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Great High Priest

From Series: To Know Christ

Hebrews 10:1: “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshippers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
Then I said, “Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.”’

“First he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them’ (although the law required them to be made).”

In other words, it was not God’s ultimate purpose.

“Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

‘This is the covenant I will make with
them after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.’

“Then he adds:

‘Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.’
“And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.”[1]

Amen. We thank God for his Word.

Well, we come this evening to the title of Christ as Great High Priest. When we looked in the first evening at Christ as our prophet, we said that he comes as prophet to deal with our ignorance of God. The work of the prophet is essentially that of representing God to men. Now, as we consider him as priest, he comes as priest to deal with our alienation from God, and the work of the priest is essentially the reverse work; rather, it is the representative of the people to God. And those who were the initial readers of this letter were well familiar with all of the aspects to which the writer alludes. It is perhaps the most Old Testament of all of the New Testament writings, and indeed it helps us, better perhaps than any other New Testament book, to get a grasp of all that is contained for us in the unfolding story of redemption as it is provided throughout the Old Testament record.

Now, let us try and think, if we can, as if we were first-century Hebrew believers—because we’re not. We are twenty-first-century Sidmouth believers—at least tonight we are, many of us. But the Bible was written to historic situations, to people who lived in specific periods of time; and some of us, as ministers, spent a little while encouraging one another today, and we had occasion, at least a couple of us, to reflect on the ministry of Dick Lucas, and to rejoice together in all that we have learned of him, and from him, in terms of how to tackle the Bible. And he more than anyone else has reminded myself, and others with me, of the importance of making sure that we understand the context to which the Scriptures were originally written before we make application of those same Scriptures to the context in which we’re preaching them.

So, for example, if we are living in Cleveland and we are studying 1 Corinthians, it is important that we understand where Corinth is, and who the Corinthians were, and what they were doing, and why it was that the Spirit of God prompted Paul to write this epistle to these first-century Corinthian believers. And having then done that, we might be able to make application of a letter written to the first-century Corinth to twenty‑first-century Cleveland.  But if we don’t do that, we can use the Bible as a trampoline, allowing us to bounce up and down and make all kinds of applications in all kinds of ways; and, indeed, our series this week is an endeavor to help us to remember that it is, as we heard in this song, all about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Many a pulpit has on it the little phrase, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” And too many of us have fallen foul of the notion of thinking that it is all about us when the Bible is taught, so we immediately look for ourselves. I don’t know if they have these books over here, Where’s Waldo? But if you’ve seen those books, Where’s Waldo?, they can keep you awake long into the night trying to find that funny little character with the strange hat, because he’s so difficult to find; and the whole purpose of the book, every single page of the book, is the same thing all the time: “Where is Waldo?” And if we’re not careful, congregations come to the preaching of the Bible asking, “Where is Waldo?”—“Waldo” being themselves—and they’re never satisfied and content until it becomes apparent that this is actually very important, and it is about them. Well, no, actually, the question we’re supposed to be asking when somebody preaches a sermon is, “Where’s Jesus? Where is Jesus?” 

And so, here we find ourselves trying to understand what it was to be a first-century Hebrew Christian. Now, think about it: ’til the point where they came to understand the work of Christ on their behalf, all of their lives had been wrapped up with the Old Testament sacrificial system. All of their lives, all of their faith, was directly tied to the temple and to its precincts. It was to that place that they would routinely go in the honoring of time‑held traditions, in the exercise of the commandments that they had revered, and it was in that community that they enjoyed the encouragement of one another. But now, in Christ, their lives had been turned upside down. Now, they were no longer in the temple precincts. Now they were, if you like, disenfranchised; in some senses, disinherited from their history. They were, if you like, excommunicated from the realm that had previously represented security and stability to them.

