How Christ Qualified to be Our High Priest

(Chapter 5)

Fred R. Coulter—June 15, 2002

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We're here in Hebrews 5, and from Heb. 4:15 all the way to Heb. 10:22 has to do with our High Priest Jesus Christ Who is a Priest after the order of Melchisedec. What Jesus did to be our High Priest is really a fantastic thing. With the religions of the world, there are various myths of heroes and sufferers, but none of them compare to what Jesus did.

Hebrews 5:1: "For every high priest, being taken from among men to act in behalf of men, is appointed to serve in the things pertaining to God in order that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; and he is able to deal gently with those who sin in ignorance and those who have been led astray, since he himself is also encumbered with many weaknesses" (vs 1-2).

This is a different kind of humility that a physical priest would have, but now we're dealing with a spiritual priest, Jesus Christ Who is at the right hand of God in heaven above at the throne of grace where we can come at all times. Never forget that! You can come before God at all times, any time, any place, anywhere!

Jesus had a different humiliation. He is able not only to deal tenderly, or gently with those who sin, but He is able to fully understand and empathize and have experiential compassion with them, because He was tempted in every point like all human beings, and yet, without sin!

Verse 3: "And because of these weaknesses, he is obligated also to offer sacrifices for his own sins, exactly as he does for the people." We will see the concluding remarks in Heb. 10, that all these sacrifices never really took away sin before God the Father in heaven above. It only justified them to the temple.

Verse 4: "Now, no man takes the honor of the high priesthood upon himself, but only he who is called by God, in the same way as Aaron also was called."

You can go through and see when the priesthood was challenged by those, how God deal with them. We have a principle today that is really being abused by many people: You don't appoint yourself to an honor such as this, or to appoint yourself as a teacher!

I don't know how many of you get The Journal, but it is a hodge-podge of all kinds of doctrines and teachings by many, many different men who purport to be teachers in the Church of God. Today, with the convenience of the computer and the convenience of setting up an e-mail site, you can have a teacher, a website, all of those things instantly. So, as a result, false teachings and heresies spread very far, very quickly and affects a lot of people.

This thing was actually beginning to occur before Paul died. Here is the big problem, and it's rooted in human nature. That's why in order to control carnal people, various churches—in particularly the Catholic Church as well as many of the sister churches of the Catholic Church—have created a hierarchy to run and govern the people. Instead of having false teachers out here running all over, you've got them within the hierarchy and you've got them with aberrant behavior, as you see within the hierarchy. You have that evil on one hand, then you have the evil on the other hand—which is from those who perhaps may be converted, or perhaps think they are converted, or have a certain knowledge of the Word of God—because of one thing or another, they decide to appoint themselves as teachers.

So, whoever sets himself up as a teacher, God has several ways of handling it in what is called 'judgment.'

James 3:1: "My brethren, do not many of you become teachers, knowing that we will receive more severe judgment." That happens on a day-to-day basis because judgment is now on the house of God.

Those who are teachers put themselves under a stricter and higher condemnation of judgment when they do wrong than the average brethren they're trying to serve. They assume to speak for God! That's quite an assumption. In doing so, if they do not know the Scriptures or handle the Word of God deceitfully—as we've seen so many times—what happens? You can take the Truth of the Word of God and you can handle it deceitfully, and you can create

  • error
  • heresy
  • false doctrine

Also, if they do not understand the true grace of God and the love of God and commandment-keeping, and they get enamored with Jewish ritual and tradition, then they end up making Christ Moses and the Gospel the law. All of these problems are out there. If you have The Journal all you have to do is go through it and look at it and you can see all of these things are an ongoing problem. And not only do we have men doing it, we also have women preachers within the Church of God.

The fascination of the lust of being a teacher, to be in authority, strikes a lot of people. That's why we have the example of Christ and the humiliation that He went through, lest anyone assume to take upon themselves being a priest. That's why there are no priests today.

Verse 2: "Because we frequently offend, everyone of us. If anyone does not offend in what he says, this one is a perfect man and is able also to hold in check the whole body."

