JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.”
August 20, 2011, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

In Chapter 7 in the Letter to Hebrews the author describes the importance of our Lord Jesus Christ in the life of His people and how He “has become the guarantee of a better covenant” as contrasted with the “old covenant.” To have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and been saved, to be in Christ, is so superior and totally contrary to the way of life of the old covenant of Judaism that to fall back to a form Judaism is unthinkable. How we need spiritual sight to see what Jesus has done, to see Him as our only foundation and life!

Using the story from the Old Testament of “this Melchizedek…king of Salem and priest of God Most High” the author compares Melchizedek with Jesus. Melchizedek’s titles of “king of righteousness” and “king of peace” apply to Jesus our Lord. Christ Jesus is the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace. In Christ is true righteousness and peace! The gospels, Acts, and letters of the New Testament, and specifically in Hebrews, show how Jesus became as such.

Abraham, the father of Israel, was not greater than Melchizedek, because Melchizedek blessed Abraham and Abraham “gave him a tenth of the plunder.” “And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater.” Christ Jesus is greater than Abraham! Because Levi, in whom his descendants is the priesthood, e.g. Aaron, “was still in the body of” Abraham, technically we could say that even the priests paid their tithe to Melchizedek. So Christ Jesus is also greater than the priests! At issue is the Old Testament quote: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Why “was there still (a) need for another priest to come – one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?” The reason is that “perfection could” not be “attained through the Levitical priesthood. The old covenant demonstrates the inability for human beings to attain perfection and therefore it has been set aside. “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.” Someone else is necessary, that Someone is Jesus, Jesus is our “better hope!” In Christ Jesus each person can “draw near to God” without the formalism of the law!

Jesus is greater than the old covenant. The author brings this out by again looking at Jesus as “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Jesus describes a new order, a new priest, Himself, “not in the order of Aaron.” Jesus, in His earthly life, “descended from Judah” and not from Levi. Because Jesus is a priest not after “the order of Aaron” we have “a change of the priesthood” and this means “there must also be a change of the law.” Jesus is greater than the priesthood and has changed the priesthood; Jesus is greater than the law and has changed the law! How completely radical is this to the religious mindset of Judaism! Melchizedek is also described as “without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.” Jesus is greater than the old covenant because “Jesus lives forever!” Only He “has a permanent priesthood.” The order of Jesus’ priesthood is “on the basis of the power of an indestructible life!” We cannot depend on human priests because human priests die, but in Jesus “he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them!” “Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant” as a result!

“Such a high priest meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens!” Christ is our righteousness and is our peace! He is “unlike” any “other high” priest, those who “need to offer sacrifices day after day.” Jesus “sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” Only in Christ Jesus do we have the perfect sacrifice, who has come “after the law,” who alone was appointed by the Father; the Son alone “has been made perfect forever.” How can we fall back to Judaism? How can we fall back to a form of Judaism, such as legalism or institutionalism, when we know better our Lord together, who He is and what He has done for us? How better, complete and perfect He is and how better, complete and perfect His work! Do we truly see Christ Jesus our Lord as “the guarantee of a better covenant?”


6 Comments so far
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My husband and I went through Hebrews last Sunday, and the teaching of the ‘better covenant’ nearly blew my socks off. I just kept thinking how amazing intricate the plan of salvation is. God’s grace is indescribable.

Comment by Javetta

amen sis, it seems staggering to think of everything that Jesus did for us and is, so unsearchable are His riches indeed!

Comment by John Wilson

So why are we recycling the old version? Why have we turned functioning gifts exercised in community, into “professional” and hierarchical form? The persistence of such can be accurately described in 2 words: “Job Security.”

Comment by Jeff Stewart

so true Jeff, that is the question. We are too quick to fall back to the legalism, to fall back to having someone other than Christ as our Head. Just like the Israelites of old, who wanted a king like all the other nations, rejecting the Lord as King. Thinking the problem is on who are we founded and have we learned to live by His life together?

Comment by John Wilson

Excellent thoughts, John. Some of it I was unfamiliar with, too, so that just makes it all the better. Love learning my Lord more and more. Thanks!

Comment by cindyinsd

amen Cindy!

Comment by John Wilson

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