And, if you think about that for a little moment, you will realize how unsettling, and how devastating, and how challenging it must have been; for children to say to their dad, “Dad, why are we not going to the temple as we used to go? Do you not like those people anymore, Mom? Why is our life so revolutionized?” And the father would have to say, “Well, we have found in Jesus the one who is the fulfillment of all that we had previously enjoyed in our religious exercises.” And if that would have seemed a bit of a mouthful to the average ten‑year‑old, the father would have been pressed to say, “I know, Levi, that you think somehow or another we no longer have a God, or we no longer have a priesthood, but I want to assure you, Levi, we have in the Lord Jesus a Great High Priest.” And in one sense, the entire book of Hebrews is written to unpack what that means and to assure these first-century Hebrew Christians that while, in one sense, externally and routinely, everything has been turned upside down, if they will hold firmly to the faith they confess, they may come boldly to a throne of grace, and they may rest securely in the once‑and‑for‑all provision that has been made in the death of Jesus of Nazareth.

Now, if we keep that in mind, then the passages in Hebrews will begin to make far more sense for us. So, for example, when we read—and we’ll be dotting around a wee bit—when you read the beginning of chapter 2, you find these words; the writer says to his readers, “We must pay more careful attention,” he says, “therefore, to what we have heard.” Why? “So that we do not drift away.”[2] The temptation for these folks, absent all of the externals that had been so important to them, would, if they were not careful, be to run back to what was familiar and what represented security. And so, the writer is encouraging them in this way. He says to them, “You know, we are not those who shrink back and are destroyed but, we are those who [continue] and are saved.”[3] Or in verse 12 of chapter 3: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Well, of course, we’ve heard sermons on that plenty, haven’t we? And can we make application of that directly to ourselves? Yes, it is an exhortation that needs to be heeded in every generation! But when we understand what the writer was addressing when he wrote in this way, then it actually comes to life: “But encourage one another daily, as long as it’s called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold confidently, firmly, till the end the confidence we had at the first. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’”[4] Tremendous pressure on them to capitulate to all that was going on around them, and so he writes to assure them, “We have a great high priest.”

This High Priest is Both Merciful and Faithful

Now, I have no Cs for you this evening. I just have five observations (so maybe that’s five Os). But here we go: concerning the priesthood of Christ—and we could be here for a month of Sundays on this without any difficulty at all, and so there is something relatively arbitrary about the way in which I direct our thoughts now—but first of all, to notice that this high priest is both merciful and faithful. He is both merciful and faithful. And I’m quoting now from Hebrews 2: “Since the children have flesh and blood”—this is verse 14—“he”—that is Jesus—“shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death”[5]—“by their fear of death.”

You know, I think that fear of death is the great fear known to man. I’m not a psychiatrist, nor a psychologist, but I have a sneaking suspicion that to a large extent, all of human fear is somehow or another wrapped up in this great fear: the fear of death. And there is only one who has an answer to that dilemma. And it is this one that the writer says has come to set people free; he helps “surely not angels,” but the descendants of Abraham; and “for this reason”—for this purpose, in order to accomplish this end—“he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become”—and here you have it—“a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”[6]

And Christ’s experience of temptation was temptation to the nth degree. No one has ever has endured temptation the way Jesus did, for all of the rest of us have finally succumbed, no matter how well we have done; but Christ has been taken, if you like, in temptation, to the very zenith of what it might mean, and yet without sin. And therefore, when we find ourselves confronted by sin, confronted by temptation, chased down and harried by things, each of us, in our own lives, drawn away and enticed by our own evil desires, as James says,[7] we have confidence in this: that the great high priest, Jesus, is both merciful and he is faithful; or, if you like, to change the terminology, he is both approachable—wonderfully approachable—and phenomenally reliable. [MOU1] We can always go to him. He’s not like a bad school teacher; he’s like the best of our schoolteachers who said, I’m sure, as she saw me coming, “Oh, here comes Begg again,” but by the time I reached her desk, she said, “And how can I help you?” She stands out because the rest had no such sympathy for me at all; they just chased me for my life.