We've seen that, too. In a hierarchy, when sins and troubles and difficulties occur, what do they do? They always cover it up! No question about it! The hierarchy assumes a position of God. The Catholic hierarchy has the pope as the 'vicar of Christ,' which is antichrist. The cardinals are the princes of the church designed to support the pope to the point of death. The bishops are the presence of God in the church. All of those things are very blasphemous; the end result when people take upon themselves something that God never gave them.

The presence of God in the Church is the Holy Spirit in everyone that God has called, is converted and has given the Holy Spirit to. That's the presence of God in the Church, within the individual. Then the presence of God within the Church when we assemble together is that Spirit of God in us and the Spirit of God that He sends to be with us to help us fellowship with Him, to fellowship with each other and to learn and study His Word.

We've gone over this many times, but I tell you what, after watching some of these sessions on television—CSPAN—about the bishop's conference concerning pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church priesthood, what they have done is voted God out of any part of what they are doing, because they have set their own standard, their own word, their own agenda, and they do not follow the Bible. They give it lip-service, but they don't preach it, they don't teach it, and that's generally what ends up happening with almost every false prophet—whatever degree: greater or lesser. That's why Paul gave this charge to Timothy.

2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word!…." (vs 1-2). That is what is to be taught. To preach it honestly and to preach it truly, because these are the words of God.

"…Be urgent in season and out of season…" (v 2)—showing they kept the Holy Days, without a doubt. There's no use saying that unless it were true.

"…convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine" (v 2). That is 'rightly dividing' the Word of God (2-Tim. 2:15) to come up with the right doctrine.

For example: We constantly get a question similar to this: If Jesus said that 'not one jot or tittle shall in any way pass from the Law till all be fulfilled,' why should we not put blue threads in the borders of our garments? That's in the book of Moses. Yes, it is! It's in the Law! They don't read any further, because it says, 'so that when you see it you will remember the commandments and statutes of the Lord.' Jesus fulfilled that and gave us a higher standard, and that higher standard is they're to be written in our hearts and our minds! We don't need blue threads to remind us. We have it within us.

Not being able to discern the physical from the spiritual, there are false teachers who say that we have to have all of our garments with blue threads. The reason that happens is because they don't 'rightly divide the Word of God.' They don't understand the doctrine. A lot think they do; they think they're experts in it. Like one of the latest rages we have today with the calendar is everybody goes to the Holy Land and they look for the ripe barley. They don't have the wit to understand that the climate is not the same that it was when they did that. That's why God gave the Calculated Hebrew Calendar.

They get all enamored with this, and they get their minds off Christ, they get their mind off the Word of God, and they get caught up in these little silly things. Here's the reason:

  • Do they have people that will listen to them? Of course!
  • Do they have people who will follow them? Yes!

Even P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey said, 'A sucker is born every minute.'

Verse 3: "For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine… [they want to have their own] …but according to their own lusts… [that's where all of this is conceived, in personal lust] …they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings; and they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths" (vs 3-4).

Whenever someone takes to himself that kind of thing to be a teacher or to be a priest then great trouble happens. We have seen it; the judgment's going to come!

  • Let's understand about Christ!
  • Let's understand what He went through!

Hebrews 5:5: "In this same manner also, Christ did not glorify Himself to become a High Priest, but He Who said to Him, 'You are My Son; today I have begotten You. Even as He also says in another place, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec'; Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God. Although He was a Son, yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him, after He had been designated by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchisedec" (vs 5-10).

This quote, v 5: "…'You are My Son; today I have begotten You,'" is taken from Psa. 2. A very interesting Psalm and a very interesting translation of one particular verse in the Geneva Bible.

Psalm 2:1: "Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain?" This is an end-time prophecy, right here. This is what is happening today.

Verse 2: "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Christ… [the Anointed]… [Who is the 'Anointed One'? Christ!] …saying, 'Let us break Their bands asunder and cast away Their cords from us.'" (vs 1-3). 'We are free, we have free moral agency, we can do whatever we want to do.' Is that not the philosophy of today? No doubt about it!

