The Heart of Hebrews

My house has a few great rooms. The living room is cozy, surrounded by bookshelves. The kitchen bustles with my wife's activity, delivering wonderful meal after wonderful meal. But there is one room that is the heart of the entire house - the dining room. It is there where life enters and is sustained. It is there where the smells from the kitchen land, the laughs from my children ring, and the stories of visitors are told and re-told. All of the rooms in my house are important, and they all serve a purpose. You can't have a house without a bedroom, or a kitchen, or a bathroom, but, in our house, the dining room is the heart.

Books of the Bible can be like that. Many important doctrines can fill the room, stories can inform and transform our thinking, and bits of wisdom can adorn the hallways of the Scripture, but within the book there is a heart - the place from which everything else gains it's strength.

Hebrews 7:25 is, I believe, the heart of the book of Hebrews. It is the dining room of the book, the centerpiece, the life source. It is the main point. It is the climax, the supreme word from God to these people through this author.

“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”

Hebrews is the New Testament book on priesthood. And it presents Jesus as a certain kind of priest. He's better than the temple-dwelling Levitcal preists. He's more worthy than the High Priest of Israel. He's more qualified than the most perfect of Israel's mediators. Because of the kind of priest Jesus is, and the appointment from God as both priest and Son, he alone is able to save in a fully effective and eternal manner.

We need a high priest like this. The Levitical priests could not accomplish the deepest desire of God for his people. They could not bring his people close enough to his heart because they themselves lacked the very holiness that was required to usher God’s people into God’s throne room. We needed a high priest who was radiantly holy and completely innocent that could bring us with him into the innermost place of heaven to be with the Father in his holiness. Jesus is that perfect priest, and he alone is that perfect priest.

He is able to save to the uttermost. There is not a time, not a season or second or your life that Jesus is not able to save you. His power to save is limitless. The grace of God in Christ extends further than you can imagine to the deepest, most outrageous sin that you have ever committed, and to clean the whitewashed tombs of your most self-righteous acts ever performed as treason against his grace.

He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him. One of the key responsibilities of the priest is atoning for the sins of the people for the purpose of bringing them back into a right relationship with God the Father. Jesus does this perfectly. We go to God through the person and work of Jesus Christ. We cannot go on our own merit. He is our merit. We cannot barge in like a child because we have orphaned ourselves. But our big brother comes and finds us in the pigsty and brings us joyfully back to the Father’s house for the banquet. He is our entry fee. He is the one who brings us into God’s glory forever. We can draw near to God because Jesus carries us into God. We have the access of a child again, because Jesus has paid it all.

He always lives to make intercession for us. Jesus is alive in heaven at the right hand of the majesty on high (Heb. 1:4). His purpose now is to pray for us. Your sin – past, present, and future – is covered because there is a high priest in heaven right this very moment praying for you, both now and forevermore. A fully effective priest must always live in the presence of God to intercede for us because in our sin we have a constant need of a priest to make intercession for us. Only a holy man can stand in the presence of God and not die. Only Jesus has died as a holy man for unholy people. Only Jesus has risen from the grave to defeat death. So Jesus is the perfect priest. He always lives. And because of that, we always will too.

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