7:11 Now if there was perfection
the Levitical priesthood
(for under it the people have received the law),
what further need was there for another priest to arise after the
and not be called after the order of Aaron?
7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a
made also in the law.
7:13 For he of whom these things are said belongs to another
from which no one has officiated at the altar.
7:14 For it is evident that our Lord has sprung out of
about which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
7:15 This is yet more abundantly evident,
if after the likeness of Melchizedek there arises another
7:16 who has been made,
not after the law of a fleshly commandment, but after the power
an endless life:
7:17 for it is testified, "You are a priest forever, According to the order of
7:18 For there is an annulling of a foregoing commandment
because of its weakness and uselessness
7:19 (for the law made nothing perfect), (Gal 3:21)
and a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we
near to God.
II. Because it was Based on God's Oath
7:20 Inasmuch as he was not made priest without the taking of an
7:21 (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath),
but he with an oath by him that says of him, "The Lord swore and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever, According to the order of
7:22 By so much has Jesus become the collateral of a better
III. Because of its Permanence
7:23 Many, indeed, have been made priests, because they are
from continuing by death.
7:24 But he, because he lives forever, has his priesthood
7:25 Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those
near to God through him,
seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.
IV. Because of its Purity
7:26 For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless,
separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
7:27 who doesn't need, like those high priests, to daily offer up
first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people.
For this he did once for all, when he offered up himself.
7:28 For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness,
but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints
a Son forever who has been perfected.
From this chapter, name a number of ways in which the priesthood of
was superior to the Levitical priesthood.
vs 11-14 What objection might Jews have about claiming that
Jesus is our high priest?
Is there anything today that might be analogous to the Levitical
vs 15-17 In what ways is Christ like Melchizedek?
vs 18 If the former regulation was weak and useless, then why
did God establish it? (Gal 3:19-25)
vs 11,19 why was perfection not attainable through the law?
vs 19 What is the "better hope" being referred to?
vs 20-22 In view of Heb 6:16-18, what so significant
about God confirming the priesthood of Christ with an oath?
vs 25 What does it mean that Christ always intercedes for us
and what difference would it make if he didn't?
See also Rom 8:26,27.
How is this intercession also related to the security of the
(Rom 8:34,1Cor 1:8)
vs 26 How do these characteristics in a High Priest meet our
need? What need is he talking about?
vs 27 How might this be viewed in contrast to a catholic
(Consider the phrase in the catholic mass: "Accept this offering
made by our hands to the praise and glory of your name for you
the good of all your church")
Change of Priesthood, Change of Law
Heb 7:11-14 If perfection could have
attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it
law was given to the people), why was there still need for another
priest to come— one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order
Aaron? For when there
change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. He of whom these things are
belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever
served at the altar.
is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that
tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
A difficult concept that Jews must accept to become Christians is
the Levitical priesthood - indeed the Law of Moses itself - is
deficient, whereas in Christ one finds perfection. Yes Jews may
to the idea of Jesus Christ being a priest seeing as he is from the
tribe of Judah and not of Levi, which is a requirement for
under the Law of Moses. Fact is, Christ is a priest of a different
order, a different law, a New Covenant. The New Covenant has
law associated with it than the Old Mosaic Covenant, of which the
author will bring up later. The priesthood is
For example under New Covenant law sins of which could not be
under the Law of Moses are forgiven, "I want you to know that through Jesus
the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone
believes is justified from everything you could not be justified
by the law of Moses."Acts
13:38,39 Salvation is through faith in the priest (Jesus)
himself, which was not the case under the Law of Moses. Later the
author will bring up the fact that under the Law of Moses priests
brought animal sacrifices, whereas under the New, Jesus, our High
Priest, is himself the sacrifice. And also that under the Old many
sacrifices had to be made, but under the New we are justified by the
Priesthood Independent of Ancestry
Heb 7:15-17 And what we have said is
more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest
on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis
power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: "You are a
priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
The Levitical Priesthood based on ancestry was shown to be
deficient. Such priesthood only lasted a man's lifetime. It was
transferred upon death. But the New Covenant, the
order, lasts forever. For Jesus conquered death and lives forever.
priesthood is based upon life.
