Welcome to Week 11 of the Higher Hope Church 2018 New Testament Reading Plan! If you haven’t already, go pick up your 5x5x5 Reading Plan and join our private Facebook group for daily interaction and discussion. In today’s post, I will share a brief recap of of our week where we read through chapters 7-11 in the Book of Hebrews.
The chapter begins with a retelling of the story of Melchizedek from the time of Abraham. The old covenant required the Israelites to pay a tenth of their income to the Levites; however, Abraham paid Melchizedek a tenth even though he was not a Levite. Melchizedek is greater than both Abraham and Levi. His priesthood is more important than that of the Levites. The Levitical priests had to offer sacrifices for their sins, but Jesus did not for he had no sin. The Levitical priests die, but Jesus had been made priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. He became priest by a special oath. The old covenant appointed imperfect men as priests but in the new covenant, God appointed a permanent, perfect priest.
So, we have a high priest and he is named Jesus. But his priesthood in the new covenant is far superior. The author refers to the Old Testament scripture to show the impending new covenant. God made the old covenant obsolete.
The old covenant had regulations for worship in the earthly tabernacle. The priests regularly entered to perform their duties. But only the high priest could enter the inner room, once a year, with a blood offering for the sins of himself and for the people. The gifts and sacrifices were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
When Christ came as high priest, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands. He entered the Most Holy Place once and for all by His own blood thus obtaining eternal redemption. Christ offered himself unblemished to God and his far more able to cleanse our conscience than the blood of goats and calves. Thus, Christ is the mediator of the new covenant.
The ritual sacrifices of the old law were an annual reminder of sin and the need for atonement. But it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin. Jesus set aside the first covenant to establish the second. We have all been made holy through the sacrifice of Jesus once and for all. Thus, since we now have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, we should draw near to Him with sincere hearts and the full assurance that faith brings. We must continue to persevere in the faith so we can receive what He has promised.
A summary of Biblical heroes showing faith in action, including Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, and others. They were all commended for their faith yet none of them received what had been promised since God had planned something better for us.
Have a great week!