But it is a wonderful thing—and you see these dear first-century Hebrew Christians, no longer going through the same motions, no longer going through the same rituals, and saying to themselves, and being buffeted by all kinds of thoughts: “What are we to do now?” And here this book comes to them, and he says, “You know, you have in the Lord Jesus Christ one who is phenomenally approachable and utterly reliable, because he has become like his brothers in every way in order that he might fulfill this purpose under God.”[8]

I remember there was an old Johnny Cash song—how many times has Johnny Cash been quoted here in Sidmouth? I don’t know, but anyway—it went along these lines. It was called, “I Talk to Jesus Every Day,” and I remember a couple of lines from it. It said, “I talk to Jesus to every day, and he’s interested in every word I say, and no secretary ever tells me he’s been called away. I talk to Jesus every day.”[9] And even when our best friends are unreliable, and even when Satan accuses us, and even when our own hearts condemn us, Christ as our Great High Priest is both faithful and merciful.

Our High Priest Has Done All That Is Necessary in Relation to God

Secondly, Christ as our Great High Priest has done all that is necessary in relation to God. And here I’m in chapter 10, and in verse 5 and following—I won’t be tedious and read it all the way through again, we’ve already read this section—but you will notice there that Christ is described as taking up the words of Scripture and quoting them in relationship to himself: “You didn’t desire that this would be the final solution, Father, but you prepared a body for me, and I arrived, and I said, ‘Here I am; I’m the one; it’s written about me in the scroll in the unfolding drama of redemptive history. Here I am, and I have come to do your will, O God.’”[10] And in the doing of the Father’s will, Christ as our Great High Priest has done everything that is necessary.

 Theologians talk about both the active and passive obedience of Christ. In his active obedience, he has fulfilled all righteousness. You remember, in his baptism, when John the Baptist says to him, “I think we have this the wrong way ’round. Shouldn’t I be being baptized by you?”[11] And Matthew records that Jesus on that occasion said, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting to fulfill all righteousness.”[12] In other words, “This is the right and proper thing for me to do,” as he identifies with those who will follow in his train and is baptized in the Jordan. Christ, in his active obedience, did everything that the law required. We are lawbreakers; he is the law keeper. He fulfilled the law in every dimension. He was without sin. And in his passive obedience he then bore the penalty that our lawbreaking deserves. In other words, he completes all the demands of God’s justice. God demanded that the law would be kept; Christ kept it. God demanded that a penalty would be paid for the sins of the lawbreakers; Christ paid that penalty—and, in doing so, he bore that which was due to us. Verse [25] of chapter 9: “Nor did he”—that is, Jesus—“enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own”—a reference to the Day of Atonement as we have it in Leviticus 16 and out from there. The writer says, “Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.”[13] This is a recurring theme already for us in these talks—the great exchange: he became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him;[14] a righteousness that God requires if ever we are to stand before him; a righteousness which God achieves in the once for all sacrifice of his Son; a righteousness which God declares in the proclaiming of the gospel; and a righteousness which God bestows on all those who believe the gospel. Jesus has done everything that is necessary in relationship to God.

Our High Priest Has Done Everything Necessary in Relationship to Sin.

Thirdly, he has done everything that is necessary in relationship to sin. “Well,” you might say, “well, you’ve already said that, haven’t you?” I suppose in part I have, because in doing everything that was necessary in relationship to God, he was providing this atoning sacrifice for sin. But it is important for us to point it out, because the writer points it out. And you will notice that there in the twelfth verse, he contrasts what has been going on with the day-after-day priestly function performing religious duties, “again and again” he offers the same sacrifices.

If you ever take a taxi from a large airport—at least, I think, invariably, throughout the world—you will, if you ever are only going a short distance to your hotel—let’s say less than two miles—you will feel absolutely horrible, if you have any sense of empathy in you at all, for the taxi driver. If you don’t understand it at first, you will understand as he finally pulls away; and as he pulls away, you will realize that he had come to the front of the line of an interminably long line of taxies that have been sitting there since the early hours of the morning, hoping and desperately praying that whenever their number comes up, the person who is getting on board in Heathrow wants to go to Aberdeen—only to discover that his fare wants to go a mile and a half up the road to the Travelodge. And then the poor soul must make his way back to the end of that line. I must confess, I always pay substantially more; even as a Scotsman I cannot bear the thought of that poor soul going back to the end of that thing.

