Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 7

A better hope

Hebrews 7:19

Godís law did not make anything perfect because that was not its purpose. One purpose of the law is to show people that they are definitely not perfect. God considers their thoughts, words and actions to be wrong. Their desires, attitudes and feelings are constantly evil. See Romans 3:9-20.

So the law exists to teach people about Godís standards. And therefore, it also teaches people about God. By the law, we understand that God is good and perfect. And we can see the nature of the relationship that he wants to have with his people.

God wanted that relationship to be close. He wanted to live with his people. But people are guilty of very many wrong and evil things. Nobody lives in the manner that God considers right (Romans 3:23). And it is impossible for people, who are evil, to live with the holy God.

So Godís law separated God from his people. He lived among them. But he was separate from them. For example, a person could give a sacrifice (usually an animal) to God; but he could not offer that sacrifice himself. Instead, a priest had to offer the sacrifice on his behalf. Such laws made it possible for people to have a relationship with God, while he remained separate from them.

Such arrangements were right and proper. And they continued for many centuries. But they were never Godís perfect plan. God did not want to be separate from people, whom he loves (John 3:16). And at the proper time, he sent his Son to establish a new and better relationship with them (Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:19-20).

The law constantly reminded people that this was Godís plan. For example, the system of sacrifices showed people that, one day, there would be a perfect sacrifice. That sacrifice was not an animal, but the death of Jesus Christ, Godís Son (John 1:36; 1 John 4:9-10).

Jesusí death gives us a better hope. Here, hope means something that is certain. All who trust Jesus receive a close relationship with God. They confess their wrong and evil deeds to him, and he forgives them. They believe him, and he gives them the power to serve him properly.

And when people do these things, God does not need to be separate from them any longer. By the law, only the chief priest could enter the most holy place (Hebrews 9:7). But because of Jesusí death, that place is open for all who trust him. See Hebrews 6:19-20 and Hebrews 10:19-22.

Next part: The oath that appointed Christ as priest (Hebrews 7:20-22)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.