Jesus: Our Perfect High Priest by Nancy Guthrie



None of Israel’s high priests ever lived up to what God intended for those he set apart to serve him in his Temple. Aaron sinned by leading the people in false worship. His sons sinned by offering unholy fire on God’s altar. Eli sinned by failing to discipline his sons who were such wicked priests that God struck them both down on the same day. Eventually the priesthood broke down altogether, so that the Old Testament ends with this warning: “The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. But you priests have left God’s paths. Your instructions have caused many to stumble into sin. You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. (Malachi 2: 7-8)

While the priesthood was responsible for its sinful failure, it was never meant to last forever, but rather to prepare God’s people for the perfect Priest God would send. Jesus came, not to fit into the earthly system of priestly ministry, but to fulfill and put an end to that human priesthood, and to orient our attention to his ministry on our behalf in heaven. As our perfect High Priest, Jesus ministers in a superior place— not in the Temple, but in heaven itself. “For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf” (Hebrews 9: 24).

Jesus ministers to us with superior righteousness— not external, like a holy set of clothes, but intrinsic to his own holy person. “He is holy and blameless, unstained by sin” (Hebrews 7:26).

Jesus ministers to us with superior sympathy— he “understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus ministers to us with superior longevity“There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever” (Hebrews 7: 23-24).

And Jesus ministers to us, offering a superior sacrifice— not by the repeated sacrifices of animals, but with the once-for-all sacrifice of himself. “With his own blood— not the blood of goats and calves— he entered the Most Holy

Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever” (Hebrews 9:12).

Prayer: Jesus, my merciful and faithful High Priest, you are the kind of priest I need because you are holy and blameless, unstained by sin.

Article adapted from the FABULOUS RESOURCE by Nancy Guthrie (2012-10-08). The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament (Kindle Locations 7946-7965). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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About Nancy Guthrie (In Her Own Words):

“God has been preparing me my whole life for teaching his Word,” says Nancy Guthrie. “He has blessed me with so many sound Bible teachers to sit under–from my days as a college student in Bible classes, to terrific Bible Study Fellowship leaders, gifted pastors — as well as several teachers like Tim Keller and John Piper that I listen to almost daily on my ipod.”

Nancy’s life experience–dealing with the loss of two of her children–has significantly affected her teaching substance and style. “I’ve had to dig into God’s Word in search of answers to hard questions about how he works, and I and that my listeners usually have the same struggles and questions. And while I openly share the deep hurts in my life, I also like to laugh. People who hear me teach say that I’m very real, and that is certainly what I want to be.” “To me, God’s Word is a treasure to be mined,” Nancy says. “The deeper I go in it, the more I see its wisdom, the more it authenticates itself, the more it reveals to me the amazing mystery of God.”

Nancy is the author of six books including Holding on to Hope, The One Year Book of Hope, Hoping for Something Better, Dinner Table Devotions, Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow, and When Your Family’s Lost a Loved One (co-written with her husband, David). She is also the editor of several anthologies published by Crossway, collections of great writing by noted classic and contemporary Bible teachers and theologians including Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, Be Still My Soul, and O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.

She is currently working on another book for Tyndale’s One Year line that will be One Year of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament.

Nancy and her husband David live in Nashville, Tennessee while their son, Matt is off to Western Kentucky University.In addition to teaching opportunities at her church, Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Nancy speaks regularly at conferences and events around the country such as the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Conference, The Brooklyn Tabernacle, Second Baptist Church of Houston, Taylor University, Covenant College, and in countries including Scotland and Colombia.

Book Review: The Wisdom of God by Nancy Guthrie

Jesus Only Wise – Jesus in the Wisdom Literature

One of the most exciting things about living in the times in which we are living is the anticipation of the return of Christ and the ushering in of His kingdom. Along with this prophetic reality is the intensification of our study of God’s Word to look for Christ from Genesis to Revelation. According to the author this study is “uniquely designed to help you look into the wonder of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament (covering 10 weeks of studies in Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon) and see how it prepares us for and points us toward Christ.