And that’s the sort of process—“again and again,” and ’round and ’round—and that’s the picture here, not of the taxi driver, but of the priestly function. They went in, they performed their religious duties—having come, their number has come up, they’re at the front of the line, it’s their turn—they do it, and then immediately they go and they take their place at the end of the line. They never sit, because their work is never finished. Again and again, the process continues, ’round and ’round they go.

If that was able to make atonement for sin, all of that would have dealt with it, and we would be finished and done. No, says the writer, but since it never could, since it could picture what Christ was to perform, but could not perform what Christ procured, it must be that this Great High Priest would make sacrifice for sin in the giving of himself; and the wonder of what has happened there, in that, is just unquantifiable and a source of great encouragement to those of us who know ourselves to have sinful hearts, and to reflect sometimes on our lives before Christ that were full of all kinds of badness and nonsense and disreputable stuff.

And the devil, who is the accuser of the brethren, comes to us routinely and tries to say—and sometimes in the strangest times, and out of the blue, and sometimes in church when our minds wander—and he says, “You know, aren’t you one who did such-and-such? Aren’t you one who said such-and-such? You’re here singing these songs; you’re here preaching these sermons. Aren’t you the character that acted in such a bad and wrong way before?” And what he wants to do is to get us rummaging around in the dustbin of forgiven sin. And the antidote to that is provided for us here: that in Jesus as our Great High Priest, he has done all that is necessary in relationship to sin. And hence the wonderful quote: “Their sins and [their] lawless acts I will remember no more.”[15]  Because of who he is, he is able to do, by his choice, what we actually cannot do—namely, deliberately forget. We are those who can’t remember what we deliberately have tried to recall, and who cannot forget what we have deliberately tried to set aside. That’s why we need a Great High Priest.

He puts our sins as far away as the east is from the west: infinity. What a Great High Priest!

Again, this afternoon as we were talking about influences on our lives, a couple of the fellas said that Alec Motyer has been an influence on their lives. And all of us who have been the privileged ones to sit under his teaching of the Bible would concur with that for sure; and I was reflecting on the fact that in 1986, I had the privilege of being in Port Stewart and listening to him as he did a series on Hebrews, and as I speak to you now, his words come back to me. And I remember when he got to this portion in the Bible, he said, in his sort of wonderfully lilting, Dublin-cultured accent, which I won’t try and imitate, “There will be occasions when you will find yourself, believer,” he said, “going back to God and saying, ‘God, you know, I’m just so pressed down by what happened in 1994,’ or whatever else it is; and God will say to you, ‘Please stop. I have no record of that at all. I have no record of that at all.’” Because he puts our sins as far away as the east is from the west: infinity.[16] What a Great High Priest! What a wonderful story for those whose lives are not only held in the fear of death, but those whose lives are trapped with a deep sense of guilt and to, despite all of their attempts, to find some kind of liberation, stumble along through life. And here we have the answer.

Scotland produced all kinds of choruses in the post–Second World War era; I think everybody just started to sing—they’d been singing through the war, and they kept singing. And not all of them were great, and some of them are imbedded in my memory for good and not so good. But I remember there was one that we were taught to sing, and it went like this:

You asked me why I’m happy
And I will tell you why,
Because my sins are gone;
And when I look at others
Who ask me where they are,
I’ll say, “My sins are gone.”
They’re underneath the blood
Of the cross of Calvary,
As far away as darkness is from dawn;
In the sea of God’s forgetfulness,
That’s good enough for me,
I’ll say my sins are gone.[17]

In contemporary terms, in one of Stuart Townend’s most recent songs, which begins with the line, “There is a hope,” he has a masterful line in the middle of it when he writes in this way: “When [life] has plunged me in its deepest pit, I find the Saviour there.”[18] For he has entered into our humanity and into the depth of our predicament, because he fulfills the purpose of Great High Priest.

