Hebrews Chapter 7 Continued
Verses 13, 15 “Another”: In both cases, the term is “another of a different kind” (heteros), emphasizing the contrast with the Levitical priesthood.
Hebrews 7:13 “For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.”
In the previous lesson, we were studying about Melchizedek who was High Priest forever. We were discussing the similarities between Him and Jesus Christ. This Scripture above explains, again, that this Melchizedek is not of the Levitical tribe.
Hebrews 7:14 “For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.”
Neither Jesus nor Melchizedek sprang from the Levitical tribe. The only way Jesus sprang from the tribe of Judah was in the flesh. His Spirit which is eternal sprang from no one. The priesthood of Jesus and Melchizedek was of God.
Verses 15-28: Though the author has repeatedly mentioned the unending nature of the Melchizedekian priesthood, this now becomes the central point. Because of its unending nature, it provides a “better hope” and an “unchangeable priesthood”, resulting in an unending salvation and intercession through a perfect, one-time sacrifice.
Hebrews 7:15 “And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest,” “Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.”
“Law of a carnal commandment”: The law dealt only with the temporal existence of Israel. The forgiveness which could be obtained even on the Day of Atonement was temporary. Those who ministered as priests under the law were mortals receiving their office by heredity. The Levitical system was dominated by matters of physical existence and transitory ceremonialism.
“Power of an endless life”: Because He is the eternal Second Person of the God-head, Christ’s priesthood cannot end. He obtained His priesthood, not by virtue of the law, but by virtue of His deity.
Revelation 1:18 “I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
Hebrews 7:17 “For he testifieth, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Quoted from (Psalm 110:4).
Hebrews 7:18 “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.”
“Disannulling”: The law was weak in that it could not save or bring about inward change in a person (Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:9).
We see in this, that the law came first. When the weakness of man to keep the law was evident, God sent another plan to save mankind.
Hebrews 7:19 “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by the which we draw nigh unto God.”
“The law made nothing perfect”: The law saved no one (Rom. 3:19-20); rather it cursed everyone (Gal. 3:10-13).
“Draw nigh unto God: This is the key phrase in this passage. Drawing near to God is the essence of Christianity as compared with the Levitical system, which kept people outside His presence. As believer priests, we are all to draw near to God, that is a characteristic of priesthood (Exodus 19:22; Matt. 27:51).
Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
This Scripture in Galatians explains that with faith in Jesus Christ plus nothing, we are saved. The law condemned man and the grace of Jesus Christ brought hope to all who will believe.
Hebrews 7:20-21 “And inasmuch as not without an oath [he was made priest]:” “(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek:)”
“Oath”: God’s promises are unchangeable, sealed with an oath (6:17). The Melchizedekan priesthood of Christ is confirmed with God’s oath (in Psalm 110:4). God’s mind on this matter will not change (verse 21).
This oath, that Jesus was a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, was an oath that God took on Himself. This leaves no room for dispute.
Hebrews 7:22 “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
“Surety”: This is the only use of the Greek term in the New Testament could also be translated “guarantee”. Jesus Himself guarantees the success of His New Covenant of salvation.
Testament means a contract or a covenant. Surety means pledge. We see then from this that the new contract between God and man is much better than the law.
Hebrews 7:23 “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:”
“Many priests”: It is claimed that there were 84 High-Priests who served from Aaron until the destruction of the temple by the Romans (in A.D. 70). The lesser priests’ numbers were much larger.
Hebrews 7:24 “But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”
If we were to look in the book of Chronicles in the Old Testament, we would find many, many names of priests and high priest beginning with Aaron. Some of these were sincere ministers of the temple, but some of them were bad. Two of Aaron’s sons brought strange fire into the temple and God killed them.
God spoke to the people through the high priest. The high priest also represented the people before God. The only Eternal High Priest was Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
“Uttermost”: Virtually the same concept as was expressed in “perfection” (verse 11), and “make perfect” (verse 19). The Greek term is used only here and (in Luke 13:11) “the woman’s body could not be straightened completely”.
“Intercession”: The word means “to intercede on behalf of another.” It was used to refer to bringing a petition to a king on behalf of someone. Since rabbis assigned intercessory powers to angels, perhaps the people were treating angels as intercessors. The writer makes it clear that only Christ is the intercessor (1 Tim. 2:5).
