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A Better Hope
Heb. 7:11-19

The Superiority of the Priesthood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ compared to that of the Levitical or Aaronic Priesthood is one of the major issues here in this Epistle. Christ’s Priesthood is according to the order of Melchizedek which is far better than the Levitical priesthood. The Apostle Paul further explains here that the priesthood of Christ has nullified and replaced the Levitical priesthood.

I. The New Priesthood Supersedes the old (Heb. 7:11)
A. Paul tells us that the Aaronic priesthood or the Levitical priesthood is only temporary. It is not the final one because it is not perfect. Otherwise, the coming of Christ could have been unnecessary.
B. The word perfection is from the Greek “teleiosis” which means “completion”.
C. The Old Testament sacrificial system could not bring perfection in the sense that:
1. The Old Law with its priesthood could never fully reconcile man back to God
2. It could not remove sin, bring about righteousness, and justification.
3. They could not cleanse the sinner’s conscience – Heb. 10:2-3;
4. It cannot make the sinner “perfect” or complete. That is why “another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek and not be called after the order of Aaron”
D. Christ, the perfect priest has now come. The priest who can provide what man really needs.
E. A change in the priesthood signifies a change in the law. (Heb. 7:12). The word changed is from the Greek “metatithemi” means to transfer, exchange, change, and carries the idea of “putting one thing in the place of another.
F. Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, not Levi – Heb. 7:13-14, Mt. 1:1-2 G.
The Levitical order was by Divine appointment and was strictly followed by the Jews. Moses gave no priestly authority to Judah. King Uzziah tried to act as priest and he suffered the judgment of God (2 Chr. 26).
H. For Christ to serve as priest, then, a change must have occurred. The change refers to the Mosaic law not the moral law.

Illustration 1/Application: Law Like a Brush Fire
A duck hunter was with a friend in the wide-open land of southeastern Georgia. Far away on the horizon he noticed a cloud of smoke. Soon he could hear crackling as the wind shifted. He realized the terrible truth; a brushfire was advancing, so fast they couldn’t outrun it.
Rifling through his pockets, he soon found what he was looking for—a book of matches. He lit a small fire around the two of them. Soon they were standing in a circle of blackened earth, waiting for the fire to come.
They didn’t have to wait long. They covered their mouths with handkerchiefs and braced themselves. The fire came near—and swept over them. But they were completely unhurt, untouched. Fire would not pass where fire already had passed.
The law is like a brushfire. I cannot escape it. But if I stand in the burned-over place, not a hair of my head will be singed. Christ’s death has disarmed it.
Adapted from Who Will Deliver Us? by Paul F. M. Zahl

II. The New Priesthood Is Eternal (Heb. 7: 15-18).
A. The word similitude in Greek is “homoiotes” which means resemblance. Christ was spiritually of the same priestly order with Melchizedek, though He is not an offspring Melchizedek. Melchizedek has no physical descendants (Heb. 7:3)
B. The word carnal means “after the flesh.” The Levitical priests were “mortal men”, whose service ended at death. But Jesus is a priest “forever” “after the order of the power of an endless life”. Death ended the Levites’ priestly ministry, but death began Christ’s eternal priesthood. Jesus is a priest for ever. His priesthood will never end because He is eternal.
C. “Disannulling of the commandment” (Heb. 7:18). Paul speaks of the weakness and unprofitableness of the law because of its inability to justify and reconcile man to God. Therefore, the finished work of Christ resulted in the disannulling of the commandment. The word disannulling comes from “athetesis” which means cancellation or “to put away”. The idea here is that Christ’s onetime payment for sin rendered the Levitical priesthood inoperative and ended the dispensation of the law.

Illustration1/Application: Law
A rule of action.
1. The Law of Nature is the will of God as to human conduct, founded on the moral difference of things, and discoverable by natural light (Rom 1:20; Rom 2:14, 15). This law binds all men at all times. It is generally designated by the term conscience, or the capacity of being influenced by the moral relations of things.
2. The Ceremonial Law prescribes under the Old Testament the rites and ceremonies of worship. This law was obligatory only till Christ, of whom these rites were typical, had finished his work (Heb. 7:9, 11; Heb. 10:1; Eph. 2:16). It was fulfilled rather than abrogated by the gospel.
3. The Judicial Law, the law which directed the civil policy of the Hebrew nation.
4. The Moral Law is the revealed will of God as to human conduct, binding on all men to the end of time. It was promulgated at Sinai. It is perfect (Ps. 19:7), perpetual (Mat. 5:17, 18), holy (Rom. 7:12), good, spiritual (Rom. 7:14), and exceeding broad (Ps. 119:96). Although binding on all, we are not under it as a covenant of works (Gal. 3:17). (See COMMANDMENTS, THE TEN.)
5. Positive Laws are precepts founded only on the will of God. They are right because God commands them.
6. Moral positive laws are commanded by God because they are right.
Illustrated Bible Dictionary

III. Better Hope (Heb. 7:19)
A. “The bringing in of a better hope”. (Heb. 7:19). The law made nothing perfect, it offered no hope of eternal life. The law was powerless to provide salvation, sanctification, justification, adoption and glorification. The blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). The law found man guilty and pronounced the
death sentence upon him.
The “better hope” here refers to the more sure and certain expectation of heaven introduced by the gospel.
B. But Jesus Christ brought in better hope by the which we draw nigh unto God. (Heb. 7:19). The very moment that Jesus Christ died on the cross, the Bible tells us that the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. (Mat. 27:50-51) The purpose of the veil was to separate man from the Holy of Holies—the place where God met only with the high priest. However, Christ’s sacrifice opened up access to God and now we come to God through Christ.
C. What a privilege to live on the New Testament side of the cross. Under the law only the high priest could enter into the presence of God, and then, only once a year. As New Testament believers we have access to God’s presence at any time. We can without, the aid of a priest, go boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in the time of need. (Heb. 4:16)

Illustration 3/Application: My Father’s Will
(Matt 19:29) A devout old man was one day walking to the sanctuary with a New Testament in his hand, when a friend met him, and said, “Good morning, Mr. Price.” “Good morning,” replied he; “I am reading my father’s will as I walk along.” “Well, and what has he left you?” said his friend. “Why, He has bequeathed to me a hundredfold more in this life, and in the world to come—life everlasting!” This beautiful reply was the means of comforting his Christian friend, who was at that time in sorrowful circumstances.
Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today

IV. Conclusion:
The Levitical priesthood cannot provide what man really needs, an access to God. It cannot make us perfect or complete even reconcile us to God, that is why it has to be disannulled. In Jesus, our hope in drawing near to God is much better than ever before. With Jesus as our High Priest, we can draw near to God better and we can “come boldly to the throne of grace” and “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven; would you repent from your sins now and receive Him as your personal Savior?

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