The Living Intercessor

Text: Hebrews 7:11-25


I.         The need for an intercessor

            A.        Fear

                        1.         Have you ever been so nervous that you said, “I can’t talk to him! You go and talk to him.”

                        2.         Exodus 19:14-20 - When the people met the Lord God, it was a frightening experience.

                        3.         So much so that the people asked Moses to go between them and God - Deuteronomy 5:23-27

            B.        Anger

                        1.         At times it becomes difficult dealing with people directly. They caused you harm and it is hard to hold the civil discourse needed to resolve matters.

                        2.         I Samuel 19:3-6 - Jonathan frequently interceded on David’s behalf with his father.

II.        Jesus is the chosen intercessor

            A.        Eli asks a good question of his sons - I Samuel 2:25

                        1.         God helps to resolve issues between people

                        2.         But what happens when the issue is between people and God?

            B.        Isaiah 59:1-2 - We have angered our God with our sins. - Romans 2:5-9

            C.        This is what caused Job to despair. There was no umpire between him and God - Job 9:29-35

            D.        No man could intercede, so God took matters into His own hands - Isaiah 59:9-16

            E.        This is a function that the High Priest once performed imperfectly for Israel

                        1.         Leviticus 9:7-8, 15 - The High Priest was a sinful man like everyone else, so he had to offer a sacrifice for his own sins before he could approach God with a sacrifice for the people.

                        2.         Because of his imperfection, he could only enter the presence of God once a year - Leviticus 16:2-3, 11, 15-17

                        3.         It had to be done yearly - Leviticus 16:34

            F.        It was prophesied that the priesthood would change

                        1.         Hebrews 7:17 - There would be a priest of the order of Melchizedek

                        2.         But priests came from the tribe of Levi. This indicated that these priests were inadequate - Hebrews 7:11

            G.        Contrast this to our High Priest

                        1.         The Levitical priests died - Hebrews 7:23

                        2.         Jesus lives forever, so his priesthood is permanent - Hebrews 7:24

                        3.         Jesus’s offering was permanent - Hebrews 7:26-28; 10:10-14

                        4.         Jesus is without sin, so he can remain in the presence of God - Hebrews 8:1-2

            H.        Jesus can mediate because He understands us - Hebrews 4:14-5:2, 5-10

                        1.         This is why John called Jesus our Advocate - I John 2:1

                        2.         The word means a councilor or comforter.

                        3.         It is the same word Jesus used to say that He would send another comforter or helper - John 14:16

III.       Intercession is also used in another way. The word literally contains the idea of a chance encounter.

            A.        It can be used of rogues just happening upon a lone maiden - Ruth 2:22

            B.        It can also describe an encounter that wasn’t so accidental - I Kings 2:24-25

            C.        It is in this sense that the suffering servant is described in Isaiah

                        1.         Isaiah 53:4-6 - In that last phrase, the Lord caused our iniquities to fall upon him. “Fall upon” is the word for an intercessor.

                        2.         Our sins deserved punishment and the Lord Jesus came between us and God and took the punishment upon himself.

                        3.         He interceded for the transgressors - Isaiah 53:12

                        4.         It was a “chance” encounter that was planned before the world began - II Timothy 1:9

            D.        By taking on our punishment, Jesus nullified the anger of God, healing the rift between God and ourselves. This is the meaning of “propitiation” - I John 2:2; 4:10

IV.      By coming between man and God, Jesus mediated a new and better covenant

            A.        The old covenant could not make man complete - Hebrews 7:18-19

            B.        Jesus established a better covenant - Hebrews 8:6-7

            C.        The better promise? Eternal life - Hebrews 9:15

            D.        Jesus negotiated a better deal for mankind. He brought us a way to have eternal life. He bought and sealed that deal with his own blood.

V.        The question though is whether you will accept the terms and enter into that covenant.

            A.        It has been bought and paid in full.

            B.        It just requires a few simple things to enter: hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized.

            C.        But it requires devoting your life to your new Master.