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«Hebrews - Part 12: It is Fitting MATT CHANDLER, March 26, 2006 “Father, I thank You for tonight, and I that You would help us. And I ask ...»

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So, let’s keep reading, “...so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.” This is going to be another reason why Jesus is so much better than the Law. “The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.” So, He’s going to show another way why the Law is lacking. Not only can the Law not change your heart, but now He’s going to get into this, God’s gonna go, “I had to have tons of priests because they were always dying. They were always limited on how much they could help because they were human and they were dying all the time.” And here’s what He’s saying here, have you ever had your world unravel and not be able to get a hold of anyone? Like that little support system of yours. Everybody should have one. Like, I always preach this, and I try my best to practice it. Like, Jesus, He ran with this crowd of 120, but inside of that 120, there were 72 that He knew better than the 120. And inside of that 72, there were the twelve, and He knew the twelve really well. And inside of the twelve, there was this three, and this three that he was intimately tight and close with. And I say this all the time, and I’m trying to teach, since we’re going to be together for a long long time here. Like, I refuse to let other people’s convictions about how I should lead my life lead me into unhealthy things. And in my life, I try to model this thing. My wife knows every bit, she’s in here tonight and she knows the good, the bad and the ugly. You can’t hide it at home baby, not for long.

And then, I’ve got a group of 3-4 guys that I am very close with and I walk with. And even in my life, there have been moments, dark, heavy, weighty moments where there’s no one to be found. And I’m calling people that I know just to have a voice that can comfort me, and I’m getting voice mail. And you know it’s just people screening your call. I’ve seen some of you look at your cell phones since you’ve been in here. Nobody’s ever apart with their cellphone. I mean, you’ve been with them at dinner, where they’re like, “Hmm?” I mean, that’s just you, that’s what they’re doing when you call and you get voice mail. They screened you. It’s a whole social pecking order. It’s a weird deal, alright. And in that moment, where no one’s to be found and you are all on your own, Jesus here is referencing that moment and going, “Here’s another way I am greater. I am always, always, always available. 2:00AM...available. Thursday night...available. Sunday morning...available. Christmas Day...available. I do not nap; I do not eat dinner; I have no need; I am always available to those who will draw near to Me. No voice mail; no 3 days to get back to you via e-mail. I am here. Right now, here.

Okay, let’s finish it. Verse 25, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” If you get what we’re doing here, you’ll say “us” instead of “them.” So that means that Jesus, at the right hand of God, is saying, “Save, stir, help, move...” The best place you can see this is where Jesus comes up to Peter and asked, “The devil’s asked permission to sift you like wheat.” Now, I love that story, because the devil’s the peon that he is. He’s like, “Can I tempt him? Hmm?” He’s like, “Sure, go ahead. He needs it.” And Jesus is going to say to him, “So, I’m gonna let Satan sift you, but don’t fear, I have prayed for you.” Now, what happens? Well, Peter blows it, doesn’t he? But he comes back, and he’s restored. Why? Because Jesus prayed for him, and He bats

1.000. Jesus doesn’t pray for stuff that doesn’t happen, alright. “Please save him.” “No!” “What? Me? Did I say that or did You? Which head said that?” Jesus is batting 1.000 when it comes to His prayers.

Now, understatement of the year, verse 26, “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest...” That is the understatement of the year! Like, the text just said that you aren’t bound to the Law, you aren’t bound to obey this moral code in order to see God. In fact, you have a high priest who wants to transform your soul in such a way that sin loses it’s power. So, you have a high priest who’s not interested in you gaining control over your lust, but healing you of your lust. You don’t have a priest that commands you to get control of your lies and your drinking and your issues; you got a high priest who wants to heal you of those things. So, it’s fitting we should have Him. Are you kidding me? This is the greatest news in the world! But man, we love the Law. Man we love it. We just keep running back to it. Okay, what then is the purpose of biblical counseling and Celebrate Recovery, which is this huge ministry we do here on Thursday nights?

What is the purpose of the Levitical priest now that there is a better way, now that there is a way for wholeness to be put in place? The moment that grace takes root is that moment where honesty occurs in the deep parts of the soul. The purpose of biblical counseling, Celebrate Recovery, those venues are to lead us into truth, where in truth grace takes root. The thing that biblical counseling, the thing that Celebrate Recovery does is it guides us into the deep parts of the heart where the darkness that’s in us can be exposed for what it is, and in that moment of real honesty and in that moment of clarity where our stuff is seen, there and only there does grace and transformation begin to occur.

