Our key texts for this message are: Hebrews 2:16-17; 4:15-18; 5:1-3; 7:24-27
We shall in this message cover the following:
A, Who is our High Priest?
B, What qualities does our High Priest possess
C, The Ministry and Duties of our High Priest
D, Why we are to follow his example in prayers and intercession.
After his ascension, our Lord Jesus Christ could have chosen any other ministries to engage in than the ministry of intercession. By engaging in intercession, he brought to prominence the importance of prayer. If intercession were not important Jesus would not be preoccupied with it. Prayer is the main means through which the Kingdom of God and the will of God would be established on earth (Revelation 19:11; Matthew 6:13).
WHO IS OUR HIGH PRIEST?
Our High Priest is none other than Jesus who ascended to heaven after his resurrection. The Bible teaches very explicitly that he is seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for us and waiting for his enemies to be made his footstool.
“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
(Romans 8:34; NKJV).
“This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’”
(Acts 2:32-35 NKJV).
The two texts above mention FOUR things about Jesus, His death, his resurrection, his ascension and present position and the work he does. – the work of intercession. Though not explicitly stated, we can imply that Jesus in heaven interceding for the Church to make the enemies of God his footstool.
FIVE PURPOSES AND GOALS OF INTERCESSION
To plead the cause of another as in a court (Isaiah 59:9-12; 1 Tim.2:1)
To pray for others (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 22:44).
To commend others to another person (Hebrews 7:25).
To assist a weak person (Hebrews 5:2; Romans 8:26-27).
To accuse or act against a person (Acts 25:24).
QUALITIES OF OUR HIGH PRIEST
He is a Merciful and faithful High Priest who can help those who are tempted (Heb.2:16-18),
He can sympathize with our weaknesses. Tempted and yet without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16).
He can deal with the ignorant and those who go astray Heb.5:1-3
He has a permanent priesthood (Hebrews 7:24).
He can save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).
He makes intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).
His priesthood is superior. As to his character, He is Holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners 7:26). These are the qualities and character of our High Priest.
THE MINISTRY OF OUR HIGH PRIEST IN THE COURT OF HEAVEN
It is gratifying to know that our High Priest is preoccupied with the ministry of interceding for us. He is representing and defending us in the court of heaven (1 John 2:1; Hebrews 5:1-2; 8:1-5). Also, according to Revelation 8:1-5, he is busy working or processing our prayers and using them to extend his will and kingdom of God on this earth. Revelation 8:1-5 gives us a picture of an angel with a golden censer standing by the altar in heaven processing the prayers of the saints. This angel carrying the golden censer is believed to be Jesus, our High Priest. When the prayers of the saints are mixed with incense and with fire from the altar, it is thrown back to the earth causing noises, earthquakes, and thundering on the earth. Thus, our prayers when offered to God is used by God to achieve his purpose on earth.
By engaging in the noble ministry of intercession, Jesus has set an example for all of us. As believers, we should spend our lives in intercession just like the Master did. 1 John 2:6 reads, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6 NLT). As God’s watchmen, we have been placed on the walls of Nigeria to intercede continuously for the nation and the Church.
SENIOR PASTOR, HE’S ALIVE CHAPEL, LAGOS