Verse 4: "He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD scoffs at them. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and in His fury He terrifies them. 'Yea, I have set My King upon Zion, My Holy mountain. I will declare the decree of the LORD. He has said to Me, "You are My Son; this day I have begotten You."'" (vs 4-7). That is the day that He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Then it goes on showing how Christ is going to come and take over the world, v 8: "Ask of Me… [here we have the Lord being the Father, the Anointed One or the Christ being Christ] …and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel" (vs 8-9). We find that in Rev. 2 about Shepherding the nations; He shares that with the saints.

Verse 10: "Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be admonished O judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way, for His wrath can flame up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him" (vs 10-12).

Here we have a prophecy of Christ being appointed. We have the work that He is going to do, not only as a Priest, but also as a King. That becomes very important because under the Old Covenant no king could become a priest, and no priest could become a king. There was a division. But under the order of Melchisedec we will see—especially in Heb. 7—that it is one.

Hebrews 5:6: "Even as He also says in another place, 'You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec.'" We find this in Psa. 110.

{note booklets: The Two Jehovahs of the Psalms and The Two Jehovahs of the Pentateuch} This establishes very important things here in the book of Psalms. I might just mention concerning the text of the Old Testament, that there is a rabbinical text called A Masoretic Text and there is a Levitical text called A Masoretic Text. The rabbinic text did a lot of juggling through the vowel points. They did so in Psa. 110. There are two words in the Old Testament for Lord:

  • YHVH—Jehovah
  • Adonai—'adoni' can apply to a man, 'my lord'—the only difference is a vowel pointing

What has been done in last couple hundred years with the Hebrew text is the rabbis have gone through and have systematically eliminated any reference to anything other than one God. So, when a person goes back and looks into the Old Testament, they will say, 'Oh, there's only one God.' But it is not numerically one single God. It is the One Who became Christ and the One Who became the Father—two of Elohim. There are two. They, as Jesus said, are ONE! Not meaning one person, but:

  • one is spirit
  • one in mind
  • one in heart
  • one in purpose
  • one in work
  • one in family

—and we are to become one with Them! So, when I did the series Who was Jesus?

Psalm 110:1 "The LORD said unto my Lord…" I said both of these meant YHVH or Jehovah, and at that time we were still using the term Yahweh. So, here's the whole plan of God revealed right here, a prophecy of Christ. This was used by the apostles in preaching Christ more than any other section of the Old Testament to begin with.

"…'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies as Your footstool.'" Notice how closely that ties in with Psa. 2; 1-Cor. 15.

Verse 2: "The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion saying, 'Rule in the midst of Your enemies.'" Isn't that true? Does Christ rule in the midst of His enemies though they don't understand it? Yes, He does!

Simply because every time you transgress a commandment of God His judgment is ruling over you. Let's take it one step further, He rules over everyone. He's Creator! So, whether men and women want to admit it or not, God is ruling over them, whether just through the physical creation that He has created in which they live and exist or whether they are called to repentance and come to God and let Christ be in them and rule over them, God is ruling! In the midst of the enemies, God will make it profound. What is the greatest example of that happening? The book of Esther! In the example of Esther and Mordecai and the proposed annihilation of the Jews, God turned that completely around because He rules "…in the midst of your enemies."

Verse 3: "Your people will offer themselves in the day of Your power, in the beauties of Holiness from the womb of the morning: Yours is the dew of Your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not repent … [there is no changing this]: …'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec'" (vs 3-4).

In Heb. 7 we will cover more on Melchisedec. That is our priesthood today. That's why any other priesthood is contrary to the will of God, and they have placed themselves in place of God.

Hebrews 5:7: "Who, in the days of His flesh…" This tells us that there was also a time when He was a spirit being.

John 1:14: '"And the Word became flesh…"

Hebrews 5:7: "…offered up both prayers and supplications… [the Greek word here is the same as 'to offer up sacrifices'] …with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God."

