Hebrews 7

 

17 The writer again quotes from Psalm 110:4 to show that Christ’s priesthood will never end.

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless. That former regulation is the Jewish ceremonial law, which consisted of many rules concerning the Levitical priesthood and such things as offerings, sacrifices, purification rites, and religious festivals. When Christ came, all these rules—that is, the ceremonial part of the Jewish law—were set aside, or canceled (see Matthew 5:17-18; Colos-sians 2:13-14 and comments).

19 Why was the Jewish law weak and useless—especially its ceremonial part? (verse 18). Because the law made nothing perfect. The law could purify the outside of the body, but it could not purify the inside of the body—that is, man’s heart and conscience. The law could not make a man righteous; it could only condemn him (see Romans 8:1-3 and comment).

The better hope mentioned here is Jesus Christ, our true and permanent high priest, through whom we can draw near to God.

Unrighteous men cannot draw near to God. But through faith we can receive Christ’s righteousness; and having received His righteousness, we can then come into God’s presence. Therefore, men receive a better hope from Christ than they receive from the Old Jewish law or Levitical priesthood.

20-21 When God appointed Christ to be high priest, He made an oath confirming it. To show this, the writer again quotes from Psalm 110:4.

22 Because of this oath, Christ’s priesthood is better than the Levitical priesthood. Therefore, He is the guarantee of a better COVENANT (see Hebrews 8:6 and comment).

23-24 From the time of the first high priest Aaron to the time of the writing of this letter, there had been eighty-three high priests. These all died in turn. But Jesus will never die; therefore, His priesthood is permanent.

25 Jesus always lives to intercede for us (see Romans 8:34). Jesus is our advocate, our lawyer, before the throne of God. And because He is a perfect high priest, God listens to Him. Not only that, Jesus has made atonement for our sins (Hebrews 2:17). God now no longer condemns us. Furthermore, Jesus gives us mercy and … grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). And Jesus will not stop doing all this for us, because His priesthood is never-ending. He is seated forever at the right hand of God; He is always ready to bring us into God’s presence. For all these reasons, Jesus is able to save (us) completely. Let us never cease praising and thanking God for such a Savior and High Priest!

26 The writer of this letter keeps thinking of new things to say about Jesus, this wonderful high priest. Jesus is holy, blameless, pure … exalted above the heavens. Jesus’ priesthood is perfect, because Jesus Himself is perfect (see Hebrews 1:3; 4:15-16).

27 Jesus never had to offer a sacrifice for His own sins, as the Jewish priests had to do (Leviticus 4:3; 16:6; Hebrews 5:1,3).

Furthermore, Jesus doesn’t need to offer sacrifices for our sins over and over, as the Jewish priests did (Leviticus 16:34). Jesus’ sacrifice—that is, the sacrifice of His body—was fully pleasing to God. Jesus made Himself an offering for sin. Because His sacrifice was perfect, it never has to be repeated.

What a sacrifice! Jesus sacrificed His life to give salvation to all men and women. Jesus came into the world to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). And on the last night before He died, He said to His disciples: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24). This is why we testify that we have received salvation through Jesus’ death, through His blood.

28 The writer here adds one final thing about Jesus. Jesus is the Son, God’s own Son. According to the law, the Jewish high priests had to be men, men who were, of course, weak and sinful themselves. But the great high priest appointed by God’s oath (verse 21) is God’s own Son, who has been made perfect forever.

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