There is only one kingdom on this earth where our deepest needs are satisfied.
Outside of this kingdom there is no satisfaction. O sure cultures have learned to satisfy so many needs, but the more they satisfy them, the more needs are created that still need to be satisfied. On the one hand we take pride in the great progress we have made, on the other, the more progress we make the more unsatisfied we become. The more abundantly the benefits of civilization come streaming our way, the emptier life becomes.
People will never be satisfied until they are satisfied with what they were made for. God.
It’s like being thirsty and doing everything but drink water. You try food, you even try salt water, something almost close the real thing, but it only makes you thirstier. Humanity is thirsting for redemption that saves physically as well as spiritually for time and eternity. More than that, humanity is thirsting for God. God is humanities source and end. Nothing else can give satisfaction not science or art, civilization, or culture.
We won’t find satisfaction until we find it in God. But for that to happen, God needs to be satisfied in us, and pleased with us. And that cannot happen when there is sin. sin must be paid for. For us to quench our thirst for God, someone must first drink the cup of Gods wrath against our sin, so that we might drink for the cup of blessing.
Jesus Christ is a complete savior for complete sinners.
The Perfect Priest
The Perfect Sacrifice
Gods perfect justice
The Perfect Priest
Their work was never ending, because their sin was never ending. They were ordained to act on behalf of men in relation to God. To offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. To stand in between a holy God and a sinful people. There was just one problem they were part of that sinful people.
Only those whom God called could be priest. The priest all had to come out of the line of Aaron.
But Aarons priesthood was insufficient. First of all Aarons priesthood started with Aaron. It did not stretch back to the beginning. Second, Aarons priesthood ended in death. And third, Aarons Priesthood was sin filled and there could not mediate perfectly between God and the people. They themselves needed a mediator.
Because of this, Jesus Christ came from an undying priesthood, not in the order of Aaron but Melchizedek. He had no forefathers; he had no sons that we read of. He was from eternity to eternity. Standing as the representative for God not just for the sins of one generation, but every generation. it is an immortal ongoing priesthood.
Melchizedek was a type or image of Christ at multiple levels. Even his name, which Hebrews translates as “king of righteousness,” and he was the “king of Salem” which means “king of peace.” Who else in Scripture than Jesus could more deservingly be called the King of Peace and Righteousness? Through his priesthood he once for all entered the holy place, bringing millions with them, reconciling them to God so that they might enjoy his peace, Jerusalem , because of his righteousness. Hebrews says this this priest was a priest on the basis of the power of an indestructible life (Heb 7:16). Because of this he is “able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he is always interceding for him.” O how beautiful to confess, “We believe that Jesus Christ was confirmed as a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” He is constantly interceding for us. Even now before the throne of God.
As the song goes,
Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea,
a great High Priest whose name is Love,
who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on his hands,
my name is written on his heart.
I know that while in heav'n he stands,
no tongue can bid me thence depart,
no tongue can bid me thence depart.
The Perfect sacrifice
For the priest of the Old covenant there was a daily reminder of their sin. And the guilt of their sin before God, and the daily reminder that blood needed to be spilled. “For without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Never satisfied. Never Enough. Everyday every week every year. Blood, blood and more blood. And yet the sin kept happening. So sacrifices had to keep happening. Even the one who offered the sacrifices was sinful, and had to sacrifice for himself, before he could make sacrifices for the people. And in the end those sacrifices were not an end in themselves, they pointed and prophesied of the one that was to come. The messiah who would take away the sins of the people.
There was a gulf between God and man. Man could not just enter Gods holy place. Not even a priest could come before Gods presence. Only the high priest and that was only once a year.
On that day He would place his hands on a live goat and “confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgression, concerning all their sin, putting them on the head of the goat (Lev 16:21).” Then this goat was sent out into the desert which symbolized the kingdom of this world, and the kingdom of Satan. It was a contrast to the garden - the place of plenty.
Then there was also a sacrifice that was killed. The high priest would take the blood of this sacrifice with him into the most holy place and sprinkle it there on the mercy seat. For someone to enter into that hallowed room blood had to be spilled. Death. As God told Adam and Eve “In the day that you eat of it you will die.” Those words echoed throughout the ages, and rang loud an clear in the ears of the people as they watched the goat being killed and thought about there sins. Every sacrifice was a reminder of those words. Those words were true of every sin. And yet God was slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
For all these sacrifices simply pointed to the great sacrifice. For never could the blood of bulls and goats take away the sins of Gods people.
Please turn with me to Hebrews 10:1-4;11-14, “For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
So the sacrifices of the Old Testament reminded people of sin and the need for forgiveness, but never cleaned the conscience, and made perfect the ones who sacrificed them. NO! But the sacrifice of Jesus Christ did! It was not just a reminder, but the reality of forgiveness! Totally perfected that is what the sacrifice and work of Christ does for us and in us.
Only the one who had clean hands a pure heart can enter Gods temple. And here we have a priest who had come to do the will of God perfectly. He stands there as our representative. As our perfect mediator! As our perfect sacrifice! So let us “draw near with sincere heart, and with fill assurance that faith brings, heaving our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience.”
The doors of Gods holy mountain have been flung wide open. The gateway to fellowship is no longer barred like it was for Adam and Eve. A new an living way has been opened, through the perfect sacrifice – the once for all sacrifice on the cross. Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the people!
When Satan tempts me to despair
and tells me of the guilt within,
upward I look and see him there,
who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
my sinful soul is counted free;
for God, the just, is satisfied
to look on him and pardon me,
to look on him and pardon me.
Gods perfect Justice
we confess that Jesus Christ “presented himself in our place before his Father, appeasing God’s wrath by his fill satisfaction, offering himself on the tree of the cross, where he poured out his precious blood to purge away our sins, as the prophets had foretold.”
It was as Jesus plumbed the depths of that darkness—the outer darkness of hell itself—and just before he emerged from it, that he cried with a loud voice the words of abandonment, “My God by God why have you forsaken me.” At this point Christ was being crushed by the heavy hand of God; the billows of God’s wrath like a raging ocean of fire were flooding and overwhelming him; Jesus was tasting, drinking, and emptying the bitter cup which God had given him. At that point, inexpressive horror gripped Christ’s soul. God had forsaken him. In that horror Christ called out in agony, seeking for fellowship with his God: “My God, my God …” But there was no fellowship possible. God did not answer his Son with his favor. Our Mediator, who had always known and enjoyed communion with his Father, who was the object of the Father’s delight, who dwelled eternally in the Father’s bosom, was now without the presence of God’s love. This is what sin deserve.
. It means that in his capacity as Judge God showed no mercy to his Son, but punished him to the fullest extent, pouring out the full fury of his wrath.
As the Confession states, “He suffered in body and soul, feeling the horrible punishment caused by our sin, and his sweat became like drops of bless falling down to the ground. Finally, he exclaimed “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
The presence of God in wrath, but the absence of God’s favor, was intolerable for the holy Son of God. But that was necessary for our salvation. Christ experienced hell that day so that we would never experience hell, we who believe in him. “Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
By his wounds we are healed. This is all to our comfort. Peace through his suffering. Healing through his wounds! Those are beautiful words in a world full of anger, strife, war, brokenness, and sickness. The punishment has been paid. Gods wrath has been satisfied.
What is your only comfort in life and death? “That I am not my own but belong body and soul, both in life and death to my precious savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood!”
O dear church you are perfected in Christ.
You are righteous.
You are Gods child.
Its not something you have to work for.
You are loved.
You are forgiven.
You are a holy nation,
you royal priesthood!
You are all these things because of this High Priest! He intercedes for you! There is nothing that you must do to earn any of it. It was earned for you! All you have to do is believe. Faith is the means through which Christ and his work becomes yours. And you become united to him. How do you increase your faith by hearing the Word.
Do you want peace with God? Do you want to feel safe in this time? if you believe in him and cling to him, and confess you need a savior, then even death, the worst thing that can possibly happen to you is also the best thing. For then this promise which is a reality in Christ, will be fulfilled in you.
We started this sermon by talking about satisfaction. You done need to find satisfaction it has been give to you in Christ. It has come to you through the work and person of Christ. It is coming to you know. Christ is being proclaimed. Do you see him. Do you hear his voice. Come to him. And enjoy.
God has satisfied your deepest desire in Jesus. Peace, and fellowship with God forever. The world is never satisfied because they are drinking from broken cisterns. Where are you drinking from? Where are you finding satisfaction?
We confess in this church, that “We find comfort in his wounds and have no need to seek or invent any other means of reconciliation with God than this only sacrifice once offered, by which believers are perfected for all times.”. All people seek ultimately seek communion with God, they just do not know it. They only way they will find is through the perfect High priest our Lord Jesus Christ? In his perfect sacrifice where the justice of God was satisfied. At the cross! Lets go out and tell the world the good news! Lets know “nothing except Christ and him crucified!”
Dear church this is the world’s only hope, and until they have Christ humanity will continue to pursue a satisfaction elsewhere only to be left utterly empty. It is only in Christ that God has made satisfaction for our so that that we might be wholly satisfied in him.
Behold him there, the risen Lamb,
my perfect, spotless righteousness,
the great unchangeable I AM,
the King of glory and of grace!
One with himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by his blood!
My life is hid with Christ on high,
with Christ, my Savior and my God,
with Christ, my Savior and my God.