Jesus > Everything, Week 8, How to Know Jesus Has Your Back, Hebrews 7:1-28

Book of Hebrews, Week 8Jesus is Greater than Everything.001

How to Know Jesus Has Your Back

Hebrews 7:1-28

Melchizedek Is Greater Than Abraham

This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.

Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle. Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel,[a] who are also descendants of Abraham. But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.

The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on. In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. 10 For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.

11 So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron?[b]

12 And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. 13 For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. 14 What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe.

Jesus Is like Melchizedek

15 This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. 16 Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied,

“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”[c]

18 Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. 19 For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

20 This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, 21 but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him,

“The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:

    ‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.

23 There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save[e] those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. 27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. 28 The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.

Christ’s Superior Priesthood

Instead of dealing with these twenty-eight verses in detail today, I want us to get the big picture and the main point

I. The Big Picture: Christ’s Superior Priesthood

  A. Christ’s Priesthood is Greater than Everything

1. Far  better than the Old Testament priesthood of Levi. 

2. This Big Picture is Painted in verses 1-24 & 26-28

I1. The Main Point: He Lives to Intercede for Us

Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. Hebrews 7:25

And the main point is in verse 25. Do you see the word “hence” or “therefore”? That means this is the great conclusion from all the preceding truth about Christ’s priesthood. Verse 25 is the main point, the conclusion of it al.

Verses 1-24 may be complex and difficult to understand without earnest mental effort, but this verse 25 is wonderfully plain. It has three parts.

 A. The 3 parts of Hebrews 7:25 supply our Outline…

1. Christ is able to save forever (25a)

2. He always lives to make Intercession  for us (25c).

3. This eternal intercession and eternal salvation are for those who Draw Near, to God through Christ (25b).

Think with me about the relationship between those first two: that Christ is able to save forever, and that Christ always lives to make intercession for us. What’s the connection? It’s made explicit in the verse and it is extremely important. It says that he is able to save us forever . . . since (or because) he always lives to make intercession for us. In other words, our future eternal salvation hangs on Christ’s future eternal intercession for us.

This implies two huge things.

What Are We Being Saved From?

Part 1. Christ is able to Save Forever (25a)

  1. What we need to be Saved  From?

   a. We need to be clear about this, especially to unbelievers.

b. What are we being saved from according to this verse?

 

  2. What is it?  What’s our Problem?

If, to be saved forever, we need Christ to intercede for us forever with God, then what is the implication about what we need saving from?

a. To be saved forever, we need Someone to intercede for us forever with God.

b. The implication is that we need to be saved from God.

i. We need to be saved from the Wrath  of God

Specifically we need to be saved from the wrath of God that burns against all ungodliness and unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Christ can save us forever from the wrath of God because he intercedes forever with God.

30 I will take revenge. I will pay them back.’  He also said, ‘The Lord will judge his own people.’ Hebrews 10:30

Until we get this firmly and clearly fixed in our minds, hardly anything in the book of Hebrews will make sense. The major problem in the world and in our lives is not our troubled marriages or our wayward children or our financial pressures or our failing health or our cultural degeneration. The main problem in the world—everybody’s problem—is how to be reconciled to God so that we escape his terrifying wrath at the judgment. That’s the main problem.

And the Biblical answer is priesthood.

3. God’s way of solving that problem is Priesthood  (1-24)

And specifically the superior priesthood of Christ. The reason there are priests in the Old Testament is that priests are needed to intercede for us with God. They enter the holy place where we are not allowed to go. And they take sacrifices for us so that our sins will be forgiven. All of that Old Testament priestly system was meant to teach us about our sin and the holiness and wrath of God and the inescapable judgment that is coming on us. And the point of it all was this: God has made a way to get right with God. He provided priests in the Old Testament, and then he provided his Son, the final High Priest.

So the reason for all this talk about Christ’s relation to Melchizedek in verses 1-24 is because the eternal, superior priesthood of Jesus is our only hope of eternal salvation. God’s wrath never changes. There is only one hope for sinners like us. We must have a faithful high priest, who will intercede for us forever. a. We need a Perfect Intercessor in the Order of Melchizedek:

  1. We need a king of righteousness and peace (2)
  2. We need someone without beginning and ending (3)
  3. Like Melchizedek who blessed Abraham and Levi (6-7)
  4. Someone who has an indestructible life (16)
  5. Who will never die and need to be replaced (23-24).
  6. Who received tithes from Abraham (5, 6, 8-10)
  7. A new and greater priest—One superior priest! (after the order of Melchizedek, Psalm 110:4), whose sacrifice of himself and whose eternal intercession would guarantee eternal salvation for all God’s people

Part 2. He always lives to Make Intercession for Us (25c)

1. What does that mean?

Now the second great implication of verse 25 is that…

A. Our future salvation depends on the active work of Christ forever and ever…not just on the past work of Christ or on our past decisions and commitments. It says that Christ is able to save forever . . . since he always lives to make intercession for us. In other words, he would not be able to save us forever if he did not go on interceding for us forever.

B. This means our salvation is as secure as Christ’s priesthood is indestructible. This is why we needed a priest so much greater than any human. Christ’s deity secures his indestructible priesthood for us.

2. What is this intercession? Let’s start with Intercede…

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:  to intervene between parties with a view to reconciling differences, : to speak to someone in order to defend or help another person.

Okay to defend or intervene for someone or to help them…so Christ Intercedes for us before God’s wrath.  Let’s get that defined…

M. G. Easton’s Bible Dictionary gives a beautiful summary of it:

“Intercession of Christ — Christ’s priestly office consists of these two parts, (1) the offering up of himself as a sacrifice, and (2) making continual intercession for us.

When on earth he made intercession for his people (Luke 23:34; John 17:20; Heb. 5:7); but now he exercises this function of his priesthood in heaven, where he is said to appear in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9:12,24).

We are saved eternally by the eternal prayers (Romans 8:34) and advocacy (1 John 2:1) of Jesus in heaven as our high priest. He prays for us and his prayers are answered because he prays perfectly on the basis of his perfect sacrifice.

3. What Then Might He Be Praying?

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 1 John 2:1

Well, it says that he is able to save because he intercedes, that is, because he prays.  And it says that he is doing this forever. What do we need forever in order to be saved? Let’s just stay with this verse to answer that. We need to draw near to God through him.

Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. 

Hebrews 7:25

Part 3. This Eternal Intercession & Salvation are for those who Draw Near to God through Christ (25b)

1. L             Time Call

a. The  Verb here, “come to” or “draw near to,” is in a tense that indicates present continuous action, not a single action in the past.

b. We are to forever “Draw Near” to God.

2. God Bids Us Come

  1. That this great, holy God of righteousness and wrath says, “Draw near to me through my Son, your High Priest.” Is amazing.  It is our story of  salvation and the rest of our lives.
  2. Draw near to me. This is the invitation for everyone.  Draw near to me in confession and prayer and meditation and trust and praise. Come. I will not cast you out.

Let me close with this final point

3. Our Holy, Sacrificial, Perfect  High Priest Jesus (26-28)

26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. 27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. 28 The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.

 

Weekly Bible Reading:       Mo –  Heb 7     Tu – Heb 10                                         We – Rom 8    Th – 1Jn 2    Fr – Lev 16    Sa – Mat 27