September 29, 2019 – Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10
Lesson Date: September 29, 2019
Focal Scripture Passage: Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10
AIM: To lead students to discover ways Jesus Christ is superior to earthly high priests, and to thank the Lord Jesus for being our superior, sinless, Savior.
Before class: Read the notes on Hebrews 4:14 – 5:10 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Enlist a volunteer to look up Genesis 14:17-21 and be prepared to read it to the class when called upon. Go over the verses with the volunteer so he or she will have some idea how to pronounce the unusual names. Get enough copies of the worksheet titled “Our Superior High Priest” for your anticipated attendance. Be sure to have some pens or pencils on hand for those who might need one. Write the words “Above Reproach” on the marker board or chalkboard.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the words “Above Reproach” written on the board. Ask them what it means to be above reproach (morally upright, honest, worthy of respect and obedience; the sort of person no one would suspect of doing anything wrong).
Ask: What are some professions in which we expect people to be honest and above reproach?” (they might name any or all of the following: teachers, law enforcement officers, judges, religious leaders, elected officials). For each answer the class gives, ask: “Have you ever heard of anyone in that position who was corrupt, dishonest, or immoral?” (undoubtedly they have).
Tell the students when those we are supposed to be able to trust prove themselves to be dishonest or immoral, our confidence and trust is shaken. In today’s lesson we are going to learn about an individual who is truly above reproach – one in whom we can confidently place our trust.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the students that we are in a three-month study of the New Testament book of Hebrews.
- The main subject of the book of Hebrews is the supremacy of Jesus Christ.
- Ask everyone to glance through chapters 1 – 3, and then ask: “What have those chapters taught that Jesus is superior to?” (prophets, angels, creation, Moses, and He is superior in humility).
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the superior rest that comes through knowing Jesus Christ as Savior).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (Heb. 4:12).
- Christ is Our Superior High Priest.
- Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 4:14.
- Tell the students today’s lesson is about our superior high priest.
- Ask: “Who is that superior high priest?” (Jesus the Son of God).
- Explain that Jesus lived in human flesh for about 33 years, but now He is in the heavens.
- Give everyone a copy of the “Our Superior High Priest” worksheet, and offer pens or pencils to those who need one.
- Tell the class the bulk of today’s lesson will involve answering the questions and filling in the blanks on the worksheet.
- Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 4:15
- Lead the class to answer the questions beside that verse on the worksheet.
- Stress that the last three words of that verse are vitally important – “yet without sin.”
- Explain that if Jesus Christ had ever sinned, He would have been no different from us. If that had been the case, His blood could no more pay for our sins and purchase our salvation than our blood could.
- Read Hebrews 4:16.
- Lead the class to answer the appropriate questions on the worksheet.
- Tell the students the high priest was only bold enough to enter the Holy of Holies once a year and only if he brought with him the blood of a sacrificial animal. If he violated those rules he would die. Jesus’ blood, on the other hand, gives all of His children boldness to go directly to Almighty God.
- Summarize: Jesus Christ is superior to all the earthly (human) priests. Christ is our superior High Priest, who gives us superior access to the Heavenly Father, from whom we receive superior mercy and grace.
- Christ is Our Sinless High Priest.
- Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 5:1-3.
- Lead the students to answer the questions and fill in the blanks beside those verses on their worksheets.
- Regarding verse 2, tell the class that parents can understand the disobedience and foolishness of their children because they, too, were children once. Similarly, earthly priests could understand the sins of the people because they, too, were sinners.
- Tell the class Jesus understands our sin because He was tempted like we are (Heb. 4:15).
- Stress the fact that Christ is God and He never sinned. Because of that, He is our superior high priest.
- Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 5:4-5.
- Lead the students to fill in the blank and answer the appropriate question on their worksheets.
- Explain that the last half of verse 5 is a quotation from Psalm 2:7.
- Summarize: God the Father chose His Son Jesus to be our superior high priest. Jesus came in human flesh so He understands us, but He is God and He never sinned.
- Christ Purchased Our Eternal Salvation Through His Suffering.
- Read Hebrews 5:6.
- Lead the students to answer the questions beside this verse on their worksheets.
- Tell the class this verse and verse 10 both mention a man named Melchizedek.
- Tell them this verse is quoted from Psalm 110:4.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Genesis 14:17-21.
- Explain that Melchizedek was the priest-king of Salem (ancient Jerusalem), to whom Abraham gave a tenth (tithe) of his possessions. We will learn more about Melchizedek when we get to chapter 7.
- Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 5:7-9.
- Tell the students these verses are about Jesus, not Melchizedek.
- Lead the class to answer the questions beside those verses on the worksheet.
- Regarding verse 8, tell the students Jesus Christ has always been the obedient Son of God, but during His time on earth in human flesh He “learned” experientially about obedience through His suffering.
- Regarding verse 9, explain that the earthly high priests had to continually make offerings and sacrifices because their work was never finished. As long as men sinned and animal blood only temporarily covered their sin, the priests had to continually offer sacrifices.
- Tell the students that the one-time sacrifice of Jesus and shedding of His sinless blood gives us eternal salvation. He is the author (creator, cause) of that eternal salvation.
- Ask: “According to verse 9, who can receive that eternal salvation?” (all who obey Him).
- Explain that this obedience is not a matter of obeying a set of rules in order to be saved: it is about obeying Christ when He calls us to repent and place our faith in Him (Matt. 4:17; John 3:16; 1 John 3:23).
- Read Hebrews 5:10, which says the same as verse 6 and again quotes Psalm 110:4.
- Summarize: Christ obediently suffered and died for us on the cross. The sinless blood He shed through this one-time sacrifice purchased eternal salvation for everyone who comes to Him by faith.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Erase the board and write, “Jesus Christ – Our Superior High Priest” on it. Ask the students to review the things they have written on their worksheets. Ask them to name ways Jesus is superior to the earthly high priests (He understands our temptation but He never sinned, He gives us boldness to go to God’s throne of grace where we obtain mercy, He is God, He was chosen and glorified by His Father, His priesthood lasts forever, He suffered and died for us, and He is the author of our eternal salvation).
Explain that those who know Jesus Christ as Savior no longer need to go through a human priest to get to God. They don’t need a priest to go to God on their behalf; they have direct access. Tell the students the same is not true of those who do not know Jesus Christ in a saving way. Explain the plan of salvation and encourage any who are not saved to trust Jesus Christ for salvation today.
Ask: “If you are saved, how should you respond to the truths of this lesson?” (by thanking the Lord Jesus for being our superior, sinless, Savior). Encourage everyone to do just that as you lead a moment of silent prayer. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Hebrews 4:16. Encourage them to go boldly to God’s throne of grace when they have a need this week. Jesus gave them that access.
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