The intercessory work of Christ for the Christian is similar to preventive medicine. In one sense, intercession identifies Christ’s present work of mediation in heaven. The biblical use of the term more specifically describes Christ’s intervention on behalf of believers’ weaknesses and temptations.
Christ is continually and actively interceding on our behalf. The assurance of the believer should rest in part on this present ministry of Christ’s intercession.
There is a beautiful prayer of Jesus to the Father and in it, it tells so much about how He intercedes on our behalf. It begins (in John 17:9-26). I quote:
John 17:9-11 “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are].”
John 17:12-15 “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” “And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”
John 17:16-19 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”
John 17:20-21 “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
John 17:22-23 “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
John 17:24 “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
John 17:25-26 “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.” “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Verses 26-28: Christ’s divine and holy character is yet another proof of the superiority of His priesthood.
Hebrews 7:26 “For such a high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;”
In His relationship to God, Christ is “holy” (piety without any pollution; Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:24; Luke 4:24; Acts 2:27; 13:35).
In His relationship to man, He is “innocent” (without evil or malice; John 8:46).
In relationship to Himself, He is “undefiled” (free from contamination; 1 Peter 1:19), and “separated from sinners” (He had no sin nature which would be the source of any act of sin; “without sin” in 4:15).
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
We have no righteousness of our own. We are made righteous when we accept Jesus as our Savior and are washed in His blood and made righteous in Him.
Hebrews 7:27 “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.”
“Daily”: Whenever the Levitical High-Priest sinned, he was required to offer sacrifices for himself (Lev. 4:3). Whenever the people sinned, he also had to offer a sacrifice for them (Lev. 4:13). These occasions could be daily.
Then annually, on the Day of Atonement, he had to again offer sacrifices for himself and for the people (Lev. 16:6, 11, 15). Christ had no sin and needed no sacrifice for Himself. And only one sacrifice (by Him), was needed, one time only, for all men, for all time.
“He did once”: A key emphasis in Hebrews. The sacrificial work of Christ never needed to be repeated, unlike the Old Testament priestly sacrifices. (9:12, 26, 28; 10:2, 10; 1 Peter 3:18).
The blood of an animal could not do away with sin, it just covered it up. There is absolutely no way that anyone could even remember all the ordinances of the law, much less keep them. The blood of animals did not clear a person’s conscience of sin.
Hebrews 9:12-14 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us].” “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:” “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Hebrews 7:28 “For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [maketh] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.”
“Word of the oath”: God confirmed Christ as High-Priest (verses 20-21; 6:16-18).
We see from this that imperfect men were the high priest of the people while the law was in effect. Our Eternal High Priest (Jesus Christ), is the perfect one. His dedication and love for His followers is everlasting.
Romans 8:34 “Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
He sits at the right hand of the Father and pleads our case before Him.
1 John 2:1 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
Hebrews Chapter 7 Continued Questions
- Melchizedec and Jesus were not from the _________ tribe.
- Our Lord Jesus sprang out of _____.
- Jesus was made a High Priest forever not after carnal commandment, but after the power of an _________ _____.
- When the weakness of man to keep the ___ was evident, God sent another plan to redeem mankind.
- Man is not justified by the law, but by what?
- What difference was there in the priesthood of Jesus and the earthly priesthood?
- Jesus was made a _______ of a better pledge.
- What does testament mean?
- What does surety mean?
- What book in the Old Testament list many of the earthly priests?
- Which high priest had two sons who brought strange fire into the temple?
- What was the job of the high priest?
- He ever liveth to make ____________ for them.
- John chapter 17:9-26 is what?
- Who does Jesus pray for?
- Who was the only one Jesus lost of His?
- Who hates the Christians?
- Why do they hate them?
- Jesus prays not that they will be taken out of the world, but what?
- How is the Christian sanctified?
- Describe Jesus from Hebrews 7:26.
- How often did the earthly priests sacrifice?
- The blood of an animal could not do away with sin, what was all it could do?
- Who is the perfect One?
- Who is He that condemneth?
- Who is Jesus called in 1 John 2:1?