(Hebrews 7: 18-28)


When I was in private practice, I wanted to be the “Go-To” guy.  The one you called when you were in trouble.  Unfortunately, in Tyler Texas, there were over 500 go-to guys or gals ready and willing to help you out.  Of course, there was a price to pay, a retainer fee for the legal services, to save you from yourself.  One way to get your name out was to advertise in the Yellow Pages which was expensive, so you had to make sure your ad caught the eye of the person looking for just the right go-to guy to get them out of the jam they had gotten themselves into.  Another, and more effective way, was word of mouth, having other people recommend your services.  “I know a guy who can help you.  He helped me.” I did that by always looking like a lawyer, always acting like a lawyer out in public, especially in the courtroom, and by actually visiting my clients in jail.  That visiting clients in jail really paid off as most lawyers didn’t like going to the jail.  It was smelly, crowded, and full of criminals, those people.  I’d get back to the office and there’d be messages to return on my phone from people who heard I had been to the jail to visit a client and would I, if they hired me, go out and visit their loved one?  I had captive clients handing out my cards to their fellow inmates who rarely, if ever, saw their attorney.  I’d even communicate with my clients sending them updates on what was going on with their cases.  What!  Your lawyer sends you mail?  Even if the worst happened to them, they at least believed I had done all I could for them which is all they really wanted.  They just wanted a lawyer who would go to bat for them.  Someone to intercede for them on their behalf and just plead their case.


And being that go-to guy, the one who would be there and go to bat for them is what the writer of Hebrews is talking about in our scripture reading for today.  Jesus is that guy.  The writer starts out by saying that on the one hand, the earlier command, the original covenant between God and his people, is set aside because it is now weak and useless because the Law made nothing perfect.  The Law, the law of Moses, was never intended to save people or make them perfect.  The intention of the law was to point out sin and to point to Christ.  The early Jews bent over backwards trying to obey all of the many laws that sprang from the Ten Commandments and in spite of their efforts, their piety, they were no closer to God than when they first believed.  For that matter, even non-believers obey the law and do many good and unselfish deeds.  But the writer says: On the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.  And this was not done without a solemn pledge!  The others have become priests without a solemn pledge, but this priest was affirmed with a solemn pledge by the one who said, “The Lord has made a solemn pledge and will not change his mind.  You are a priest forever.”  The writer says that as a result, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.  The writer is saying that this new priesthood requires a new covenant, and Jesus is the secure guarantor of that covenant.  The others who became priests before him are numerous because death prevented them from continuing to serve.  In contrast, the preacher says, he holds the office of priest permanently because he continues to serve forever.  This is why he can completely save those who are approaching God through him, because he always lives to speak with God for them. 


What the writer is pointing our is that the Levitical priesthood has a number of limitations.  First, the priest is a sinner.  Second, the service of the priest ends when he dies.  Third, the priesthood did not bring perfection, and fourth, the sacrifices have to be repeated.  In contrast Jesus is without sin, he is eternal and serves forever, and offers the perfect sacrifice that does not have to be repeated.  The preacher continues by explaining that: It’s appropriate for us to have this kind of high priest: holy, innocent, incorrupt, separate from sinners, and raised high above the heavens.  He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day like the other high priests, first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people.  He did this once and for all when he offered himself.  In his role as our high priest, Jesus is able to save completely and forever all of us who draw near to God.  The writer tells us that the Law appointed people who were prone to weakness as high priests, but the content of the solemn pledge, which came after the Law, appointed a Son who has been made perfect forever.  This salvation, what the Law was unable to do, is now extended to all who seek it and is made available through the priestly office of Jesus Christ.  This priestly role is to mediate between God and humanity, and in this role, Jesus lives to offer prayer to God on behalf of those who are being saved.


Jesus should be everyone’s go-to guy and ultimate authority for spiritual life.  But often times we go to him as a last resort.  In our culture today many people have advisors and counselors whom they elevate almost to the role of priest.  People look to political leaders, lawyers, physicians, insurance agents, and financial advisors to provide hope, a way out, a longer life, and security against all disasters.  If you want to make your life easier and more manageable, make sure your first allegiance and priority is to know and follow the advice given by Jesus.  As our high priest, Christ is our advocate, our go-to guy, our mediator between us and God.  He looks after our interests and intercedes for us with God.  He’s on-call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to make that perpetual intercession before God for us.


If you are a Christian, remember that Christ has paid the price for your sins once and for all.  He paid the retainer fee.  It’s because of his ultimate sacrifice that he brought the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant to an end.  Because he forgave us our sins, we don’t have to look for another way to have our sins forgiven, our case dismissed.  Christ was our final sacrifice.  Jesus has done it all.  Jesus paid it all and there is nothing you or we can do to improve his work.  There is nothing that man can do to add to God’s acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice.  Our justification is a once-for-all event accomplished on the cross, but our sanctification is a continuing process.  It’s through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are enabled to increase in the knowledge and love of God and in the love for our neighbor.  With Christ as our go-to guy we can renew our fallen nature when we stumble, seek his forgiveness and be delivered from the guilt of our sin.  We are washed from the pollution of that sin, saved from its power, and are enabled through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in his holy commandments blameless all because of our go-to guy, Jesus Christ.






Let us pray.


O what a victory we have in Jesus, our Savior forever!  He sought us and bought us with his redeeming blood.  He loved us even though we barely knew him, but all our love is due him.  He plunged us to victory beneath the cleansing flood.  Gracious and loving Father, how we praise you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ who is always there for us, to intercede for us, and to act in our best interest.  We praise you for the justification he bought us with his sacrifice on the cross and we thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit that works with us daily on our growing sanctification as we mature into the kind of people who can and will do your work here on earth, the kind of people others can go to when they find themselves at the end of their rope and need to know the hope found in a relationship with you.  In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.