Heb 7:18-19 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
The law, as a set of rules and regulations was useless to change
behavior. Likewise Paul notes, "Since
Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as
though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not
touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use,
are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed
an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their
humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any
in restraining sensual indulgence."Col
2:20-23 This same truth holds for the Law of Moses.
The Law also is useless in that it doesn't justify a person. It only
condemns. "No one will be
righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the
become conscious of sin."
3:20 "For if a
had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would
certainly have come by the law." Gal 3:21b The Law is useless to save
people. But "what the law was
powerless to do in
that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his
Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering."Rom 8:3
The Law held out no hope and in fact brought us to a place of
hopelessness. But under the New Covenant we have a better hope.
Christ "abolished in his
flesh the law with
its commandments and regulations." Eph 2:15 "in order that the righteous
requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live
according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." Rom 8:4 I
Heb 7:20-22And it was not without an oath!
became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with
oath when God said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change
mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’" Because of this oath,
has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
Under the Law of Moses the priesthood was given by commandment, by
regulation. It didn't come with guarantees. In fact God killed two
Aaron's sons because they misbehaved as priests, as also He did on
other occasions. But Christ is given a guarantee. This is one aspect
the New Covenant that comes with a guarantee, and there are other
guarantees associated with the New Covenant.
Those under the New Covenant are guaranteed eternal life, and they
born-again, given the Spirit of God,
"who is a deposit guaranteeing
our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s
possession— to the praise of his glory."Eph 1:14"Now it is God who makes both us and
you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of
us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is
come." 2Cor 1:21,22
Heb 7:23-25 Now there have been many of those
priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but
because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God
him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Under the Mosaic Law there were no guarantees that you would be
New Covenant includes eternal security. Those who come to God
Christ will be completely saved, saved to the uttermost, saved
eternally. Jesus said, "I am
gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."John 10:9a "And everyone who calls on the name of
the Lord will be saved."Acts
2:21"For if, when we
God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his
how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through
life!"Rom 5:10 So
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and
will be saved"Acts 16:31
Heb 7:26-28Such a high priest meets our need—
who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted
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
of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he
offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are
but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has
made perfect forever.
What good is it for a fellow sinner to speak to God on your behalf?
It's no wonder that the religiously elite - the priests and such,
became proud because they developed the misconception that because
were intercessors they were superior to those for whom they were
interceding. Our need is for a Savior, a Mediator acceptable to God,
which means he has to be without sin. "We do not have a high priest who is
unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has
tempted in every way, just as we are— yet was without sin." Heb 4:15
While the Levitical priests offered many animal sacrifices
periodically, the one sacrifice which Christ offered up of himself
the cross was sufficient to atone for sin. "For Christ died for sins once for
all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." 1Pet 3:18"Nor did he enter heaven to offer
himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most
Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would
had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now
has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with
the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and
after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take
the sins of many people"Heb
Catholics especially have to understand this. The Catholic
is modeled after the Levitical priesthood. Catholicism has a weekly
ritual known as the "sacrifice of the Mass" in which in which the
Catholic priests magically cause Christ to become a piece of bread
then they recrucify Christ. Here are some quotes from Catholic
"The Sacrifice of the Mass is not
merely an offering of praise and thanksgiving, or simply a
the sacrifice on the Cross. It is a propitiatory sacrifice
which is offered for the living and dead, for the remission of
punishment due to sin, as satisfaction for sin and for other
"whereas on Calvary, this
adoration was bloody, causing Christ's physical death by
in the Mass the same Jesus is now sacrificing Himself in
unbloody manner because he is now glorified, immortal, and
suffering or dying in His own physical person."
"in the Mass the same Jesus Christ
offered Himself on Calvary now offers Himself on the altar"
The congregation are also will
participants in this ceremony saying, "Accept
this offering made by our hands"
This is one of the many heresies inherent in Catholicism. Again in
contrast the Bible says, "Day
after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties;
and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away
sins. But when this priest (Jesus Christ) had offered for all time
sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God."Heb 10:11,12
Catholics must decide between putting their faith in the Catholic
priesthood and the sacrifices of the Mass, or tputting heir faith in
Jesus Christ and his one sacrifice. For other issues with Catholicism see "An Ex-Catholic's Perspective on