You can find our unedited sermon notes here:
Earlier this week, because of being on vacation for a bit, maintenance at the Weathersby house was behind. My deck hasn’t been taken care of, the beds were full of weeds, and the grass is getting rough. SO per usual, I set out to fix all my deferred maintenance in a tiny period of time. I remember coming in after weeding and mowing in the heat of the day and laying on the floor for a bit thinking, “I’m too old for this mess”. Yesterday, more of the same – I worked in the middle of the day taking care of deferred maintenance, getting my deck ready to seal, washing the back of the house, more weeding, working on the lawn, washing a vehicle that someone thought was rusty when it was accumulated filth…. Late one evening just before the sun went down, I heard a mower running. I said to the family – I bet you that’s an old dude out there mowing. I didn’t look but I know I’m right. Wisdom is why. We live a frantic pace, American’s do. I want to encourage us to slow down today – as we do each Lord’s day, we’ve determined to put this morning aside and look to God, appreciate Christ, and be guided by the Spirit and so, lets see Him in His Word this morning – lets see the wisdom of God’s plan, and know “Wisdom is why”. Hebrews 10:11–18 (ESV) 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, This notion of compare and contrast to standing priests and the sitting priest, Jesus is HUGE and would be easy to burn past. So lets NOT do that, lets slow down here, wisdom is why we’ll slow down. It’s easy to miss because we think work can be done from a sitting position. I still remember my kids when they were younger playing and we over heard them saying, ok lets go to work – the next thing I heard was, play about emailing people. And for some folks emailing and office work is work – but we all know where WORK is done. It’s done on your feet, than hard exhausting work where you’re leveraging your strength, and your body to accomplish tasks is generally done on your feet. The priesthood was certainly no exception. Their work was physical, and bloody, and nearly non-stop. In Exodus 28:1 the priests’ calling is clear, separated from the people, serving God full time. They’d live together, wake up and straight to ritual’s, daily sacrifice (see Exodus 29:38) lotteries were held daily to determine which priests would do which duties, fires were kept on the alter for coals, the alter would be 50+ feet long with 3 fires constantly going (imagine the work of that alone). Daily sacrifice was slaughtered, skinned and processed – I’m not sure if you’ve ever skinned an animal but it’s not easy. The animal is inspected for blemish (believe me you didn’t want to be a blemish free lamb in Israel in the temple period. 93 bowls of silver and gold were gathered (this gives some concept of the # of people needed here to perform this I can’t even carry 10 bowls without breaking something) and now they’re on to the marble tables for preparing the offering – I imagine skilled butchers going to work on this animal processing and filling bowls with blood and sacrificial meat parts. Wine was offered on the alter and they’re on to the induce offering and then the sacrifice parts are brought up the ram to the alter (remember the 50+ foot alter) all the priests would be called to this ceremony when the intense would be heaped on the alter and smoke would will he chamber and they’d recite Numbers 6:24-26. That was a tiny incomplete picture of the daily work of the priest – after that day, I’d want to sit and take a breather too. Every. Single. Day. And can they take away sins, no! They simply make temporary payment; they keep the people connected to God, cognizant of their distance from God. But not whole with God. There is a particular Psalm the writer of Hebrews uses. The Pastor to the people, the guy who sees a Church of believers in Jesus who are going back to works of the temple period. He leverages Psalm 110 – often. Turn there if you will we’re gong here for wisdom, and just look at that first verse. Psalm 110:1 (ESV) 1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” This is referenced in Hebrews 1:13, gets expanded on in the Melchizedek conversation, and also loosely referenced in Hebrews 2:8 drawing on the same concept again but from Psalm 8:6. Why? It’s what drives us on to next week’s theme, Draw Near – we draw near because we’re laid out from fruitless working. The exhaustion of pushing for God, pushing toward God, when we cannot get there leaves us like me after a day of working in the sun/heat – literally laying on the ground mumbling, “I’m too old for this”. I consider those working priests. Daily sacrifices, lotteries, service, singing study, prayer – but that never quite paid the debt – along comes Christ, a priest after another order – one from the beginning, who the Pastor-writer of Hebrews says: Hebrews 7:12 (ESV) 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. Jesus comes, and Hebrews 10:11–12 (ESV) 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, Jesus sits from His work. Not like the road crew with 1 guy working and everyone watching, resting, sitting – no, Jesus work is finished, John 19:30 (ESV) 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. And now, Jesus eternal priesthood, with a change in the law is: 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. And what did Psalm 110 say happens when he rests for the enemies to made a footstool? Psalm 110:1 (ESV) 1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” This most quoted