Jesus, Our Mediator and Intercessor – 9-20-22

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 8 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The New Priestly Service

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the [a]sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

A New Covenant

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins [b]and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Footnotes
a.Hebrews 8:2 Lit. holies
b.
Hebrews 8:12 NU omits and their lawless deeds

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

At this point I feel God is saying we should keep opening with this time of prayer of humility and moment of repentance, as we have every day since we began studying this book. As we long and hunger to learn about and meet with a humble and sinless Jesus and draw close to a Mighty and Holy God – it is good to respect them enough to come before them repented and lowly, as young children eager to learn.   

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things you count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you, and fall in love with you in a new and deeper way. Open my ears to hear you and learn of your plan for my life and why you made me. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

I have said it before since we started this study of Hebrews – but I like to repeat myself for those who are just joining us (welcome and please jump right in). I feel we have clumsily taken the concept of daddy God too carelessly. YES, he is our tender daddy who we can run to in times of trouble without formality or cleansing of ourselves in repentance. But we cannot storm into the Holy Throne Room and into His Glory, without respect every single time just to hang out and be disruptive to His sovereign work. He’d kick us out if we even could get that close. But there are guards that keep us from even. And at first we often trick ourselves into thinking we are in His Hoy presence and we chatter away, but God’s presence is far from us.
Nothing separates us from His love and His all-knowing and seeing eyes. But to draw near to Him? We must follow His rule of reverence and respect – and do so because we love Him.
Sometimes we do not feel close to God and wonder why He has pulled back. If you are full of respect and hungrily seeking Him, He pulled back to draw you deeper. But if you are careless and reckless – if you try to approach God with a sense of entitlement – if you seek Him while caught up in a humble bag or with the thought of look at me I am the only one who can approach Him or hear from Him. Then it is possible that you aren’t entering His presence and you are off course. It is possible that you misstepped. And it is time to remember that fear of the Almighty and reverence for His sovereignty. Who are you even to demand something of the most powerful being in the universe? You are counted as one of His children and he has millions and no favorites. So who are you even?! The fact that He even loves us, should wreck us and leave us ugly crying in repentance. Do we understand His sovereign holiness?

Isaiah saw the outer area of God’s Holy presence and yelled out I am an unclean man and fell into deep repentance. And after he was burnt with hot coals for cleansing – he still needed an intercessor, someone to go between him and God.
Understanding this need to an intercessor, someone pure and Holy who can come and go from the holy place, is the foundation in which the author of Hebrews writes today’s chapter.

One side note, before we begin: The Holy Father lives in the Holy of Holies up in heaven. He has a Holy Throne of grace and that is what I speak of. In the book of Job, there is a court room, with a throne set up and there Our Father conducts court. Apparently the Enemy comes to Court to get permission to try us and afflict us – “us” being those who are wearing the blood of the Lamb, meaning are humble and repentant (asking to be washed in Jesus’s blood means to be washed in forgiveness and God forgets our sins). If we are not marked as belonging to God, satan does not need permission to afflict us. But if we are – God is ultimately sovereignly governing these afflictions, making a way for you to draw closer to Him with built up faith and refined to come out repentant of more sins. The point is there is a court room when evil and uncleanness can be in God’s Court room and presence. If someone tells you that demons melt or are destroyed in God’s presence they have been watching too many fairy tales. Demons are fallen angels – angels are made to be in His presence. And so were we, created to fellowship with God – we are talking about going to his intimate place, the place to get after hours prayers answered – not His court room.

Now – because I am not perfect and I can repent and go to sleep and wake up and have a sinful thought and need repentance again, I cannot trust me to remain holy enough in my earthly body and mind, living in this cursed place – to remain holy enough to visit my father in His Holy presence. I need someone to intercede.

1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.”

BOOM! There it is. Jesus is our High Priest!
God set up, through Moses, a symbolic copy of it all in the Tabernacle system, so that we had something on Earth to see and understand what it is going on in heaven. Next month is the feast of tabernacles. It is a time to remember this holy system and to think about heaven and to Holy reverence God by humbling living in a tent outside during the 7 day long holiday. It is important to note that this month we recall our humble beginnings with the Feast of Trumpets, studying Genesis and specifically the beginning of man. Then God gave us Yom Kippur to repent. First humility, then repentance – so that we can go abide in a tent – a tabernacle – and understand the holiness of God.