Our High Priest Has Done All That Is Necessary in Relationship to Satan

Fourthly—and I’m watching—fourthly, he has done all that is necessary in relationship to Satan. And I’m not going to belabor this; I simply want to point out one verse to you—otherwise I won’t achieve my objective. Note verse [12], still in Hebrews 10, that he has, unlike those other taxi drivers, he has completed the task, and he has offered us sacrifice for sin once and for all. Incidentally, that’s all the furniture that you need in a church, isn’t it? You just need a table and a pulpit—a pulpit on which you can have a Bible where God’s Word has been once-and-for-all delivered to the saints, and a table on which you can celebrate Communion, where Christ’s once-and-for-all sacrifice for sins in remembered. He has made this once-and-for-all sacrifice for sins, and, as a result of that, he is simply waiting until his enemies are made his footstool—until his enemies are made his footstool.

Christ, as a Great High Priest, has done all that is necessary in relationship to Satan; so let us neither deny his evil influence, nor become preoccupied with it.

Now, there is no question that the devil is a defeated foe. It’s the difference between—is it D-Day and V-Day, as I read the history of the War?—when the declaration has been made, but it has not reached all the outlying outposts, and there are various skirmishes still going on. But there’s no question about victory; that has already been declared. Or, if you like, in playing chess, if you play with someone who’s good, they look at you and they say, “It’s checkmate.” And you say, “Oh no, it’s not checkmate. I can move my, you know, I could move my knight over there, I could shuffle a couple of pawns around, and so on,” and your friend will say, “Yes, you can do anything you like, but it’s checkmate.” You can make as many moves on the board as you choose, but you cannot alter the outcome. Now, that is true in relationship to the Evil One: that Christ, as a Great High Priest, has done all that is necessary in relationship to Satan; so let us neither deny his evil influence, nor become preoccupied with it, but let us again look at the great spiritual battle in which we engage in light of the great high priesthood of Jesus.

And incidentally, in accomplishing all of this, Christ works in absolute cohesion and unity with the Father. I want to pause for a moment and say that, because I have watched from the other side of the pond and listened to the ongoing sorry saga calling in question the nature of Christ’s vicarious substitutionary atonement, as if somehow or another Christ was an unwilling victim of the Father, or that Christ went to the cross in order to twist the arm of the Father. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then that’s okay, you can just relax. But if you do, then you will be aware of the helpfulness of these words by John Stott:

When we talk of the Father’s plan and the Son’s sacrifice, we should not think of the Father laying on the Son an ordeal he was unwilling to bear, nor of the Son extracting from the Father a salvation he was unwilling to bestow. It is true that the Father gave the Son. It is equally true that the Son gave himself. We mustn’t speak of God punishing Jesus, or of Jesus persuading God the Father. We must never make Christ the object of God’s punishment or God the object of Christ’s persuasion. For both the Father and Son are subjects, not objects, taking the initiative together to save sinners.[19]

Now, that quote from Stott is worth the price of this evening’s CD.

Our High Priest Is Still at Work

This Jesus who sat down, because his work was finished, is still at work.

Fifthly and finally, this Jesus who sat down, because his work was complete, stood up again—this Jesus who sat down, because his work was finished, is still at work. Hence, the theologians speaking of the finished work of Christ as Great High Priest, and the ongoing work of Christ as Great High Priest. And, if you want your homework, then you go home, you get Hebrews, and you start in chapter 7 and in verse 23, and you read all the way through to the beginning of chapter 8. And after he has described what Christ is doing in his continuing office—because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood, right?—that he has a finished work and a permanent priesthood. And then, says the writer to the Hebrews, “The point of what we’re saying is this ….” You know, it’s good when you come to something like that, isn’t it? Especially in the Bible, you say, “Oh good, I’m glad you’re going to explain it now, because I just read chapter 7, and I was having great difficulty.” “The point of what we’re saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who”—present tense—“serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, [and] not by man.”[20]