Psalm in all the Bible, Psalm 110’s first verse is quite in part/whole 27 times. The Lord (yhwh, God) says to my Lord (adonay, commander, boss, Lord) who makes enemies a footstool, God – when Christ’s work is done in making payment, God brings it home to completion. This is what we wait for, this is where we are. Continue to look at what that writer to the Hebrews says to these believers living after the time of Jesus: 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, There is a purpose here and a lesson: 1. Purpose: The Pastor-writer of Hebrews want’s them to see in scriptural language that the plan from the beginning was that things would be different, the covenant will change, and law would be a matter of conviction by the spirit of God. 2. Lesson: Scripture, though about to quote from Jeremiah 31:33 is ultimately from The Holy Spirit, who is God (verse 15). 3. Freebie Hermeneutics is the science of studying a text. A principal in Biblical hermeneutics is that scripture interprets scripture, here the Pastor-writer expounds on his point, pulling forward scripture so that the believers could use scripture to interpret scriptural principals – the covenant would change, the very nature of the laws conveyance would change. 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” This is in Jeremiah 31:34. And so 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Remember how I said I knew it was an old Guy out mowing because it’s wiser to mow when it’s cool not in the blazing heat under the burning death ball in the sky. Old guys work smarter there is a wisdom to their pace, that’s why. I’ve said before when I work with older wiser guys and young guys it’s interesting because I see the young guys going at a caution to the wind pace, applying all their strength to even task, and the older guys are a steady pace, being efficient, using tools and careful approaches rather than throwing their back at it, and that slow steady cautious pace often wins out in the end, more is done more efficiently no laying down nearly dead, rather the day just ends. And so Jesus way, this door to the New Covenant talked about all he way back in Jeremiah, and through David in the Psalms, gives us this conclusion in verse 18, it’s simple genius: where they’re is forgiveness there is no more offering. Isn’t that both a profound and a ‘well duh, no kidding’ statement? But we miss it ALL THE TIME – wisdom says, rest in Jesus’ work, but we want to do stuff. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t do stuff, we should serve Jesus, but as an over flow of our joy! Service is more enjoyable that way – you’re not trying to stuff all the good works you can into every second so that God will find you more acceptable that way – your joyously plugging away for God’s glory, because you actually believe IT IS FINISHED! When I was in Israel, I visited the Temple Institute. This is the 3rd temple, since the 2nd was destroyed in 70AD – and I asked the people there about Animal Sacrifice. This has been intriguing to me for some time and there is internal argument among the Jews over this, many feel that their good works are their sacrifices now that the temple is gone. Others still would point and say it’s the bulls of their lips (Hosea 14:2) but no matter, works, or prayers, or return to animal sacrifice after 1,948 years of NOT sacrificing in the apparent open covenant to sacrifice it is NOT finished and connection to God is incomplete. But in Jesus we see that Jeremiah’s words in 33 come true, we see that David’s revelation in Psalm 110 is realized, and so the messiah rests waiting for God to bring about the day of completion – and so we as a Church 2,018 years after Jesus bring Him glory, point to God’s grace, disciple, worship, participate in the ordinances (communion and baptism) and we wait for God as we enjoy Him daily. Do you live like this – it’s wise to, live as a waiting obedient worshiper – and when you understand this you’ll be ready for the call in verse 19 to draw near to God, you can because Jesus finished all God set out for Him to. We get to work like the wise older man, who works as though it will be finished, where as the younger zealous man works as though it may NOT get done frantic and undone as the older man works out his task in wisdom. Jesus’ tasks were: Seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) and provide atonement for those who in faith believe in Him (Romans 3:230-25) it is finished, wisdom is why. Jesus fulfilled 300+ prophesies from Genesis to Revelation, it is finished, wisdom is why. We live as new creations alive with Christ Ephesians 2:1-5 and wisdom is why, church lets work like the wise, as those who know it is finished, that Christ rests, and now lets work as victors in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57, Romans 8:37). When guilt comes over you, when you feel disconnected from God, for those who have repented of sin and trust Christ Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life – who come to God through Him, be relieved of that guild, wisdom is why. 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. You do NOT build a pile of works good enough and high enough to get you to God, rather – as one connected to God, you work, you serve, and you are obedient as an outflow of Joy – church lets prepare to draw near or even draw nearer THIS week, wisdom is why! Each day this week make a concerted effort to START your day off with prayer and lets come back next week refreshed in God and ready to draw near, wisdom is why. Wisdom Is Why!