We've got a whole chapter in The Christian Passover book about the nature of Christ in the flesh {Chpt. 26 The Meaning of the Body of Jesus Christ}. There were two things of death that He was saved from:

  • He would not sin and incur the death penalty
  • having died for the sins of the world, He would be resurrected from the dead

He did it with prayers and supplications and strong crying and tears. This was a great and a mammoth, profound struggle, fight, however you want to put it. For Christ to go through everything that He did and qualify to be a High Priest forever after the order Melchisedec, and He took upon Himself all of these things. This is why when we come through the book of Hebrews we find:

  • chapter 1—Paul talks about the function of Christ, Who was the Son of God, purged our sins
  • chapter 2—Paul talks about the suffering of Christ; being made like us
  • chapter 3—Paul shows that Christ is greater than Moses
  • chapter 4—What Christ went through because He now is our High Priest

Then, in this section, it brings it out in such a way to show that everything that He did was part of the sacrifice, meaning more than just the time when He was crucified on the cross and beaten with a scourge prior to that.

Let's look at some things in the New Testament and let's see part of the things of death that He was saved from. Matt. 2—the account of Herod wanting to know where the Christ was born. The wise men came and he talked to them; he asked where He was born. He called all the priests and scribes together and they said, 'In Bethlehem.' You know the story. They went down and they found the Christ, they gave the offerings that they had brought.

Matthew 2:11: "And when they had come into the house, they found the little Child with Mary His mother, and they bowed down and worshiped Him… [You only worship God!] …then they opened their treasures and presented their gifts to Him—gold and frankincense and myrrh."

God had to intervene and send the wise men home a different way and not go back to Herod. And He had to intervene and tell Joseph that Herod was going to come and try and kill the Child. Here we find that God saved Him from death before He could even utter a prayer. They went on down to Egypt and then came back.

Part of what Jesus went through, and one of the most important things as far as a living sacrificial effort was the temptation that He went through enduring with Satan the devil and overcoming him. We will cover this at a later time, but needless to say that that was quite a thing, and He had to overcome Satan the devil while He was in the flesh as a human being; not God confronting Satan; not another angel confronting Satan, but God—as a man—overcoming Satan the devil.

Then we find this: Jesus came into Nazareth on the Sabbath Day and stood up to read and He read, Luke 4:21: "Then He began to say to them, 'Today, this Scripture is being fulfilled in your ears.'" And they wondered who this was (v 22), and then He told them the truth:

Verse 24: "But He said, 'Truly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. For in truth, I say to you, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up for three years and six months, and there was great famine upon all the land; and Elijah was not sent to any of them, but only to a widow in Sarepta, a city of Sidonia. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them were cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.' Now, all in the synagogue who heard these things were filled with indignation" (vs 24-28)—not getting the point.

The difficulty that we see here and Jesus had to endure, He came unto His own and His own didn't receive Him.

Verse 29: "And they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the edge of the mountain on which their city was built, in order to throw Him down headlong; but He passed safely through their midst and departed" (vs 29-30). He escaped; there again He was saved from death. He was not to die until the time; yet, He had to be saved from death.

We will see that Christ had to always be weary of men. This is after He came to the temple, cast out the moneychangers and so forth.

John 2:23: "Now, when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the Feast, many believed on His name, as they observed the miracles that He was doing. But Jesus did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men; and He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man" (vs 23-25). You can just plug in there all the things we know of human nature (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 8:7).

When He did another miracle, what did they want to do? And all the way through Jesus had to escape death. This is the account of the man who had the infirmity for 38 years; Jesus healed him.

John 5:14: "After these things, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, 'Behold, you have been made whole. Sin no more, so that something worse does not happen to you.'…. [that's a very profound Scripture for us all to understand] …The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him whole. And for this cause, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on a Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.' So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath, but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God" (vs 14-18).

They knew and they understood that He was the Son of God. Every time this came up they wanted to lay hands on Him and kill Him. Let's see this again:

John 8:52: "Then the Jews said to Him, 'Now we know that You have a demon….'" Not only did He suffer the persecution and false accusation and everything like that, remember what Jesus told the disciples: 'If they call Me Baalzebub, think of what they're going to call you.' Now is not the time for salvation of the world, and that's the whole point of the Day of Atonement.

"'…Abraham and the prophets died; yet, You say, "If anyone keeps My words, he shall not taste of death forever"'" (v 52). It doesn't say that a person can't die, but he won't "…taste of death forever"—pointing to the resurrection

Verse 53: "Are You greater than our father Abraham who died? And the prophets, who died? Who do You make Yourself to be?' Jesus answered, 'If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. Yet, you have not known Him…'" (vs 53-55).

Remember that Scripture whenever you're confronted by someone who says that the God of the Old Testament was the Father.

"…but I know Him. And if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar, like you. But I know Him, and I keep His Word. Abraham your father was overjoyed to see My day; and he saw it, and rejoiced.'" Then the Jews said to Him, 'You are not even fifty years old, and You have seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM'" (vs 55-58).

Now, we'll get a little Greek here: 'genesthai'—which means an aorist past tense infinitive to be. 'before Abraham came to be, I AM'—'ego-emi' {note sermon: I AM That I AM} and this is a name of God. He was clearly revealing to them that He was God.

Here again He was saved from death, v 59: "Then they picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus concealed Himself and went out of the temple, passing through the midst of them, and in this manner departed."

Here we've got the same thing. They came to Jesus and said to Him, 'Who are You?' He said, The One I've told you all along. 'If You're the Son of God, tell us.' I have, but you didn't believe Me!

John 10:27: "My sheep hear My voice…" Go back to the first part of John 10, the sheep do not hear the voice of a stranger. So, when you truly have the Spirit of God and you understand the Word of God sufficiently, what is it you are able to do? You're able to discern whether a preacher is teaching Truth or not! Whether it is really the words of Christ or not! What has to happen is that in your relationship with God, which is with God the Father and Jesus Christ, you have God's Spirit in you. You have a relationship based upon prayer and study and living God's way. When anything comes along from a teacher who is not teaching the Word of God, you recognize it immediately.

Another thing that is profound is this: We have the written Word; we have it recorded here. These were once spoken. So, if you read these words and you understand these words and you live by these words, then you are hearing the voice of Christ! That's why He said, "My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me" (v 27). Very important! You follow Christ! Paul said, 'Follow me as I follow Christ.' He also said, 'Be followers of God as dear children.'

We are to follow Christ. This way then no man, no organization can presume to take eternal life from you—period! Regardless of what they may do to you, they cannot take that away. We're living in a time right now where now is the time to be building that up and storing that up and using that, because we're going to be confronted—however long down the road it's going to take, we don't know—with the most horrific events in the entirety of the history of the world. We'd better be following Christ! We'd better be filled with the Spirit of God and know the Truth of God!

Verse 28: "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish… [this always got under the skin of the Jews] …and no one shall take them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one has the power to seize them from My Father's hand. I and the Father are one" (vs 28-30).

Here's a case when again He had to be saved from death, v 31: "Then the Jews again picked up stones so that they might stone Him. Jesus answered them, 'Many good works I have showed you from My Father. For which of them are you about to stone Me?' The Jews answered Him, saying, 'We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God.' Jesus answered them, 'Is it not written in your law… [which you never study] …"I said, 'You are gods'"? If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came' (and the Scriptures cannot be broken)" (vs 31-35).

That does not mean judges because the word there is Elohim in the Hebrews, showing the destiny of what human beings are to become.

Verse 35: "'If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came' (and the Scriptures cannot be broken)… [How about that! New Testament Scripture!] …'why do you say of Him Whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, even if you do not believe Me, believe the works; so that you may perceive and may believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.' Then they again sought to take Him; but He escaped out of their hands" (vs 35-39).

We know that He was then given over into their hands all the suffering and everything that Jesus went through.

Let's look at a couple of Psalms which then helps bring about these things and expand it for us even more. We're going to get into the things that He suffered leading up to His physical death. This shows us the kind of mind, heart and attitude that we need to have.

