February 16–February 22, 2003
MEMORY VERSE: “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.” Hebrews 5:5.
SUGGESTED READING: Selected Messages, Book 1, 261, 262.
INTRODUCTION: “Christ is the Minister of the true tabernacle, the High Priest of all who believe in Him as a personal Saviour: and His office no other can take. He is the High Priest of the church, and He has a work to do which no other can perform. By His grace He is able to keep every man from transgression. His ambassadors, those who receive Him, are born again, and are thus fitted to represent Him. ‘Such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people’s; for this He did once, when He offered up Himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated forevermore.’ [Hebrews 7:26–28.]” The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900.
1 For whom did the priests, from among men, serve? Hebrews 5:1, first part.
NOTE: “The people were drawn to the society of the priests and Levites, that they might receive instruction and encouragement in the service of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 530.
2 What did the priests offer? Hebrews 5:1, last part.
NOTE: “Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.” The Great Controversy, 420.
“When the high priest entered the holy place, representing the place where our High Priest is now pleading, and offered sacrifice on the altar, no propitiatory sacrifices were offered without. While the high priest was interceding within, every heart was to be bowed in contrition before God, pleading for the pardon of transgression. Type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb slain for the sins of the world. The great High Priest has made the only sacrifice that will be of any value. . . .” That I May Know Him, 73.
3 What qualified Jesus for the office of High Priest? Hebrews 5:1, first part.
NOTE: “[Hebrews 2:17, 18 quoted.] Christ came to this world, and clothed his divinity with humanity, taking upon Him the nature of man. He came to pass through the experiences of humanity, to pass over the ground on which Adam had fallen, to redeem his failure, to meet and conquer the adversary of God and man, that through his grace man might be an overcomer, and finally have a place with Him upon his throne.” The Bible Echo, November 1, 1892.
4 As high priest, what sacrifice did He make? Hebrews 5:1, last part.
NOTE: “Christ saw man’s fearful danger, and He determined to save him by the sacrifice of Himself. That He might accomplish His purpose of love for the fallen race, He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.” Reflecting Christ, 17.
“As the high priest laid aside his pontifical dress, and officiated in the white linen dress of a common priest, so Christ emptied Himself, and took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. As the high priest, after performing his service in the holy of holies, came forth to the waiting congregation in his pontifical robes, so Christ will come the second time clothed in glorious garments of the whitest white, ‘such as no fuller on earth can whiten them.’ [See Mark 9:3.] He will come in His own glory, and in the glory of His Father, as King of kings and Lord of lords, and all the angelic host will escort Him on His way (Manuscript 113, 1899).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1111, 1112.
5 For what purpose did He make this sacrifice? Matthew 18:11–13.
NOTE: “By the lost sheep Christ represents not only the individual sinner but the one world that has apostatized and has been ruined by sin. This world is but an atom in the vast dominions over which God presides, yet this little fallen world—the one lost sheep—is more precious in His sight than are the ninety and nine that went not astray from the fold. Christ, the loved Commander in the heavenly courts, stooped from His high estate, laid aside the glory that He had with the Father, in order to save the one lost world. For this He left the sinless worlds on high, the ninety and nine that loved Him, and came to this earth, to be ‘wounded for our transgressions’ and ‘bruised for our iniquities.’ (Isaiah 53:5.) God gave Himself in His Son that He might have the joy of receiving back the sheep that was lost.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 190, 191.
6 What is sin? 1 John 3:4.
NOTE: “What is sin? The transgression of God’s law. God wants all connected with him to loathe sin, to hate anything that approaches to it.” Review and Herald, June 3, 1880.
“It is through the law that men are convicted of sin; and they must feel themselves sinners, exposed to the wrath of God, before they will realize their need of a Saviour. Satan is continually at work to lessen man’s estimate of the grievous character of sin. And those who trample the law of God under their feet are doing the work of the great deceiver; for they are rejecting the only rule by which they can define sin, and bring it home to the conscience of the transgressor.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 219.
7 Why was Christ’s sacrifice necessary? Romans 3:23.
NOTE: “The human family have all transgressed the law of God, and as transgressors of the law, man is hopelessly ruined; for he is the enemy of God, without strength to do any good thing. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Romans 8:7). Looking into the moral mirror—God’s holy law—man sees himself a sinner, and is convicted of his state of evil, his hopeless doom under the just penalty of the law. But he has not been left in a state of hopeless distress in which sin has plunged him; for it was to save the transgressor from ruin that He who was equal with God offered up His life on Calvary.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 321.
