Imagine you’re driving down the freeway when on a bright clear day with no precipitation in sight, you notice a rainbow. But this rainbow is not in the sky. It’s in your rearview mirror. It’s a black and white squad car from the local police. It’s red and blue are in the form of flashing lights. A man or woman gets out in tan khaki pans and asks you why you were doing 85 in a 65 zone. After everything is said and done, you’re asked to sign a pink piece of paper and told to have a nice day.
You sinned so you got a ticket. Now I know you’re thinking, where in the Bible does it say speeding is a sin? No one ever received a ticket for driving a chariot too fast or riding a donkey over the posted speed. According to Romans 13:1 – 4, governments are set up by God and given the right to exercise authority with the sole purpose to allow righteousness to flourish. Anyone who disobeys the government disobeys God. So when the government says the speed limit is 60, but you do 61, you disobey it, you disobey God, you sin, you get a ticket. In the legal world you want your traffic ticket dismissed. But when you sin, what do you do when God pulls you over and writes a ticket? Here’s the answer:
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” – Hebrews 4:14 (NASB)
The first step to getting your ticket dismissed is, you need to know that help is available. Notice the writer used the word “we.” Who is this “we?” In Hebrews 3:1, 14, the writer used the word partakers (Gr. metachoi), namely companions of and participators with Jesus Christ. Are you Christ’s companion and participator? If so, this is for you. Life imitates the Bible. Just as you have the option to get legal help when you get a ticket, there is help available when God writes you a ticket. You have a great high priest.
In the Old Testament, the priest acted as a mediator or intercessor between God and man. There some basic things about the priest you need to know. Number one, he was dressed for the part. His attire was made of the finest linen. He wore an overlay called an ephod that fastened with strings of gold and two onyx stones. On the breast piece, there were twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Within a pocket on the front were two stones, the Urim and Thummin, “lights” and “perfections.” It has been suggested they were the means of seeking from God through the priest answers to questions and cries beyond human perception. There was a sleeveless rob that hung below the knees with bells on the hem. He wore a turban that had pure gold front that read “Holy to the Lord.” In other words, he was a radiant figure acceptable to God. If you’re in court, you don’t need your counsel wearing jeans and a baseball cap. You need one who looks the part.
The priest was the one who heard from God on behalf of the people. Do you remember when David in 1 Samuel 28 joined with the Philistines against Saul? In verse 6, Saul inquired from the Lord, but there was no answer. Why? In chapter 22, Saul killed all 85 of the priests because they sided with David. They were the ones who sacrificed on the bronze altar, and once a year on the Day of Atonement, went into the Holy of Holies to offer a sacrifice first for himself and then the people. He instructed the people in the law. According to Exodus 28:13, anyone else who entered would face death. Our court system functions in much the same way. Licensed and qualified people best serve as your representative. Not only do you have a representative who is available, you have one who is experienced.
To get your ticket dismissed, the second thing is, you need to know your help continues to be experienced in your matter. Hebrews 4:14 teaches that our help has passed though the heavens. Passed is a perfect participle. In other words, it’s something that was done in the past and continues to be done. Your help is from heaven, so he knows where God is, who God is, and is skilled on how to talk to God on your behalf. It gets better. He maintains access to God on your behalf. I don’t mean to offend, but if I need advice for anything, be it legally, financially, or spiritually, I don’t want someone who just started last week. I want someone who has been around for a while and continues to stay ahead of the curve. Do you know of anyone in the Bible who fits that description?
In order to get your ticket dismissed, the third thing is, you need to know your help is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus is the one who has and continues to help you. When you were dead in trespasses and sin, Jesus Christ died for you (Romans 5:8). When you did not have the presence of God, Jesus was your Immanuel (“God with us”). When you were without a friend in the world, Jesus is your friend (John 15:13 – 14). When you were left without comfort, Jesus sent the Comforter (John 14:26). When you need help, Jesus is your great high priest, sitting at the right hand of the Father, and making intercession for you (Hebrews 7:24-25). He is your advocate (1 John 2:1). Confess your sin (1 John 1:9).
After you’ve confessed it, lastly, do this. You need to obey the last part of Hebrews 4:14 by continually sticking with your help (hold fast to your confession). Those second generation Jews who converted to Christianity needed to be reminded that Christ is superior to:
1. The angels (1:4 – 5)
2. Moses (3:3 – 6)
3. Former priests (7:24)
4. Sacrificial system (10:10 – 13)
He is the Great Shepherd who cares for the sheep (13:20).