Psalm 116:1: "I love the LORD because He hears my voice and my prayers." It said Jesus was heard. What did Jesus say when He was asking God to raise Lazarus from the dead? Father, I thank You that You have heard Me, for You always hear Me! We need to have that confidence in our prayers, too, brethren. God always hears us! He gives according to His will! This is a direct prophecy of what we are reading the fulfillment of in Heb. 5:

Verse 2: "Because He has bowed down His ear to me, therefore, I will call upon Him as long as I live. The sorrows of death hemmed me in, and the pains of the grave took hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: 'O LORD, I beseech You, deliver my soul.'…. [of course, God did] …Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me" (vs 2-6). In other words, helped him up. Yes, God heard him!

All of this then becomes part of the sacrifice of Christ. Not just the physical things that happened to Him, but His state of mind, His prayers, His yielding to God—everything that He went through was part of that sacrifice.

Psalm 55:1: "Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and answer me; I am distraught in my trouble and moan in my complaint because of the voice of the enemy; because of the oppression of the wicked—for they cast mischief upon me, and in anger they hate me…. [Jesus had to live with hatred all His life] …My heart is pained within me; and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me" (vs 1-5).

I'm sure that these are some of the thoughts that He had while He was going through scourging. Scourging was meant also to kill. As a matter of fact, most of those who were scourged died of the scourging. They didn't have to crucify them. So, what happened with Jesus, he took two things of death:

  • the scourging
  • the crucifixion

That's all a part of why Christ is the High Priest that He is. That's all a part of why we can go to God at any time, through Christ, and know that:

  • He hears us
  • He understands us

and with His Spirit in us:

  • He is living in us and experiencing those things yet again within us

—that we can have full confidence and trust and faith in Christ as our High Priest.

With that, you don't need a man for a high priest. You don't need a man to go confess your sins to. What can he forgive that God cannot already forgive? Nothing! Let's see what Jesus experienced when He went through this.

  • He did this for us!
  • He did this to be our Savior!
  • He experienced this to be our High Priest!

This is why Christ is so great, and the New Testament and New Covenant is so supreme! It is the greatest thing that God could do.

Psalm 69:1: "Save me, O God, for the waters have come in upon my soul! I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, where the floods overwhelm me" (vs 1-2).

This is the feelings of emotions, just completely overcoming. He wasn't in some river. He wasn't in some mud-bog. This is how He felt on the inside as He was experiencing these things.

I saw a special on people who have panic attacks. There are a lot of people who have such insecure things and panic attacks; they're afraid of everything. Christ died and experienced those things similar to what those who have panic attacks go through so that He can save those who have that from it. That's why the place to turn in all of these things is to Christ. That's why it says:

  • He knows!
  • He experienced!
  • He lived it!

Verse 3: "I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched… [Remember when He was on the cross? He said, 'I thirst!'] …my eyes fail while I wait for my God. Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; those who would cut me off are mighty being wrongfully my enemies. Should I restore what I did not take away?" (vs 3-4).

Now it blends back down into David's prayer, v 5: "O God, You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hidden from You." Who took all that upon Himself? Christ did! Though He never sinned, He never was foolish, He took all of that upon Himself—all the foolishness and stupidity of men. Isn't that something? Yes, it is! Christ also had to experience something that many, many people go through, and that is they don't know where God is. Though they cry out to God, He doesn't hear, He doesn't answer, so therefore they feel as though God has forsaken them.

I think one of the most tragic things that I recall is a true story of a man who was in combat and he was praying, 'Oh, God, deliver me out of this mess, don't let me die, and within a few seconds a bullet went right through his head.' I imagine that he felt, while he was praying, desperate, that he was alone. Some of the men who saw him praying and then die a few seconds after he prayed, they didn't believe God. 'God didn't hear him. Where is God?' Christ also had to take that upon Himself. That's why He had to, as it is prophesied in Psa. 22, and this is what He said when He was on the cross:

Psalm 22:1: "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me…" There will be times in the lives of every human being that they will feel that God has forsaken them. But God hasn't! God won't! But when you are at this point like Christ was:

  • Will you still trust in God?
  • Will you still believe God?
  • Will you still hold fast to the Truth?

—even though the whole world is against you! That's what Christ had to go through.

"…and why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?" (v 1).

I tell you, that's something! It got so bad, v 6: "But I am a worm, and no man…" That's how low Christ got! You talk about a humiliation. And all of these things, brethren, qualified Him to be our High Priest. Everything that He went through and endured and suffered His whole life then all culminated in the crucifixion and that's why He's our High Priest.

I heard of a man who some years ago renounced Christ and now he's on his deathbed. A friend of mine called me and asked me if I would call him. I called and he wouldn't even answer. I tell you what, we need to trust God at all times! That's why it's so important, brethren, to know and understand the Word of God and live by it and believe it. Don't let any man, don't let anyone, don't let anything come between you and God!

Though you get down as low as feeling like you are a worm, and the "…reproach of men and despised by the people. All who see Me mock Me… [H was on the cross and they came by taunting Him] …they shoot out the lip; they shake the head, saying" (vs 6-7).

You will be taunted this way; Christ was taunted this way, yet, He was faithful. That's all a part of the suffering and things that He went through. This is how Christ was perfected. God Who is up here as a Spirit Being. I don't know how God experiences suffering of people when He's viewing it, or knowing that it's happening, but it is an entirely different thing for God to become a man and to suffer all of these things in the flesh, and to do so at the hands of His own creation.

Verse 8—despite everything that was going on, they taunted Him and said, "He trusted on the LORD; let Him deliver Him; let Him rescue Him, since He delights in Him!" And they said, 'Look, if you be the Christ, prove it right now; come down off the cross, then we will believe You.' Then He would be disobeying God. So, what did Christ do? He thought clear back to the time of when He was made a human being!

Verse 9: "For You are He who took Me out of the womb, causing Me to trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth; You are My God from My mother's womb" (vs 9-10).

Remembering the whole experience. Our lives are such that we have virtually no conscience memory of anything beyond going back to two-years-old, if that much. But here Christ had the conscience memory of when He was begotten. So, that strengthened Him.

Verse 11: "Be not far from Me; for trouble is near, for there is none to help. Many bulls have encircled around Me…" (vs 11-12). This is referring to all the demons. I imagine that Satan and the demons were out there circling around the cross with all of their hideousness and all of their laughing. It reminds me of when I hear a hyena. That's what I have in mind when I think of this time when they were out there circling. Of course, the people couldn't see them, but they were there circling the cross thinking that, yes, if He dies 'We've got Him! We've killed the Messiah! We have done Him in!' This is what it's talking about here.

Verse 12: "Many bulls have encircled around Me; strong bulls of Bashan have surrounded Me. They opened wide their mouths at Me, like a ravening and a roaring lion…. [this has got to be the demons out this doing this] …I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of My bowels" (vs 12-14).

He could just feel life coming right out of Him. Quite a thing, brethren, what Christ did. This is all a part of why He is our High Priest. Of why you can have full faith and confidence always in Him!

Verse 15: "My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; dogs have surrounded Me; a band of evildoers have encircled Me; they have pierced My hands and My feet; and You have brought Me into the dust of death. I can count all My bones…" (vs 15-17).

He could look down and the flesh was off His ribcage and He could look down and see His ribs.

"…they look and gloat over Me. They divide My garments among them and cast lots upon My vesture. But You, O LORD, be not far from Me; O My strength, hasten to help Me! Deliver My soul from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion's mouth; yea, and from the wild ox's horns. You have answered Me" (vs 15-21). Right from the altar of God!

Then because of this, v 22: "I will declare Your name to My brethren…" You are the brothers of Christ! Christ came down and did this:

  • He emptied Himself of being God
  • became a human being
  • lived a perfect life

—though He was tempted in every way such as we are—

  • then was crucified in this horrendous way
  • died this horrible death

and God heard His prayers; God resurrected Him from the dead. That's why He is such a great, marvelous and supreme High Priest! That's why He's greater than any priesthood of a man. No human being can understand that! No human being can empathize with that! But Christ can, because He went through it.

Hebrews 5:7: "…[He] offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God."

This Godly fear means that He always understood and recognized the will of God and the sovereignty of God and everything that has to do with the power and love and being of God.

