Daybreak: Hebrews 7:1-28
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” (Hebrews 7:19)
Are you a person who is easily satisfied? That attitude is fine when the subject is of no great importance. However, there are times when we should settle for no less than the best. For example, what attitude do we have when selecting a caregiver for our children? When we need someone else to stand in for our “mommy” roles, we should want the best we can get. We should not settle for mediocre.
My concern regarding this transfers over to other people’s children too. I used to be director of a large child-care center, where we cared for children as young as six weeks old. I was particular about choosing staff. Why? These weren’t just cans of food being put away, or shirts being hung on hangers. My staff was taking care of the most important valuable asset a family possesses — their child. My motto about care of children could be summed up with this phrase: “Don’t settle for good if better is available!”
One of the key words in the Book of Hebrews is “better.” Under the old Law, sacrifices were made for sins. However, the sacrificial system in itself did not enable people to stop sinning; it simply provided a method for them to obtain judicial acceptance. Under the Law, people came back year after year, making atonement for their sins.
The old Law was God’s plan for atonement until the time of Christ, but it was limited — it was designed for a particular time, place, and people. The Law was designed to point out sin. It was the shadow that pointed to the reality. It looked ahead symbolically to a better dispensation — the dispensation of grace. The old rituals of worship were to be replaced with something better. The “better hope” was the coming of Christ, the One who would perfectly merge the separate offices of prophet, priest, and king of the old Law.
Today, Jesus is not only our Perfect Substitute, but also our faithful High Priest. How blessed we are to live in this better dispensation — a time when we have full access to our Heavenly Father, through Him!
Melchizedek is a man of mysterious character. His name means “king of righteousness,” and the first mention of him is in Genesis 14. At the time Abraham came back from the slaughter of the kings, Melchizedek went out to meet Abraham and blessed him. The Genesis passage states that Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God, and that Abraham paid tithes to him. All other Biblical passages mentioning Melchizedek are references to this Scripture. While he appears in Genesis and silently disappears, he occupies a great place in Scripture because he became a type of Christ’s eternal Priesthood that took the place of the Aaronic priesthood of old.
Hebrews 7:3 indicates that Melchizedek was “without father or mother.” This may mean that his genealogy was not recorded — a fact in contrast to what was required of the Levitical priesthood. Their genealogy was kept very strictly, because their succession to the priesthood depended upon their ancestry.
A contrast is drawn in this chapter between drawing nigh unto God under the old dispensation and drawing nigh in the new dispensation. Under the old Law, the people merely stood by on the outside of the Tabernacle while the high priest went into the Holiest of Holies to minister before the Mercy Seat. Under the new dispensation, men can approach God directly.
Just as the office of priest was filled by one generation following another, so the sacrifices themselves were also repeated. The high priest sacrificed for his own sins and the sins of the people once a year. There were also the daily morning and evening sacrifices by the priests. The animal sacrifices had to be repeated, and they brought only temporary forgiveness. This was kept up continually while the Tabernacle and the Temple stood. In contrast, Christ’s sacrifice was offered once, and it is an availing sacrifice for all times.
The word uttermost in verse 25 is one of the most emphatic words found in the Greek language. It means not only a point of time — forever; but it also means a point of perfection — a perfect salvation.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The argument: the preeminence of Christ in His person and work
D. The superiority of Christ to Aaron
4. Superior because of a better order (7:1-28)
a. Christ’s priesthood is royal (7:1-3)
b. Christ’s priesthood is superior to Aaron (7:4-10)
c. Christ’s priesthood is effectual (7:11-19)
d. Christ’s priesthood is unchangeable (7:20-22)
e. Christ’s priesthood is forever (7:23-25)
f. Christ’s priesthood is unique (7:26-28)
A Closer Look
- What two offices did Melchizedek fill?
- Contrast three features of the Old Covenant priesthood with features of the New Covenant priesthood.
- How can we “draw nigh” to God (verse 19) in our prayer life?
God established Christ as our Perfect Sacrifice, our High Priest, and our King — allowing us true atonement for sins and bridging the separation that was created in the Garden of Eden. His death and resurrection brings us eternal life if we ask for this great gift.
- Hebrews Introduction
- Hebrews Complete Amplified Outline
- Daybreak Unit PDF (Matthew, Hebrews, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
- Discovery Unit PDF (Matthew, Hebrews, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
- Discovery Teacher’s Guide Unit PDF (Matthew, Hebrews, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians)
- Unit Binder Cover