The Letter to the Hebrews: a commentary & meditation
"He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them"

Scripture: Hebrews 7:11-28
11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levit'ical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchiz'edek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchiz'edek, 16 who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz'edek."

18 On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath. 21 Those who formerly became priests took their office without an oath, but this one was addressed with an oath, "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, `Thou art a priest for ever.'" 22 This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant.

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. 25 Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.



Meditation: The author to the Hebrews states that Jesus is the surety of a better covenant. He is the guarantee or surety of a new and better covenant, a new kind of relationship between God and man. The old covenant was based on law and justice and obedience. The new covenant is based on God's love and the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The author to the Hebrews describes Jesus as a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Jesus could do what the old priesthood never could; he can give us direct access to God. His death on the cross makes the perfect sacrifice which atones for sin. Christ's sacrifice makes possible the purification of all sin and uncleanness, allowing those who believe in him to come near to God, to come into the true holy place, and to engage in holy worship without being displeasing to God.

"Lord Jesus Christ, by your death on the cross you have ransomed us from slavery to sin and by the shedding of your blood you have cleansed us from our guilt. Help me to always live in your presence and to do what is pleasing in your sight."


Return to | Letter to the Hebrews  | Daily Readings & Meditations | The Parables of Jesus | Words of Life |
(c) 1999 Don Schwager