be a high priest? Who appointed Christ to be High Priest (Hebrews 5:5)? What did He say to Christ in verse 5? How long is Christ’s appointment as high priest (Hebrews 5:6)? What did Jesus offer up in the days of His flesh (Hebrews 5:7)? With what (in what manner) did Jesus offer up prayers and supplications? To whom did Jesus pray? Why was Jesus heard? What did Jesus learn most of all by this suffering (Hebrews 5:8)? What does Hebrews 5:9 say that He perfectly become? Who had designated Him for this (Hebrews 5:10)? According to Hebrews 5:11, why would it be hard to explain to them about Melchizedek?
What did our great High Priest do on earth? Before “He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8), “He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death” (Hebrews 5:7).

Prayer is an admission of weakness (Hebrews 5:2). Prayer is an offering up to God not of gifts and sacrifices (Hebrews 5:1Hebrews 5:3) but of the passions and cries of our souls (Hebrews 5:7).

Christ’s priestly work continues forever (Hebrews 5:6), in large part by His occupying the throne of glory as a throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16). Yahweh had described Himself as the King who is seated upon the mercy seat between the cherubim (cf. Exodus 25:21, Psalm 99:1). Now, our great High Priest has passed not between the curtains but through the heavens (Hebrews 4:14). And, when we gather to His throne, it is for us a throne of grace, where we obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

One of the great ways that Jesus displays the greatness of His kingship is by sitting on a throne, hearing and responding to our prayers in almighty power.

One of the great ways that Jesus displays the completeness of His sacrifice is by mediating our prayers from that throne, by the worthiness of His atonement and in the sympathy of One who shared in our weakness.

Prayer has always been a central element of biblical worship. The whole of public worship is sometimes referred to as “calling upon the Lord” or “calling upon the name of the Lord.” In New Testament worship, this prayer specifically exalts the kingship and priesthood of our Lord Jesus.

So, as we pray, let us offer up our souls to God in our passions and cries as our Savior did. Let us come in acknowledgment of our weakness and of His power to address that weakness.  Let us worship God, through Christ, by prayer.
What do you usually feel and think during public prayer? What could improve in this?
Suggested songs: ARP65A “Praise Awaits You, God” or TPH518 “Come, My Soul, with Every Care”

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