11/08/2010

A Necessary Change for Something Better (Heb. 7:1-28)

Melchizedek priesthood superior to the Levitical priesthood (Heb. 7:1-10). All priests in Israel were only from the tribe of Levi (Heb. 7:5). But Jesus belonged to a different priesthood, that of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:1-3), the mysterious figure from Gen. 14:18-20 (Ps. 110:4), who blessed Abraham and received his tithe, meaning that he was superior while Abraham and all his descendants, including the priesthood of Levi, was inferior (Heb. 7:4-10).

Only Jesus is Able to Save to the Uttermost/Completely (Heb. 7:11-28). Why did God establish a different priesthood from the one he established through Levi? It's because perfection was not attainable through the Law that came from the Levitical priesthood, thus necessitating the need for another priest, one in the order of Melchizedek -- Jesus -- who was descended from Judah (Heb. 7:11-14), and who is a priest forever because of his resurrection from the dead (Heb. 7:15-17).

What's wrong with the Law? In perfecting sinful man, it was weak and useless, for only through Jesus priesthood are we able to be brought to perfection and to draw near to God (Heb. 7:18,19). Jesus is the "guarantor of a better covenant," for since Jesus lives forever through his resurrection, his priesthood is permanant, while all former priests eventually died in office (Heb. 7:22-24). Heb. 7:25 says, "Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them." Thank God for Jesus who is continually interceding on our behalf before the throne of God. Only Jesus is able to do so, because only Jesus, our high priest, is "holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners," and because only Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins (Heb. 7:26-28).


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