The Greatness of The New Priest

A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, “Eighteen to nothing-we’re behind.” “Boy,” said the spectator, “I’ll bet you’re discouraged.” “Why should I be disc … More

Hope

The Law had limitations. It was not intended to save people, but to point out sin and to point people toward Christ. Being ethical, working diligently to help others, and giving to charitable causes are all commendable, but none of these things can save us or make us right with God. The Law which made nothing perfect (v. 19) was replaced by a priestly institution. The Law of Moses made no provision for a priesthood from the tribe of Judah (v. 14). Since our High Priest is from the tribe of Judah, according to His human ancestry, there had to be a change.

The entire system of Old Testament Law has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The believer has been set free from the Law (Gal. 5:1-6) and is dead to the Law (Rom. 7:1-4). This new arrangement does not suggest that a Christian has the right to be lawless. “Free from the Law” does not mean “free to sin.” Instead, it means that we are free to do the will of God. Jesus guarantees God’s forgiveness for us, and He guarantees our acceptability with God.

Maybe you are wondering why God would bring about such a radical change:

  1. Because they were imperfect, the Law and Priesthood could not continue for ever (vv. 15-19). Because the Law was “weak and useless” (v. 18) it could not continue forever, but Jesus Christ is a Priest forever. The writer reminds us that Jesus has accomplished what the Law could never accomplish (v. 19)
  2. Because God’s oath cannot be broken (vv. 20-22). No priest in the order of Aaron was ever ordained and established on the basis of God’s personal oath. The Aaronic priests ministered “after the law of a carnal commandment” (v. 16). Jesus Christ is the “surety of a better testament (covenant)” (v. 22). The word “surety” means one who guarantees that the terms of an agreement will be carried out.

Application

I’m glad for the eternal hope that the Lord has given to me because He has become my “surety” which guarantees me an abundant life on this earth and a home in heaven.

Hebrews 7:18-22 (English Standard Version)

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever.'" This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »