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TEXT: Hebrews 8:1-13
MESSAGE: Jesus Our Bridge
“There was…a deep black wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.”  Flannery O’Connor
“Imagine early Christians talking to their neighbors in the Roman Empire. ‘Ah,’ the neighbor says, ‘I hear you are religious! Great! Religion is a good thing. Where is your temple or holy place? ‘We don’t have a temple,’ replies the Christian. ‘Jesus is our temple.’ ‘No temple?’ But where do your priests work and do their rituals? ‘We don’t have priests to mediate the presence of God,’ replies the Christian. ‘Jesus is our priest.’ ‘No priests? But where do you offer your sacrifices to acquire the favor of your God?’ ‘We don’t need a sacrifice,’ replies the Christian. ‘Jesus is our sacrifice.’ ‘What kind of religion IS this?’ sputters the pagan neighbor. And the answer is, this Christian faith is so utterly different than how every other religion works that it doesn’t really deserve to be called a ‘religion.’”  Timothy Keller
TEXT: Hebrews 8:1-13
“(the author is comparing)…the old covenant…and the priesthood of the tabernacle over against the priestly, heavenly Messiah…the author expressly utilizes the contrasts in order to bolster the commitment of Christians whose resolve was waning, who were tempted to return from the upstart, persecuted Christian community to the stable, long standing traditions of Judaism proper.” — George Guthrie
Q: How can we see in this text that Jesus is greater and that he’s our bridge to God?
  1. The Gap (v. 1-2)
Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heavena minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.”
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” — Hebrews 1:3-4
“By contrast with all material sanctuaries, this one is called the ‘true’ or ‘real’ sanctuary, the only one which is not an imitation of something better than itself, the only one whose durability comes anywhere near to matching the eternity of the living and true God whose dwelling place it is.”
— FF Bruce
  1. The Offering (v. 3-6)
For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.”
“When Jacques Derrida died I was called by a reporter who wanted know what would succeed high theory and the triumvirate of race, gender, and class as the center of intellectual energy in the academy. I answered like a shot: religion.” — Stanley Fish
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” — Isaiah 64:6
Every other religion says, “Do this, give this, offer this, live this, experience this, and that will send you over the gap to God,” but Jesus says, “I’m the God who at infinite cost to myself has come over the gap, has come over the barriers to you, barriers and a gap that you, with your puny little religious observances would never have been able to bridge, but I’ve come to you.” —  Timothy Keller
  1. The Gift (v. 10-12)
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
TAKEAWAYS: How does Jesus bridge the gap in our lives? 
* Do you believe that God could come near to you? (Irreligion)
* Do you believe that the gospel is about receiving, not earning? (Religion)
* Do you believe that knowing God is the greatest gift of all? (Gospel)
“…If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” — Philippians 3:5-11