8 Why is compassion a necessary element in ministering to others? Hebrews 5:2.
NOTE: “The preaching of the gospel was committed to erring men rather than to the angels. It is manifest that the power which works through the weakness of humanity is the power of God; and thus we are encouraged to believe that the power which can help others as weak as ourselves can help us. . . . Having been in peril themselves, they are acquainted with the dangers and difficulties of the way, and for this reason are called to reach out for others in like peril. There are souls perplexed with doubt, burdened with infirmities, weak in faith, and unable to grasp the Unseen; but a friend whom they can see, coming to them in Christ’s stead, can be a connecting link to fasten their trembling faith upon Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 297.
9 Are men to take the office of priest upon themselves? Did Aaron? Hebrews 5:4. See also Exodus 28:1.
NOTE: “God had called him [Aaron] to unite with Moses in his great and important mission. He had co-operated with his brother in leading the children of Israel from Egypt. He had held up the great leader’s hands when the Hebrew hosts gave battle to Amalek. He had been permitted to ascend Mount Sinai, to approach into the presence of God, and to behold the divine glory. The Lord had conferred upon the family of Aaron the office of the priesthood, and had honored him with the sacred consecration of high priest.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 425, 426.
10 How was Christ made our High Priest? Hebrews 5:5.
NOTE: “Christ glorified not Himself in being made High Priest. God gave Him His appointment to the priesthood. He was to be an example to all the human family. He qualified Himself to be, not only the representative of the race, but their Advocate, so that every soul if he will may say, I have a Friend at court. He is a High Priest that can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities (Manuscript 101, 1897).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Commentary, vol. 7, 930.
11 How long was His priesthood to endure? Hebrews 5:6.
NOTE: “The high priest was designed in an especial manner to represent Christ, who was to become a high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. This order of priesthood was not to pass to another, or be superseded by another (Redemption: The First Advent of Christ, p. 14).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 930.
“Priest and victim combined, He [Christ] entered the Temple as a place of sacrifice. Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us. He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He is a true high priest, for after enduring humiliation, shame, and reproach, after being crucified and buried, He was raised from the grave, triumphing over death. He is a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 398.
12 What did He offer up in the “days of His flesh”? Hebrews 5:7, first part.
NOTE: “As a man He supplicated the throne of God, till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that connected humanity with divinity. Receiving life from God, He imparted life to men.” Education, 80, 81.
13 In what manner did He pray? Hebrews 5:7, middle part.
NOTE: “With strong crying and tears He sent His petitions to heaven, that His human nature might be strengthened, that He might be braced to meet the wily foe in all his deceptive workings, and fortified to fulfill His missions of uplifting humanity. To His workers He says, ‘I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done.’ John 13:15.” The Ministry of Healing, 500.
14 What example of prayer did Christ give us, and how was His prayer heard? Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16.
NOTE: “The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in His earthly ministry, prayed much to His Father. He was frequently bowed all night in prayer. His spirit was often sorrowful as He felt the powers of the darkness of this world, and He left the busy city and the noisy throng, to seek a retired place to make His intercessions. The Mount of Olives was the favorite resort of the Son of God for His devotions. Frequently after the multitude had left Him for the retirement of the night, He rested not, though weary with the labors of the day. In the Gospel of John we read: ‘And every man went unto his own house. Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives.’ [John 7:53; 8:1.] While the city was hushed in silence, and the disciples had returned to their homes to obtain refreshment in sleep, Jesus slept not. His divine pleadings were ascending to His Father from the Mount of Olives that His disciples might be kept from the evil influences which they would daily encounter in the world, and that His own soul might be strengthened and braced for the duties and trials of the coming day. All night, while His followers were sleeping, was their divine Teacher praying. The dew and frost of night fell upon His head bowed in prayer. His example is left for His followers.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 508.
“He prayed with strong crying and tears, and He was heard in that He feared. God strengthened Him, as He will strengthen all who will humble themselves, and throw themselves, soul, body, and spirit, into the hands of a covenant-keeping God.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 131.