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Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Promised Priest (Psalm 110:4)

Outline: The Promised Prophet
  1. The Shadow: Melchizedek
  2. The Reality: Jesus Christ
Summary:  As Christians we recognize that Jesus came to us not only as the Son of God but as the promised Son of God.  Last week we considered Jesus as the promised Prophet.  This week we meditate on Jesus as the promised Priest.  And, as we meditate, we learn that Jesus is of an order that is completely different than that of the Old Testament levitical priesthood.  For Jesus is a high priest "after the order of Melchizedek."  Melchizedek, as a "priest of God Most High," was a type, a picture, a shadow of the ultimate and greatest high priest, Jesus Christ.

Main Point:  The high priesthood foreshadowed in Melchizedek is brought to reality in Jesus.

Discussion Questions:
  • Review: the whole Old Testament is ultimately about ____ ? (cf. Luke 24:25-27,44)
  • In Gen. 14:17-20, what can we learn about the rather mysterious person named Melchizedek?
  • What does Psalm 110, especially v.4, teach us about the coming Messiah?
  • Read Hebrews 5:1-10; 6:13-20; 7:1-28.  How does the writer of Hebrews seek to establish the legitimacy of Jesus' high priesthood?
  • As new covenant believers, what blessings and benefits do we get to enjoy and celebrate since we have Jesus as our great high priest? (It will be helpful to read and meditate on the following passages as you answer this question: Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:14-16; 7:25-27; 9:11-14).  
Application Questions:
  • Have I been confidently drawing near to the throne of grace to find mercy and help (cf. Heb. 4:16)? Why or why not?
  • What blessing of having Jesus as my high priest is particularly impactful right now? Explain.
Prayer Points:
  • Praise Jesus for His perfect, once-and-for-all sacrifice that made it possible for us to enter confidently into God's holy presence
  • Praise Jesus for being a faithful and sympathetic high priest who speaks to God on our behalf
  • Confess ways you have been slow to draw near to the throne of grace to find mercy and help when your sympathetic high priest sits there so able and willing to help you
  • Ask God to grow your understanding of what it means for Jesus to be our great high priest and for a stronger confidence to more readily draw near to Him for mercy and grace. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Promised Prophet (Deut. 18:15-19)

Outline: The Promised Prophet
  1. Promise 
  2. Fulfillment 
Summary:  As Christians we recognize that Jesus came to us not only as the Son of God but as the promised Son of God.  We believe that Jesus' arrival came after hundreds of years of anticipation.  Therefore, Jesus' arrival is a breathtaking testimony of God's faithfulness in fulfilling the promises He made.  Among those promises was the promise to send a prophet like Moses.  God fulfilled this promise when He sent One final prophet, One who is greater than Moses, One whose words all people are called to heed, One who would lead His people into the Promised Land.  Jesus Christ is the Prophet we've been waiting for.

Main Point:  Jesus is the promised Prophet spoken of long ago.

Discussion Questions:
  • What do we learn about how we should read the Old Testament from Luke 24:25-27,44?
  • Define what a prophet is from Deut. 18:18-19.
  • What do we learn about the promised Prophet from Deut. 18:15-19 & Deut. 34:9-12? 
  • Read John 1:20.  What were people even in Jesus' day expecting?
  • What do Acts 3:22-26 & Acts 7:27, 51-52 teach us about the identity of the promised Prophet?
  • What does Heb. 1:1-2 teach us about how Jesus relates to the prophets who came before Him?
  • How does Matt. 17:1-13, Jesus' transfiguration, show Jesus' superiority over all other prophets?
  • "Jesus is greater than Moses."  While statements like this were fighting words to many Jews in Jesus' day, they are good news to all Christians today.  Why?
Application Questions:
  • How aware am I that Jesus is the fulfillment of hundreds of years of God's promises?  How should the fact that Jesus came make me think about and feel toward God?
  • How should I respond to Jesus knowing that He is the promised Prophet?
Prayer Points:
  • Praise Jesus for all the ways He is greater than Moses 
  • Praise Jesus for being the one who can change our hearts and lead us into the Promised Land
  • Confess ways you have not been heeding the words of Jesus, God's promised Prophet
  • Ask God to help you listen more carefully and wholeheartedly to His Son, the promised Prophet