So, I want to invite you out to play with me. Here we go. We do this thing every Thursday night called Celebrate Recovery, and somehow or another, its become this thing for drunks, which is horribly untrue. Celebrate Recovery isn’t a place for just drunks and druggies. Now, they’re there. They’re there. Celebrate Recovery is this deal that we do where something’s short circuiting in you. Like, let me give you some examples. Like, do you ever find yourself just being angry and having no clue why you’re so angry? Like you’re just perpetually angry, and you’re not really sure where it came from or what it’s about, but it’s just there. Or maybe it’s lust or maybe it’s laziness or maybe it’s self hate, but something’s just misfiring in you. And you come in here every week and you go, “Oh man, I hear what you’re saying. I’d love to be part of that. I’d love to grab a hold of that. I’d love for those things to take root, but something’s short circuiting in me, something’s not getting from here to here. Well, the purpose of Celebrate Recovery, the purpose for the Center for Christian Counseling is to help you connect that circuit in such a way that truth can be seen and transformation can occur.

So, maybe you’re not hearing me at all tonight. Maybe you’re just sitting here tonight, and I’ve just done a horrible job at this text. You’re like, “You lost me at Melchiz-a-whatever.” Or maybe you can’t hear me because your ego is so gargantuan that your only way out will be in God’s mercy to let that huge head of yours crush you. And that would be God’s mercy. It would not be God’s mercy to let you walk around with your inflated ego all the rest of your life. So, maybe you’re not hearing me tonight because of your pride. But maybe you are hearing me. Like maybe tonight you’re tired of the short circuit. Hey, why don’t you come hang out with us on Thursday? I’ll be there. Heck, my whole family’s there. I’ll save you a seat. Come on. And if you’re going, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m supposed to. I don’t know if that’s for me,” how’s the last three years worked? On this short circuit thing, let’s just go three years. How’s the last three years worked? Have you been short circuiting for three years? Some of you are going, “Try twenty-seven!” Do you keep falling back into the same junk? Are you still stuck in the same cycle? Do you got that same thing short circuiting? Do you got that same thing popping over and over and over again? How about we take a chance, man? Come on, you keep hearing the promises over and over again. How about we buy in? You keep short circuiting, the same issue over and over again, the same thing creeping up over and over, the same thing destroying your relationships, the same thing keeping you away from God, the same thing, over and over again, haunting you. How about we just get some help? How about we find some people who can help us figure out this short circuit? Is it risky? Heck yeah, it’s risky. It is risky. But come on, man. What’s your other option? To keep doing it the way you’re doing it?

So, my dad and I, big Steve, we want some things to go in the ground with us, you know. Like, there’s been some pretty wicked junk in our bloodline. Like, I want it to turn to dust with me. Now, my son, he’ll have his own new junk that I give him, but the dark stuff, I mean the really dark stuff that’s existed in the last 100 years of my last name, I want it do go in the ground with me. I don’t want to, with shear will, behave correctly but be overwhelmed in soul. I want to be healed.

But this is the horrible part of my job. I can only decide for me.

So, the Law beckons. It always will. The list is there. It will always be there, and it will never bring life. So, God sent Jesus, God came in the flesh. Let me just end tonight with Romans 8:3, which is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture.

You ready? “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did.” Let’s pray, “Father, I thank You for tonight, and I thank You for a chance to just to get together and talk about the fact that we’re pretty powerless to make changes in us. And so, I know it’s a weird kind of night because I know there’s a lot of people who aren’t church folk and we’re talking about Levitical priesthood and covenants. But maybe tonight’s not for them, Father. I pray for my family in here. I pray for those who know Your name and know how good You can be and know what life is like not when you’re conformed to a pattern of religion but when you’re transformed, that they’ve tasted that bread, drank that wine. I pray tonight for them. I pray tonight for my brothers and sisters in here, my family in here who are exhausted because they’re still trying to still go the Levitical route. And I pray for my brothers and sisters in here tonight who are exhausted because they are trying to earn what cannot be earned. And I pray tonight for my brothers and sisters who, right now, could sit down and talk with me about what You’re like and what You do but somehow have lost You and that connection to You and that grace and hope. And I pray for my brothers and sisters who sit in despair right now because they feel like sin has mastered them, and they just can’t overcome it. And I thank You for a night where we can just come together and talk about truth.”

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