The Way - Day 154 (Hebrews 7)

Daily Reading:
Hebrews 7
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
How do you think Jesus intercedes for you today? How does His intercession inspire you in daily living and in service?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 63:1
OPTION 2: Proverbs 19:21
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:16-18
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Hebrews 7 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Hebrews 7:1-10
For the next couple days we will be examining Melchizedek who was the king of Salem as well as a priest in Jerusalem during the time of Abraham (see Genesis 14:18-20). His name meant king of righteousness and peace, but there are very little particulars known about his life (biographical and genealogical); in fact, Hebrews 7:3 says that he is "without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God...." Some have said that Melchizedek was Christ Himself but upon further examination it seems that he was made to be like the Son of God. In keeping with the theme the writer of Hebrews has been addressing, it is better to examine this passage in relationship to the priesthood. The comparisons between the priesthood of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ are very evident: they were both kingly (7:1), righteous (7:2), peaceful (7:2), and without end (7:3). The writer was actually getting ready to prove how that the Melchizedekan priesthood was better than the Levitical (sons of Aaron) priesthood. In these verses, two reasons stand out for its superiority. First, Abraham (father of the Hebrew nation) paid tithes to Melchizedek proving that Abraham was subordinate (7:4-6a, 8-10). Secondly, Melchizedek blessed Abraham (7:6b-7). We'll continue more on this topic tomorrow.

Hebrews 7:11-19
Having already stated in Hebrews 7:1-10 that the Melchizedekan priesthood was better than the Levitical priesthood, the writer now focuses on showing that Jesus' priesthood was also greater (since He followed the Melchizedekan priesthood). It is very apparent that the Levitical priesthood could not save anyone, even though people received the law under it. Verse 11 states that if the Levitical priesthood was perfect, there would be no need of another priesthood. Remember, the Levitical priesthood offered animal sacrifices once a year for the sins of the people and was only symbolic of the perfect sacrifice to come; this system did not bring salvation but only an easing of the guilt over sin. Jesus Christ, being from the tribe of Judah, could not be priest according to the Levitical priesthood; however, He brought a new priesthood which did away with the law given by God to Moses (7:12-14). The law was never able to erase sin, but only expose it, so there was a need for a new law. The writer of Hebrews was letting his readers know that a new covenant had come and Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the old law, yet He was also the new Priest who offered the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Jesus Christ has become the new High Priest and has established a priesthood which is eternal (7:17). Furthermore, the Old Testament law has been annulled and Jesus Christ has brought about a "better hope, through which we draw near to God." The Old Testament law kept people at a distance because of their sinfulness; however, through the perfect blood sacrifice, those who have drawn near in faith are able to enter the presence of God (7:18-19). God has enabled man to come into His presence at any time because of the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 7:20-28
Having declared the need for a new priesthood, the writer of Hebrews presents Jesus Christ at the eternal Priest who perfectly fulfilled the demands of the law. Because of this, Jesus was greater than man-appointed high priests who entered the Holy of Holies once a year to offer an animal sacrifice for the sins of the people. Jesus followed the order of the Mechizedekan priesthood therefore making Him an eternal Priest (7:20-21). Verse 22 declares that “Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant” which means He guarantees this covenant will work. Again, this new covenant rests on the basis of Jesus Christ becoming a man, living a perfect life, and being the sinless sacrifice needed to pay the penalty for the sin of man. Old Testament priests continually offered animal sacrifices because they were temporary, but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was “once for all” (7:27) so there was no need for priests to continue their work on behalf of the people. The sacrifice offered by Jesus is “able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (7:27). The writer of Hebrews is emphatically stating that salvation only comes to those who approach God through the finished work of Jesus Christ because He is the One who is able to “make intercession.” To make intercession means that Jesus Christ, the Righteous, is able to come to God on our behalf. Our sin keeps us from God; however, if we have accepted the righteousness of Jesus Christ, then we are able to come to God on the basis of His righteousness. This fact makes Jesus Christ a superior High Priest.

Dear God, my heart is humbled before You as I think about how Jesus freely gave Himself on my behalf. Thank You for making Him a once for all sacrifice which enabled me to have a relationship with You.