Luke 22—this was a prayer, but it was also conversation with God. This shows Christ's yieldedness to God, His fear of God, and why He was heard.

Luke 22:39: "Then He left the house and went, as He was accustomed, to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him. And when He arrived at the place, He said to them, 'Pray that you do not enter into temptation.' And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw; and falling to His knees, He prayed, saying, 'Father, if You are willing to take away this cup from Me… [if this is not it, save Me from it] (but if this is it): …nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done.'" (vs 39-42).

Isn't that the way it is when we get in a tight bind? We always look to our own will. Too many times we look to our own devices, our own schemes, rather than trusting God; rather than yielding ourselves to the will of God. He knew this was it!

Verse 43: "Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him…. [He had the weakness of flesh] …And being in agony…" (vs 43-44). That's part of what it's talking about here: strong crying and tears, in agony, because He knew all the prophecies that He had given in the Old Testament showing how He would die. All of these things were flooding into His mind at this time, I'm sure. That's why He was in agony.

"…He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became as great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And after rising up from prayer, He came to His disciples and found them sleeping for grief" (vs 44-45).

Isn't that always true? Somehow it's a quirk of human nature, because the trouble is so bad, what human beings try to do is block it out of their minds. Part of the way of doing that is becoming sleepy. That's what happens to these people who have these panic attacks. It gets so much upon them that they just stay in their houses. Then they withdraw in depression so much that all they do is sleep. Not just for a physical reason because they're tired—that may happen to some people who have physical problems—but because they are so wrapped up in fear that it puts them to sleep.

Here are the disciples—and remember, this happened three times—'can't you even watch for an hour.'

Verse 46: "Then He said to them, 'Why are you sleeping? Arise and pray, so that you do not enter into temptation.'" I think that when we come to the disasters at the end, I wonder how many people are going to be sleeping at the switch. Just makes you wonder, because that's a weakness of human nature. But not of Christ!

Hebrews 5:8: "Although He was a Son, yet, He learned obedience from the things that He suffered." This doesn't mean that He ever transgressed or was disobedient. This means all of the different situations where He was confronted with saving His own neck, or trusting God to keep Him from death. He had different situations of how to be obedient. That's what it's really talking about. So, "…He learned obedience from the things that He suffered"—everything He went through!

Likewise, we go through similar things. How are we obedient? In what circumstances? And in this circumstance, how do we obey God? In another circumstance, how do we obey God? We learn obedience that way! That's what Christ also learned.

Verse 9: "And having been perfected…" That's a profound statement, because God is perfect. And Christ coming in the flesh had perfect obedience. How was it then that He was perfected? By being in the flesh and going through all of these circumstances and going through the scourging and crucifixion and everything that means! That perfected Him

  • in His love for His creation
  • in His love for God the Father
  • in His love for human beings

He had to go through this to be perfected in this way: that He might save us! Therefore, v 9: "…He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him."

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Hebrews 5:1-4
  • James 3:1-2
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-4
  • Hebrews 5:5-10, 5
  • Psalm 2:1-12
  • Hebrews 5:6
  • Psalm 110:1-4
  • Hebrews 5:7
  • John 1:14
  • Hebrews 5:7
  • Matthew 2:11
  • Luke 4:21, 24-30
  • John 2:23-25
  • John 5:14-18
  • John 8:52-59
  • John 10:27-39
  • Psalm 116:1-6
  • Psalm 55:1-5
  • Psalm 69:1-5
  • Psalm 22:1, 6-22
  • Hebrews 5:7
  • Luke 22:39-46
  • Hebrews 5:8-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • Revelation 2
  • Hebrews 7
  • 1 Corinthians 15
  • Luke 4:22
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • Romans 8:7

Also referenced:

  • Book: The Christian Passover (Chpt. 26 The Meaning of the Body of Jesus Christ) by Fred R. Coulter
  • Booklets:

Two Jehovahs of the Psalms

Two Jehovahs of the Pentateuch

    • Sermon Series: Who was Jesus?
    • Sermon: I AM That I AM

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 4-22-11
Reformatted/Corrected: January/2017