Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 7

Christ, the perfect priest

Hebrews 7:11

Godís law is perfect (Psalm 19:7). But as Paul wrote people must use it properly (1 Timothy 1:8).

There are many people who do not use Godís law properly. They imagine that they can achieve a right relationship with God by their own efforts. They want to save themselves. And they see no purpose in Christís death. So really, they have not learned the most important lesson that the law teaches. Only God can save us. And he does it by means of Christ (Galatians 3:21-24).

God gave his law by means of Moses and his brother Aaron, Israelís first chief priest. And much of the law is about the work of the priests.

Aaronís family continued to work as priests for 1500 years. And perhaps some people thought that they needed no other priest. They had Godís law. They had the temple (Godís house). They had the ceremonies and holidays that God had established. And they had a family of priests (Aaronís family) that God had appointed.

But in Psalm 110:4, David wrote that there would be another priest. That priest would be a king, as well as a priest. He would not belong to Aaronís family, but he would be a priest like Melchizedek. The first Christians taught that David was a prophet (Acts 2:29-30). A prophet is someone who tells people Godís words. So David was writing about the future. He was not using his imagination. He was writing about Christ.

And people certainly did need another kind of priest. Aaronís family were carrying on a good work when they served God as priests. By the law, they showed people what is sin (wrong and bad things in Godís opinion). By their ceremonies, they helped people. So that they could recognise Christís work. They taught people about God. They made it possible for people to serve God.

However, these things were not enough, because sin still ruled peopleís lives (Hebrews 10:2). The priests could only enter a copy of the real holy place that is in heaven, not the real one (Hebrews 9:23-24). So their work was not perfect.

But, Christ, our great chief priest, can free us from sin completely. He offered his own blood (his death) to God the Father in heaven (Hebrews 9:11-12). And what he did was perfect. He died once, to free us from sin for all time (Hebrews 9:25-28).

Next part: When Godís law changes (Hebrews 7:12)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.