Introduction: Last week we ended our study with Jesus’ final words
“It is finished” ( John 19:30). What was finished? Was Jesus
completely through with humanity? Had He done all that was necessary
to reconcile us to the Father? There is some debate among Christians
about what Jesus is doing right now. Did all of the benefits of
Jesus’ sacrifice come into place at the cross? Are the benefits
still coming? We have previously studied the idea that Jesus is now
acting as our High Priest in heaven, but there are certain technical
problems with that idea. Plus, there is the belief that when Jesus
was “finished,” the Holy Spirit took over His work in an expanded
way. Let’s jump right into our study of the Bible and find out what
Jesus is doing, if anything, for us right now!

  1. A Better High Priest

    1. Read Hebrews 7:11-14. Could any young man in Israel who
      wanted to grow up to be a priest become a priest? (No.
      Read Deuteronomy 10:8-9 and Numbers 3:10. Only the tribe
      of Levi ministered in the temple. Aaron and his sons (who
      were Levites) were the priests.)

    2. Hebrews 7:14 points out that Jesus came from the tribe of
      Judah. If not everyone can just choose to be a priest,
      they have to have the right lineage, how can we claim that
      Jesus is now our High Priest? We have been studying how
      the Old Testament sanctuary service was a prophecy which
      was fulfilled in Jesus. Does this show we have a logical

      1. Since Jesus had such a miraculous birth, why didn’t
        God arrange for Him to be born of a descendant of

    3. Read Hebrews 7:1-3. What two positions were held by
      Melchizedek? (He was both a priest and a king.)

    4. Read Hebrews 7:4-9. Why does the writer of Hebrews get
      into this discussion of Melchizedek, Abraham and the
      Levites? (Hebrews argues that there is precedent for Jesus
      being both our High Priest and our King in Melchizedek.
      Melchizedek can be argued to be greater than Abraham and
      the Levites because they paid (directly or indirectly) a
      tithe to Melchizedek.)

    5. If Jesus is supposed to be more like Melchizedek than like
      Aaron, if he is the pattern, why do we know so little
      about Melchizedek? Why wasn’t the sanctuary system
      modeled around Melchizedek? (Read again Hebrews 7:3. Aaron
      is a person like we are. Melchizedek is a special,
      mysterious king. He is without a known beginning or end.
      He is a much better precedent for our Lord. Indeed, this
      is the most powerful reason why Jesus was not born from
      the line of the Levites and Aaron – He was much superior.)

    6. Who declared that Jesus was like Melchizedek? (Read
      Hebrews 5:4-6. It says this authority came straight from

      1. Where did the writer of Hebrews get this statement?
        This seems to be a quote. What is he quoting? (Read
        Psalms 110:2-4. This is an Old Testament prophecy
        about Jesus.)

  2. The Law Change

    1. Re-read Hebrews 7:11-12. I asked previously why Jesus did
      not come from the line of Aaron. These verses add another
      reason. They say a changed priest means a changed law.
      How was the law changed? (Read Hebrews 7:17-19. The old
      system was “weak and useless” – it did not allow us to
      become perfect. We now have a better way to “draw near to

      1. Does this mean the old law was completely thrown out
        the window? (No. We still have the “priest/sanctuary”
        system, it is just much improved. Hebrews argues that
        Jesus’ authority has a precedent in Melchizedek and
        His work has its precedents in the Levitical

    2. Read Hebrews 7:23-26. How has Jesus improved the old

    3. Read Hebrews 8:1-2. This gets to the heart of the question
      about what, if anything, Jesus is doing for us right now.
      What is He doing? (He is “serving” in the heavenly
      sanctuary on our behalf. Hebrews 7:25 says that Jesus
      “always lives to intercede [for us].”)

    4. Read Hebrews 2:17-18 and Hebrews 4:14-16. What other
      advantage do we have with Jesus as our High Priest in
      heaven? (He understands our temptations and our

      1. Wouldn’t Aaron be a better choice for understanding
        us since he was a sinner like us? (One night this
        week I was at a Bible study which examined the story
        of Balaam (Numbers 22-24). In many ways this is a
        very humorous story about a prophet who struggled
        (unsuccessfully) with greed and pride. I’m sure that
        every one of us in that group struggles with these
        same issues, but we were shaking our heads about
        dopey Balaam. Being a sinner does not always make us

  3. The Holy Spirit

    1. Read John 16:7-8. Jesus is speaking to His disciples.
      Jesus says the “Counselor” will not come unless Jesus
      goes, who is this Counselor? I get referred to as
      “counselor” from time to time. Is Jesus referring to His
      lawyer? (Read John 14:16-17. Jesus calls this “Counsellor”
      “the Spirit of Truth.” This is the Holy Spirit, the third
      element of the Trinity.)

    2. Read John 16:8-11. What benefit do we get from having the
      Holy Spirit with us? (The Spirit convicts us of sin and
      guilt, He assures us of our righteousness through Jesus,
      and He reminds us that Jesus defeated Satan, and thus the
      world is headed towards judgment.)

      1. Some people argue that the law was done away with at
        the cross. Some people say that guilt is bad. Some
        people deny the judgment side of God. Are these
        people filled with the Holy Spirit? (How can they be?
        They deny the principal work of the Holy Spirit.)

    3. Read John 16:12-15. What link do we find between our
      risen Lord and the Holy Spirit? (Jesus explains that the
      Holy Spirit continues Jesus’ work. The “baton” is passed
      on to another element of the Trinity.)

      1. What other work does the Holy Spirit have? (He guides
        us into truth, He brings glory to Jesus by making
        Jesus’ glory known to us.)

      2. Why is this something that the disciples could not
        then “bear?” What is so burdensome about truth?
        (Recall that this statement was made before the
        cross. The whole new system was something that the
        disciples did not foresee. They thought Jesus was
        going to be Master of the current system – and the
        King of Israel.)

    4. Read Romans 8:1-4. What is the “law of the Spirit of life”
      and does it have anything to do with the Holy Spirit?
      (Yes. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law. He
      lived the perfect life so that the requirements of the law
      might be “fully met in us.” But this has the condition
      that we live in accord with the Spirit.)

      1. Can you see now the link between the current High
        Priest work of Jesus in heaven and the work of the
        Holy Spirit on earth under the new system of law?

      2. How important is it to live with the Holy Spirit
        guiding us? (Read Romans 8:5-8. If we live a life
        controlled by our sinful nature, we cannot please
        God. Read Romans 8:9. If we do not have the Holy
        Spirit we do not belong to Jesus.)

    5. How do we know if we have the Holy Spirit? (Read Acts 1:4-5. We need baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is something
      more than being baptized with water. Receiving the Holy
      Spirit was critical for the mission of the disciples after
      Jesus left for His ministry in heaven. It was the way in
      which Jesus continued to work with them.)

    6. Read Acts 4:31. Has the Holy Spirit shaken you? Has it
      shaken your church? If not, are you an outsider? Are you
      outside Jesus’ present work in heaven and earth?

    7. Friend, simply understanding what Jesus is doing in heaven
      for us right now is not enough. We need to be in the
      middle of what God is doing on earth right now through the
      Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit is a benefit
      of Jesus’ atonement. What is going on now is the powerful
      work of the Holy Spirit! If you have doubt that the
      Spirit is working in you in power, please invite the
      Spirit into your life right now.

  4. Next week: United to Christ.