After explaining the importance of the priesthood lineage of Christ, the author now reveals its importance.
11 Now 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 concerning whom these things are spoken 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 spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become such 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 a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as 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 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
The priesthood of the Jews was descended from Aaron according to the Law, which was established when Moses ascended the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights to talk with God. The Levitical Priesthood was based on this (the tribe of Levi as mentioned previously). However, the priesthood of Christ is not based on this, but a higher meaning. Being that Jesus is not descended from this bloodline, we can see that He ascended the law with the law of God. The author points out what the Law did: it revealed the imperfection of man. In other words, Judaic law showed Jews and Gentiles alike the necessity for Jesus. While the Law reveals our imperfection, Jesus fulfills the law to make us perfect in God’s sight. His intervention does what we couldn’t do and makes it possible to live in communion with God. The Judaic priests intervened in a temporary manner by sacrificing animals in the stead of humans, but once they sinned again, then the process restarted.
Jesus is our hope in a world stained with sinfulness. He has become the guarantee of a better covenant. What is this covenant, though? The author is going to explain this in great detail in chapters 8 and 9, but so we understand, the new covenant is that through Christ we can have a relationship with God and be adopted as His children. Yes, we are technically “his” because He created us, but everyone knows that creation does not create a loving and lasting relationship, especially with parents. Sinfulness created a chasm between us and God and He made it possible through Christ to be reunited with Him.
What is the purpose of a priest? I just explained the work of salvation, but it doesn’t end there; in fact, it starts there. Jesus is our High Priest; He intercedes for us, He comforts us in times of need, He counsels us, and He cheers us on when we are following God’s will. He even guides us to follow God’s will. Yet similar to how we utilize human priests, we only tend to go to Him as a last resort. We only come crawling to our spiritual leaders when we are in trouble and “have nobody else to turn to.” Why don’t we go to Him as a first resort? Why don’t we ask for His leading in everything we do so we don’t have to go crawling beaten down and ashamed?
How can you better commune with God through Christ today?