[Thought questions for Christ, Our Priest November 20, 2013]
1. We have a high priest. Would our church be accepted by more people if we had priests over us? Why or why not? Why was Christ inaugurated as the high priest after, not before, His crucifixion? Since Christ is God, how can you and I, being the mere mortals that we are, understand how Christ stands at the right hand of God? How does Jesus’ ministry as our priest today differ from the priestly ministry in the Old Testament?
2. Melchizedek. After rescuing his nephew Lot, Abraham met with Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness, ruling over a Kingdom of Peace as both king and priest. How are these roles intertwined to describe roles for Christ? Can you see Jesus reflected in the kingdom of Melchizedek interacting with Abraham? (Genesis 14:18-20) How was Melchizedek qualified to bless Abraham and receive a tenth of all that Abraham had brought back? What do you think prompted Abraham’s willing offering to Melchidek in contrast to his refusal of the King of Sodom’s proposal? How might a reference to a mysterious individual help us to understand the Priesthood of Jesus?
3. Defense. Advocate. Intercessor. Mediator. High Priest. Imagine being in the courtroom as described with Jesus as our Advocate (the lawyer on our side), while God the Father is the Judge. What are the points during that session when ‘joy and jubilation’ are felt: when we enter the room, during the trial, or when the verdict has been given? What does our answer reveal about our understanding of the effectiveness of our Advocate in pleading our case? Choose one or more of the roles above and explain the importance of this role. What are the joint goals of the Advocate and the Intercessor? see 2 Cor. 5:18,19 What are our corresponding attitudes to the work of Christ in our behalf and our work in behalf of others? How is heaven involved in the intercession process? See Rom 8:26,27
4. One Mediator. Why don’t we need a whole roomful of mediators? What does the reality of having one and only one mediator tell us about the wisdom and power of Jesus Christ? Why do you think Timothy portrays God as man when he testifies of His mediation? When did Jesus restore the connection between God and humanity that was severed by sin? How are men and women like you and me restored to ties to God that cannot be broken? How can we come that close to the Creator of the Universe, the ultimate source of all knowledge and power?
5 The great High Priest. There was only one High Priest, though many priests served in the sanctuary. The high priest of Old Testament days was to be a representative of Christ. (Leviticus 21:10-14.) Consider the incarnation in which Jesus became God ‘with us’. Do you consider becoming a human necessary to His role as our High Priest? If so, what characteristics of God do you see in that action? How do the qualities of mercy, compassion, and faithfulness repeat themselves in the lives of God’s people throughout the ages? Consider Moses, David,and Job. What are some of the characteristics we should expect of ourselves? How does the sinner’s, total trust in the work that the High Priest was doing in his behalf reflect our confidence in the work that Jesus is doing for us today?
7. Free from condemnation. Have you ever felt condemned by the voice of Satan after you’ve confessed your sin? What promises can you repeat that would ‘free your conscience from condemnation?’ See 1 John 1:7. How does faith keep our spiritual attitude in the positive realm and out of the realm of impossibilities? How does knowing that we are accepted by God make us more positive about our salvation? See 1 Peter 1:2. Must we travel the path alone after feeling condemned one? How does Jacob’s night of agony help us to understand the process going from despair to victory? Gen. 32:24-30. We are encouraged to contemplate what God thinks of Jesus, our substitute. How does that knowledge serve as a key to dispelling anxiety?