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Hebrews 7:11-22: Thus if perfection was through the levitical priesthood

Thus If Perfection Was Through The Levitical Priesthood

Hebrews 7:11-22 Lexham English Bible

11 Thus if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood, for on the basis of it the people received the law, what further need is there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek and not said to be according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood changes, of necessity there is a change of the law also. 13 For the one about whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord is a descendant of Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses said nothing concerning priests. 15 And it is still more clear, if another priest according to the likeness of Melchizedek arises, 16 who has become a priest not according to a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is testified,

“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

18 For on the one hand a preceding commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), but on the other hand there is the introduction of a better hope through which we draw near to God. 20 And by as much as this was not without an oath (for these on the one hand have become priests without an oath, 21 but he with an oath by the one who said to him,

“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind,    ‘You are a priest forever’”),

22 by so much more Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

            The writer continues speaking of the line of Melchizedek. For if the Levitical priesthood was enough and the law was the way that man would be made righteous, there would be no need for Jesus to come. But because Jesus has come, He has established a new covenant. Not based upon man’s ability to keep the commandments of God, but by faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is important that we remember Jesus is from the line of Judah. Jesus is not from the line of Levi or the line of Aaron. For Aaron was the first High Priest of Israel, but Jesus is our faithful and compassionate High Priest who has overcome sin, death, and the grave.

            When did the priesthood change? There is a change of priesthood with the coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not only Lord and Savior, but He is also King and He is our High Priest. He is the mediator between man and God. We can approach the throne of grace with confidence because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Our sin has been washed away and we have received His righteousness by faith alone. Because there is a change of priesthood, there is a change of covenant and law. No longer are we bound by the demands of the law, but instead all that we have is provided for by Jesus Christ.

            There is nothing in the Old Testament that speaks of the line of Judah serving as priest. That belonged to the line of Levi alone. But Jesus has come to establish the better covenant. It would be complete foolishness to abandon the new covenant for the old. But the one’s the writer of Hebrews is writing too were considering returning to the Old Covenant. The writer of Hebrews is showing us beyond a doubt why the covenant we have through Jesus Christ is greater.

            Jesus when He was born was born to Mary and Joseph. In both of the gospels of Matthew and the gospel of Luke the linage of Jesus is shown to go back through the tribe of Judah. King David came from the line of Judah, and it was promised David that he would always have a descendent to sit upon the throne. When Israel spoke of the blessings concerning his twelve sons this is what he said in Genesis 49:8-12 Judah, as for you, your brothers shall praise you. Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies. The sons of your father shall bow down to you.Judah is a lion’s cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bowed down; he crouched like a lion and as a lioness. Who shall rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to him shall be the obedience of nations.11 Binding his donkey to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,he washes his clothing in the wine and his garment in the blood of grapes. 12 The eyes are darker than wine, and the teeth whiter than milk. The promises concerning Judah speak of a scepter not departing from Judah. It is through Judah that the Messiah would come. But it never speaks of a priesthood.

            There are things God does that are hidden. The people of Jesus day could not see that He fulfilled the promises of the coming Messiah. They were blinded for a time for the will of the Father to be accomplished. The Son had to be rejected, suffer, and die upon the cross to redeem all of humanity. Jesus took the wrath that we deserve so that He could offer to us salvation as a gift. But He is not only King, but He is also our faithful and compassionate High Priest. Having walked in our shoes and understanding all that we will face and go through. We can trust Him because of His unconditional love for us and His faithfulness. He will never fail us, and He will never forsake us.

            Jesus through His resurrection showed He is who He claimed to be. His covenant is greater than the old covenant. Everything in the law was put in place to point the nation of Israel to the Messiah. Jesus has an indestructible life. The events of Calvary are well documented. He suffered and died upon the cross. But He showed His victory over sin, death, and the grave by rising again. He has been given the promise ““You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”            Repeatedly the writer of Hebrews is showing that the covenant found through Jesus Christ is the greater covenant. The covenant of old had High Priest who not only had sin in their own lives, but whose lives would eventually come to an end. But Jesus Christ is our mediator for all eternity. In Him we can draw near to the throne of grace with confidence, and we no longer need to perform sacrifices repeatedly, because His sacrifice was sufficient.

            Jesus Christ is our better hope. The law made nothing perfect. The purpose of the law is not to lead to righteousness. It is impossible for anyone to perfectly keep the law. Those born of Adam who have a sin nature, cannot perfectly keep the law. If we break one jot or tittle, we break the whole law (James 2:10). The purpose of the law is to point man to Christ. It is to show man’s need of a savior. To try to return to the demands of the law and abandon Christ is to abandon everything. On the other hand, in Jesus Christ, we have a better and greater hope. In Jesus Christ we can draw near to God without fear. When we take time to read over the word of God and meditate upon the truth of God’s word, through the revelation given by The Holy Spirit we will come to understand the truth and understand the precious promises we have in Jesus Christ.

            It is God who has said in His word “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever”. The High Priest of old under the old covenant died. Their service came to an end. From the line of Aaron, they entered and became High Priest. But in Jesus Christ we have a better High Priest, and we have a better covenant. Not based upon the demands of the law, but based upon what Jesus Christ has accomplished at Calvary. The desire of the devil is to always try to deceive God’s people to move away from all they have in Christ. In our pride we are drawn to the law and trying to earn our righteousness. But our righteousness is but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). When we come to faith in Christ His righteousness and perfection is applied to us. We are justified by faith before the Living God. The wrath of God was poured out on Jesus so that we would not have to suffer wrath, but that we would be reconciled unto God.

            Jesus has indeed become a guarantee of a better covenant. The word guarantee means security, guarantee, limb, pledge, bondsman. Because of Jesus the better covenant is guaranteed. It is not based on our performance or our work. It is not based on our ability to live according to the law. It is solely based on what He has done and accomplished at Calvary. Fully becoming man and living under the law, He lived a life without sin so that when He offered His life, He would be the perfect substitute for you and me. In Him we have all we need and to abandon this greater covenant, is to abandon everything.


Father thank you for the covenant we have through Jesus. Thank you that He is our Faithful and compassionate High Priest. Thank you that I can draw near to the throne of grace with confidence. Thank you that I am forgiven and no longer live under the demands of the law. But instead have The Holy Spirit living inside me, filling me, guiding me, and leading me in my life. May my life glorify and honor you in all things. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!

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