This book will help you:

(1) Learn how to study the Bible inductively (each chapter contains questions for personal Bible study);

(2) Understand the Bible and how the different books of the Bible fit together as a whole (each lesson contains a teaching chapter on the core truths of the Biblical Book being studied);

(3) Interact with the central truths of each Wisdom Literature Book and how they relate to the whole Bible (each chapter has a discussion starter and a dozen or so questions of exposition based on the passage of study;

(4) Apply the relevant applications from each passage in your life (each chapter has one or more questions to put the passage into action in one’s life);

(5) Love and worship Jesus Christ (each lesson is loaded with cross references, charts, discussion, and a “Looking Forward” section highlighting Jesus as the central figure, hero, and theme of each passage of study and of the entire Scriptures).

I don’t know of a small group study out there today that has more depth, more of Jesus, is more fun to study and discuss than this new series by Nancy Guthrie. It is simply outstanding in its depth of Biblical exposition, helpful in its applications, and highlights the fact that Jesus is what the Bible and life is all about. It’s about time that someone has put together a series of books designed for serious lay people about, by, and for Christ at the center of all of the Scriptures. If you are looking for a phenomenal Bible study that is theologically deep, practically relevant, and will help you to worship and love Jesus more than ever then this is the Bible study for you!

Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book from the publisher for review and was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author: Life can knock the wind out of you, taking with it your confidence in God. Or at least who you thought he was. Perhaps this explains why those who survive heart-breaking tragedy with their hope intact, and their faith expanded, have the power to inspire us. We want to hear from those people, we want to learn what they’ve learned. This may be why so many people love hearing from Nancy Guthrie. In burying two of her three children, Nancy has endured the kind of loss most of us hope we never have to face. Yet her hope has not dimmed, and her easy laugh has not disappeared.

Those who have watched Nancy and David Guthrie walk through the loss of two infant children, and the millions who have read their story worldwide inTIME Magazine and USA Today, have wondered at their ability to emerge from such sorrow with joy for life and passion for God. In reality, this deep place of pain caused Nancy to dig into the scriptures like she never had before, looking for answers to her questions and a deeper relationship to God. She offered many of the lessons she learned from this sorrowful experience in her 2002 book, Holding On to Hope: A Pathway of Suffering to the Heart of God (Tyndale House Publishers) which has helped thousands of people pursue God in the midst of their suffering. She regularly hears from readers book from all around the world who have been touched by the as the book as it has been translated into numerous languages including German, Danish, Norwegian, Korean and Chinese.

Her second book, The One Year Book of Hope (also Tyndale), a daily devotional for people who are hurting or grieving, released in 2005. The Guthries have seen God continue to use their loss to minister to other people going through loss in a variety of ways, including serving as co-hosts for a new production of the GriefShare video series. GriefShare is a 13-week video curriculum series that is used to facilitate weekly grief groups in more than 4,000 churches nationwide.

Today, Nancy’s energies and passions are focused on her growing Bible teaching ministry, Her newest book comes out of the study of Hebrews she taught for the women at her church in the fall of 2005. Hoping for Something Better: Refusing to Settle for Life as Usual (July 2007, Tyndale House Publishers), provides readers and small groups with a 10-week journey through the book of Hebrews and includes study questions for a weekly discussion.

Nancy’s previous books have received significant media coverage includingUSA Today, Christianity Today, Beliefnet, and stories syndicated nationally by Religion News Service and Associated Press. Nancy has been a guest on radio and television programs such as “FamilyLife Today,” “The Bible Answerman,” “Back to the Bible,” Moody Radio, “Life Today with James Robison,” “The 700 Club,” and many more. Her books have been promoted by international ministries including Focus on the Family, New Life Ministries, Insight for Living, the Christian Research Institute, and Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox.

In addition to teaching a weekly Bible class at her church, Nancy speaks regularly at women’s retreats and evangelistic events nationally and internationally including recent events at The Brooklyn Tabernacle, Second Baptist Church of Houston, a Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Conference, and a women’s conference in Scotland. Nancy has worked in the Christian publishing industry for over twenty years as a publicist and special project editor. She currently handles media relations for CBA: The Association for Christian Retail, and the ministry of Anne Graham Lotz.

Nancy and her husband, David, and son, Matt, make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, where they attend Christ Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church in America).