In other words, he ever lives to make intercession for us. “Behold him there the risen Lamb, our great and spotless righteousness.”[21] Behold him there, as it were, as he bares his hands before the Father, metaphorically, in relationship to the sins of those whom he has redeemed. And the Father, as it were, looks to the Son and says, “And what about this?” And Jesus does this. And, I mean, this is dreadful stuff, isn’t it, to try and speak in these categorical terms? But this is the way my mind works. And the Father says, “And what about this stuff?” And Jesus puts his hands up like this, and the Father nods and says, “Yes, yes, that’s exactly right.” He is not there being re-sacrificed. He is not there pleading a work that is an ongoing work. He is there as the very embodiment, as the very completion, as the very fulfillment of that once-and-for-all sacrifice that he has accomplished on behalf of sinners. And in his ongoing ministry as Great High Priest, “our names are graven on his hands, and our names are written on his heart. And I know that while in heaven he stands, no one can bid me thence depart.”[22] Because he stands as the one who had sat in completion.

Now, I hope this is a help to you. And what ought the implications to be? Well, in terms of Hebrews 4, we should “hold firmly to the faith we profess.”[23] Alright? And then we should “approach confidently the throne of grace.”[24] Those verbs, in that progression, I think, is absolutely crucial: we will not be able to approach confidently unless we hold firmly. So, we hold firmly, we approach confidently, and we rest securely, because Jesus is our Great High Priest.

Now, I have about one minute, and I will give you only one of my concluding quotes. One was from John Brown of Haddington—a real beezer, but I’m not going to give it to you. No, no no no, no, I told you; I may give it to you tomorrow morning, but I am going to finish before that thing reaches nine o’clock. Here is the first question from the Heidelberg Catechism. I’m going to assume that most of you are not reading it this afternoon; therefore, it will be a refresher to you, and news to some. I have this answer in the back hall of my house so that when I’m putting my shoes on I can look at it routinely. Here is the question, and then the answer, and then a prayer. The first question in the Heidelberg Catechism is this: “What is your only comfort in life and death?” The answer: “That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and he has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.”

Father, thank you for sending Jesus. Jesus, thank you that you came. Holy Spirit, won’t you teach us more about his lovely name, for his sake, for our good? Amen.

 


[1] Hebrew 10:1–18 (NIV 1984).

[2] Hebrews 2:1 (NIV 1984).

[3] Hebrews 10:39 (paraphrased).

[4] Hebrews 3:13–15 (paraphrased).

[5] Hebrews 2:14–15 (NIV 1984).

[6] Hebrews 2:16–18.

[7] James 1:14 (paraphrased).

[8] Hebrews 4:14–16 (paraphrased).

[9] Johnny Cash, “I Talk to Jesus Every Day,” Man in Black (Los Angeles: Columbia, 1971). Paraphrased.

[10] Hebrews 10:5–7 (paraphrased).

[11] Matthew 3:14 (paraphrased).

[12] Matthew 3:15 (paraphrased).

[13] Hebrews 9:26 (NIV 1984).

[14] 2 Corinthians 5:21 (paraphrased).

[15] Hebrews 10:17 (NIV 1984).

[16] Psalm 103:12 (paraphrased).

[17] N. B. Vandall, “You Ask Me Why I Am So Happy So I’ll Just Tell You” (1934). Paraphrased.

[18] Stuart Townend and Mark Edwards, “There is a Hope” (2007).

[19] John Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downer’s Grove: InterVarsity Press), 151–152. Paraphrased.

[20] Hebrews 8:1–2 (NIV 1984).

[21] Charitie Lees Bancroft, “Before the Throne of God Above” (1863). Paraphrased.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Hebrews 4:14 (NIV 1984).

[24] Hebrews 4:16 (paraphrased).


[MOU1]"When we find ourselves drawn away and enticed by our own evil desires...we have confidence in this: that the Great High Priest, Jesus, is both wonderfully approachable and phenomenally reliable."

Thankfulness: A Mark of Grace
17:42