Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:11-19
We need to remember to whom the writer of Hebrews is addressing, Jewish Christians. Throughout this letter he is warning them about moving away from the gospel they have been taught and back to their old and familiar Jewish traditions. In today’s verses he is driving home the point that the old ways are over and they need to embrace the new way that Christ has provided.
He compares the Aaronic priesthood with the priest hoods of Melchizedek and now Christ. When God through Moses freed the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt He set up a code of laws and a priesthood. The tribe of Levy was set apart to serve as priests and workers in the temple. The law and the priesthood went hand in hand. We see in the book of Leviticus both the Law and what needed to be done to establish both the priesthood and the tabernacle. The Levite priests were the gateway from the people to God.
This priesthood was one of men and like all men was subject to corruption. Also only those from the tribe of Levy could become priests. If the Aaronic priesthood could have kept the Jews from distancing themselves from God. If it had been able to reconcile God’s people to God then there would have been no need for the incarnation. Humans are incapable of bridging the gap between us and God.
What was needed was a new high priest. One no subject to corruption. One not of the trip of Levy. This new high priest was to be like Melchizedek eternal. But unlike Melchizedek the new high priest was not created. Christ became our new high priest and king. From the tribe of Judah just as was King David, a man after God’s own heart. So Jesus after He paid the price for our sins became our High Priest, our King and our salvation. He paved a way for us to get back to God. Along with this new High Priest we also are freed from the confines of the law. No longer do we need other men to act as the gateway between us and God. Now we have direct access to Him.
Have a blessed day,