Yesterday we talked about how the writer of Hebrews started referring to Jesus as being a once and for all “high priest.” This theme continues on in both chapters 6 and 7. The original readers of this letter were Jews who were coming to faith in Christ. They were taught at an early age the importance of the Law and the importance of the priesthood. So, it’s very important that the writer took time in these chapters to focus on the truth of who Christ was in relationship to the priests.
Melchizedek is an important figure in this part of the text. He was a famous priest from the Old Testament who blessed Abraham. He wasn’t from the line of Aaron and all the other main priests. He was different – special. One that was thought of as being pure. One that wasn’t filled with a lineage of problems. The problem with the priestly line of Aaron is that they were all imperfect (just like us). But there was One who was perfect. And people knew for generations that he would come one day and be a “forever priest”.
Psalm 110:4 say,
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””
This is important. The writer of Hebrews is showing the people and us today – that this Jesus, is the one we’ve been waiting for. He is the “forever priest of God Most High.” We no longer have to go to an imperfect priest for forgiveness of our sins. We can go to God himself through Jesus Christ. He is our permanent priest.
“…but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” – Hebrews 7:24-27 NIV
This is the Good News! These chapters of Hebrews are full of such amazing truth. My prayer is that you soak this up today. Read these two chapters two or three times. Maybe even have your Bible App read it to you as well. This is the meat of God’s Word that the Lord wants us to grasp. Jesus isn’t some fad or a logo for a T-shirt or bumper sticker. He isn’t just some secret friend we run to in times of trouble. He is the Lord. He is our great high priest forever. This Hope we have found is the hope of all mankind. From the beginning of time and for all time to come – Jesus is Lord. As I read today, I’m astounded once again by his majesty. I pray that today you see it fresh again too and it causes you to want to tell someone of his greatness. We all need a Savior. Help someone today know his name is Jesus.
There is so much truth in today’s readings and it’s hard to even begin to put into words a few key ideas from these two chapters. The two things I’ll focus on include: the Bible and Prayer.
Hebrews 4:12 is a key verse I turn to often when talking about the Word of God.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
– Hebrews 4:12NIV
God’s Word is sitting right here in front of me. On the pages of my Bible are the words of the One True God. I don’t have to wonder or worry about where I came from or why I’m here. I know. I’m a child of the King. My prayer this morning is that I never take for granted this great book. It’s so much more than a book on a shelf. It’s a tool. It’s a lifeline. It’s my primary way I hear my Heavenly Father speaking.
The second passage today that is so key for me from these two chapters is Hebrews 4:14-16:
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
– Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV
This may seem foreign to someone who never grew up in a priestly format of church life, but this is a huge deal. Because of Jesus Christ, there is no need for a priest to speak on your behalf to God. Jesus’ death and resurrection removed the veil. He himself is our high priest. That means (as vs. 16 says) we can approach God. We can talk to him just as we would anyone else.
Ultimately, these two passages are about two key topics for the believer: the Bible & Prayer. Because of Jesus, we have direct access to our Heavenly Father through prayer and we have His Word to guide our path. Never take for granted the opportunity to read the Bible and pray without ceasing. Spend some time this morning with Him.
John 1:14 tells us that the “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” Jesus became Emmanuel (God with us). Part of the reason why is explained here in Hebrews 2 & 3.
“For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.”
– Hebrews 2:17 NIV
This is Good News! Part of the reason Jesus was made like us – is so that he could take our place. Jesus stood in the gap for you and for me and atoned for our sins.
Jesus put on flesh to dwell among us and to show us what it means to live. But he also put on flesh so that he could take our place.
Let that sink in. Honestly, it’s hard to fathom. Jesus loves us that much. He loves us enough to take our place. Our response to this love – is surrender. Turn to Jesus today. “…Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Heb 3:15). Turn to Jesus.