For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.”

This One – is Jesus. He has become our High Priest and our intercessor. But High Priests MUST make sacrifices and gifts. Jesus sacrificed His life and gave us eternal life – what did He give the Father? A means to connect again with His children – the very thing God wanted more than anything and has been trying to achieve since sin first separated Man from God’s presence in the Garden of Eden.

For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

The author is making reference to the fact that Jesus was not of the house of Aaron and was not an actual high priest here on earth.

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.”

The author then explains that the ministry of the High Priest on earth is to the Father and in heaven Jesus’s ministry is to us as a mediator of a better covenant. This is also a ministry to the Father – who longs for us and only desires that we long for Him like He longs for us and that we run to Him wanting Him as the Lord of our lives.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.”

The “first covenant” is NOT the Abraham covenant of their own land and a people of many nations – it is the Mosaic covenant to rescue the people and bring them into their promised land.
What was the fault with the mosaic covenant? That blood must continually be shed. Once a person had a priest make a sacrifice for their sin, they walked away and sinned again and had to wait for the next sacrifice. The fault is that atonement is not forgiveness. The fault is that a substitute is not the propitiation.

Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—“

Jesus was the last needed sacrifice. As the author wrote, there were still sacrifices being made in the temple. So the author is looking back into the old prophecies and recognizing that these sacrifices must stop. He is almost prophesying the destruction of the temple within a year or so of this letter.

not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.”

The fault is further explained here – You see, God thought mankind would be compassionate enough that these sacrifices and SEEING how sin causes death would change their hearts. And at first it did, which is why God did that. But man hardened His heart and having raised the lamb, goat or cow to be sacrificed, mankind came to think they were somehow participating and working out their own atonement. When instead they should be broken and humbled and repentant that the blood had to be shed and try to do better. Man slid away from His covenant. We read about the idolatry and blatant rebellion – but there were many who practiced religion and not relationship and made the sacrificed in vain grieving the Lord. Like when you and I muddy up the scriptures and they become a self-help manual full of suggestions instead of a self-sacrificing, death to fleshly desires, and humble submission command and way to eternal life.

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

This prophecy began to be fulfilled at the cross and put into practice with Peter and Paul reaching out to both Jews and Gentiles and then all the apostles spread the gospel throughout the world.  As of yet – we have not seen everyone come to Christ and know the Lord. But it will happen one day in our heavenly communities – in our new heaven and new earth.

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

Now, let’s discuss my choice of wording when discussing the end of atonement law back in our study of Romans. I essentially said God did not destroy the law, but Jesus fulfilled it – speaking of atonement law. Because the promised land and people to Abraham is a covenant that still stands and we are adopted under it and the civil laws (how to behave to each other) along with the 10 commandments all still stand. And God made a stipulation with the dietary and Sabbath laws with the Jews that they should keep them always, while gentiles come into adoption and do not need to. And the holidays and traditions are not law, but are for the Abrahamic people – you and I included and therefore God’s observances should be reverenced by gentiles and not observed in tradition like the Jews must. All of which is NOT as complicated as we all make it out to be, but not understanding what Paul and other writers called the Law.

Usually “The Law” means the atonement law. Jesus fulfilled the atonement law. I still stand on that. By fulfilling it He made it obsolete. Not destroyed, but no longer in effect. It vanishes away – as the temple is destroyed and almost 2000 years later there still no sacrifice made on that sight. As we discussed yesterday, they sent unblemished cows to Israel for the sacrifices. They can breed them and continue to have more in the future or they can sacrifice them all. But at the time of this writing the practice was ready to vanish away.
The truth remains that Jesus fulfilled it. The only thing we need sacrifice and the temple rebuilt for is the fulfillment of prophecy and signs of the time. So we know our sweet Lamb will be returning soon – this time as a Lion. Meanwhile He is our way to God – our mediator, our best friend and intercessor. When satan stands and accuses us – Jesus tells of our faith and it is counted to us for righteousness.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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