Sunday, March 01, 2009

Christ, our High Priest, wholely frees us who are the Redeemed to live sacrifical lives for the sake of spreading the Gospel.

The following are excerpts from Hebrews as noted by chapter and verse. Occasionally, bits are left out for brevity's sake and are noted by (...).

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too 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. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason, he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become 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.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

7: 22, 24-28
Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. ... because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our needs-- one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens... For the law appoints as high priest men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

9: 11-15
When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation... he entered the most holy place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blod of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.
For this reason, Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance...

10: 19-27
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

12: 1-3
Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorned its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

13: 15-16

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-- the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.