Thank you to Kyle McClain for getting us started into Hebrews; he’s a hard act to follow! We can’t jump right into chapter 7 without revisiting the last few verses in 6. In the end of the previous chapter we are discussing Jesus being regarded as a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. (Gesundheit!)
The beginning of chapter 7 explains who Melchizedek was for the readers and, in a way, giving Jesus some street cred. The author clearly wants to stress the place of power and importance this King was in (vs. 4) and why it was important that Jesus came from his order. Verse 15 and 16 explain a little more on why Jesus was to come from his order- it’s because his ancestry doesn’t exactly lead to priesthood! Coming from a carpenter and a seemingly average woman isn’t a common start for someone so deserving of our praise and worship. I think the author here was trying to give Jesus some more credibility for the Hebrews he was writing to.
Verse 18 and 19 has some of my favorite language in it! “The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.” Why do we need Jesus? Because the old law was weak, useless, and made nothing perfect! Couldn’t be more clear than that. With our new hope (Jesus), we are able to draw near to God and have a close personal relationship with Him. Before Jesus, the law required sacrifice and prevented people from having that personal relationship with God that we all know and love. After Jesus, or rather after Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are saved completely and always have a connection to God through Jesus’ intercession (vs. 25). How amazing is that?
In the last few verses of chapter 7 the author again is explaining how lucky we are to have Jesus and why we should come to him! He is not only perfect and blameless, but he also sacrificed himself once for the forgiveness of all sins (vs. 26-27). Past, present, and future. He took care of them all! As someone who has grown up in the church it’s easy for me to unconsciously be aware of this fact. I know Jesus died for all of my sins. Big and little, from when I was born to where I am now, and where I’ll be tomorrow. But I’m guilty of forgetting, or at least not recognizing how important that is for my life. If I try and place myself in the shoes of the people who were reading this letter for the first time in that setting, how overwhelmed with grace and love would I be? I no longer have to sacrifice by the old law, because there is a new oath that has been appointed by a forever-perfect Savior. Can you imagine the relief, love, and astonishment you might have as someone hearing that for the first time? Why is it different for us today, simply because we already know?
Today and throughout this week I encourage you to pause and consciously reflect on the gift of Jesus Christ. Recognize his sacrifice and thank him for the relationship he allows us to have with our Heavenly Father!