|Jesus: Loud & Clear;
Front & Center (Hebrews)
Melchizedek & Messiah
|January 25, 2015|
January 25, 2015
This Week’s Take Home Truth: “The Levitical priesthood was only able to give temporary access to God; however, the priesthood of Jesus after the order of Melchizedek grants us permanent access to God.”
This Week’s Resources:
- The Compass Bible Study
- Word Search Answer Key
- Lighthouse Discussion Guide
- Lighthouse Leader Study Guide
Purpose: In this lesson we continue our focus on why Jesus is Better. This week, the writer compares Jesus to the Levitical priesthood. In leading your group through this lesson, try to help your group see this dynamic through Jewish eyes. The only comparison I could think of that might help they grasp the dynamics of this contrast would be if someone tried to convince a Christian that [fill in the blank] is better than the Bible. Immediately, our warning flags would go off and we would find ourselves instinctively resisting that concept. While not a complete apples-to-apples comparison, that may help us appreciate the shock value.
The application we are striving to make this week is that Jesus is our Great High Priest, and as such, He has opened the door for us to close, intimate fellowship with God that is not temporal or dependent upon our strict obedience to the Law.
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- What tradition or custom from your childhood experience do you particularly miss in today’s culture?
- If you were going to have dinner with God the Father tonight, what thoughts would go through your mind? Why?
Read the Text (Hebrews 7:1-22)
As we have stated repeatedly throughout our study of Hebrews, it is difficult for American readers to see this epistle through the eyes of First Century Jews who have embraced Jesus as Messiah. Hebrews 7 presents another contrast that seems elementary to our Gentile eyes, but to a Jew, the concept presented in Hebrews 7 seems unfathomable. The writer presents a contrast between the revered Levitical priesthood and a new priesthood identified with Messiah. Read Hebrews 7:1-22.
- Based on verses 1-10, what facts do we know about Melchizedek that would cause us to describe him as a great man?
- What is the purpose for a priest in the Old Testament?
- Do we still see priests serving in a similar role today?
- What is the thrust of the argument in Hebrews 7?
- Why the comparison with Melchizedek? What is the significance of Melchizedek?
- Based on what we have learned about Jesus as our High Priest, how would you respond to someone today who feels a need for a human priest?
- In Hebrews 7:19, the writer tells us we have a better hope that permits us to drawn near to God. How do you draw near to God?
- James 4:8 tell us, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” During your quiet time, search your heart for sins that keep you distant from God. Confess these sins to Jesus, your Great High Priest.
- Is there a verse or two from our study this week that has spoken to you regarding your relationship with God? Take a minute to write this verse on a card or piece of paper, and seek to memorize that verse this week.
- How can you encourage someone who is struggling with life right now to turn their eyes upon Jesus? Perhaps write a short note of encouragement and include a Bible verse from our study this week that has encouraged you.
I Am Thine, O Lord
Fanny Crosby wrote this consecration hymn while visiting in the home of the composer of the music, William H. Doane, in Cincinnati. The family’s conversation that night centered around the blessedness of enjoying the nearness of God. Suddenly in a moment of inspiration, Fanny started giving the words of the hymn—line by line, verse by verse, and then the chorus. Soon after Doane supplied the music, and another of the more than 8,000 Fanny Crosby hymns was born. Since that day in 1875, these moving lines have ministered to and challenged countless numbers of God’s people to keep their lives dedicated to their Lord:
I am Thine, O Lord—I have heard Thy voice, and it told Thy love to me; but I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to Thee.
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the pow’r of grace divine; let my soul look up with a steadfast hope and my will be lost in Thine.
O the pure delight of a single hour that before Thy throne I spend, when I kneel in pray’r and with Thee, my God, I commune as friend with friend.
There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea; there are heights of joy that I may not reach till I rest in peace with Thee.
Chorus: Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to the cross where Thou hast died; draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord, to Thy precious, bleeding side.