Lesson 24 | Sabbath, 10 December 2022
“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34.
“Christ is our Mediator and officiating High Priest in the presence of the Father. He was shown to John as a lamb that had been slain, as in the very act of pouring out His blood in the sinner’s behalf. When the law of God is set before the sinner, showing him the depth of his sins, he should then be pointed to the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. He should be taught repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus will the labor of Christ’s representative be in harmony with the Saviour’s work in the heavenly sanctuary.” –Gospel Workers, p. 13.
The great High Priest for man
- What ministry is Jesus currently carrying out for the human race? Where is He officiating?
Hebrews 3:1; 4:14, 15 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;… 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
“‘Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.’ Hebrews 3:1. Study Christ.Study His character, feature by feature. He is our Pattern that we are required to copy in our lives and our characters, else we fail to represent Jesus, but present to the world a spurious copy. Do not imitate any man, for men are defective in habits, in speech, in manners, in character. I present before you the Man Christ Jesus. You must individually know Him as your Saviour before you can study Him as your pattern and your example.” –Selected Messages, book 3, p. 170.
- After performing His supreme sacrifice on the cross, what great work is Jesus performing in the heavenly sanctuary?
1 Timothy 2:5, 6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
“The world’s Redeemer possessed the power to draw men to Himself, to quiet their fears, to dispel their gloom, to inspire them with hope and courage, to enable them to believe in the willingness of God to receive them through the merits of the divine Substitute. As subjects of the love of God we ever should be grateful that we have a Mediator, an Advocate, an Intercessor in the heavenly courts, who pleads in our behalf before the Father.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 258.
- Is His a high priesthood like that of Aaron, who first needed a sacrifice for himself and for his family? What did Jesus accomplish through His death?
Hebrews 7:26, 27; 5:6, 9, 10; 6:20 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;27Who 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…. 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec…. 9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchi- sedec…. 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
“Thither the faith of Christ’s disciples followed Him as He ascended from their sight. Here their hopes centered, ‘which hope we have,’ said Paul, ‘as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest forever.’ ‘Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.’ Hebrews 6:19, 20; 9:12.” –The Great Controversy, p. 421.
Ministering in the Holy Place
- How can one compare the offerings and service of the priests in the mosaic tabernacle with what happens in the heavenly sanctuary?
Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
“The gospel of Christ reflects glory upon the Jewish age. It sheds light upon the whole Jewish economy, and gives significance to the ceremonial law. The tabernacle, or temple, of God on earth was a pattern of the original in heaven. All the ceremonies of the Jewish law were prophetic, typical of mysteries in the plan of redemption….
“There is no discord between the Old Testament and the New. In the Old Testament we find the gospel of a coming Saviour; in the New Testament we have the gospel of a Saviour revealed as the prophecies had foretold. While the Old Testament is constantly pointing forward to the true offering, the New Testament shows that the Saviour prefigured by the typical offerings has come. The dim glory of the Jewish age has been succeeded by the brighter, clearer glory of the Christian age.” –(Signs of the Times, July 29, 1886) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p.1095
- If the earthly service was a copy and shadow of the heavenly one and the priests ministered daily in the holy place and the high priest once a year in the most holy place, where did Jesus first minister in heaven?
Hebrews 9:23; 10:1; 7:25 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these…. 10:1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect…. 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
“Such was the service performed ‘unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.’ And what was done in type in the ministration of the earthly sanctuary is done in reality in the ministration of the heavenly sanctuary. After His ascension our Saviour began His work as our high priest. Says Paul: ‘Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.’ Hebrews 9:24.” –The Great Controversy, p. 420.
- Where did the earthly priests carry out their ministry day by day? Simi- larly, where did Jesus carry out the first phase of His ministry until 1844?
Hebrews 9:6, 24 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God…. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
“The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, ‘within the veil’ which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension. It was the work of the priest in the daily ministration to present before God the blood of the sin offering, also the incense which ascended with the prayers of Israel. So did Christ plead His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners, and present before Him also, with the precious fragrance of His own righteousness, the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 420, 421.
Work of investigation and judgment
- Where did the high priest perform the purification service on the typi- cal Day of Atonement? If the earthly one was a copy and a shadow of the one in the heavens, where has Jesus been carrying out the work of purification since 1844?
Hebrews 9:7, 23 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:… 23It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. Daniel 8:14 Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
“For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record. As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ’s work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time, as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work–to cleanse the sanctuary.” –The Great Controversy, p. 421.
“This service involves a work of investigation, a work of judgment; and it immediately precedes the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; for when He comes, every case has been decided. Says Jesus: ‘My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.’ Revelation 22:12. It is this work of judgment, immediately preceding the second advent, that is announced in the first angel’s message of Revelation 14:7: ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.’” –The Great Controversy, p. 352.