The guarantee of a better covenant
Hebrews 7 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.
4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. 5 And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have a commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their countrymen, although they are descended from Abraham. 6 But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. 7 But without any dispute the lesser person is blessed by the greater. 8 In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, has paid tithes, 10 for he was still in the loins of his forefather when Melchizedek met him.
11 So if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13 For the one about whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses said nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For, on the one hand, there is the nullification of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the
Law made nothing perfect); on the other hand, there is the introduction of a better hope, through which we come near to God. 20 And to the extent that it was not without
an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “The Lord has sworn
And will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever’”);
22 by the same extent Jesus also has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing; 24 Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is also able to save forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens; 27 who has no daily need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because He did this once for all time when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, who has been made perfect forever.
In today’s text it says: Jesus also has become the guarantee of a better covenant. The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing; Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is also able to save forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens; who has no daily need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because He did this once for all time when He offered up Himself. The covenant that Jesus guarantees us is better than the covenant of the Law which offered repeated sacrifices to cover and atone for sins. The covenant Jesus offers, is a covenant of redemption from sin. In Christ are sins are not just atoned for, we are cleansed of our sin. Our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God. In Isaiah 1:18 God says: “Though your sins are as scarlet, They shall become as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be like wool.” In Isaiah 43:25 God says: “I, I alone, am the one who wipes out your wrongdoings for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” The covenant of Christ is not based on our works, what we do, but rather on what He did. In John 19:30 when Jesus was on the cross, He said: “It is finished!” Jesus New and better covenant is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Even though Jesus sacrifice was once for all sin, it is vital that we remember what He says in Matthew 5:17-20: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus sacrifice was not to change God’s mind about sin. Sin was not redeemed by the blood of Christ. Jesus sacrifice neither redeemed sin, nor took away the consequences of disobedience and unrighteousness. Jesus died so that we could be changed, redeemed from sin and restored to what God intended for us. Romans 6:23 says: The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Although we are no longer required to live by the Law, in John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love me, You will keep My commandments.” Obedience to God and Christ is still necessary in the new and better covenant of Christ and the cross. Sin still leads to death. Jesus died so that we would not have to. 1 John 1:5-10 says: God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
Thank You Lord Jesus Christ for Your eternal sacrifice for our sins, that through the cross our sins are forgiven and forgotten, that we are redeemed and restored. Thank You heavenly Father that because we could not live according to Your standards of righteousness, You gave us the righteousness of Christ, Your Son. Thank You Holy Spirit, for the conviction of our sin, that we might confess and be cleansed. Thank You for the power to walk in the Light of God and Christ. In the name of Jesus, the only name by which anyone can be saved. Amen.