Sunday, July 7, 2013
“And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: but this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood” (Hebrews 7:23,24 KJV).
Israel had myriads of priests who “came and went,” but this High Priest is permanent….
Remember, the context of Hebrews is “the world to come” (Hebrews 2:5). Its contents are not written to or about us Gentiles, for it is the book written to the Hebrews, and it involves a future time period. Specifically, Hebrews addresses Israel during the seven-year Tribulation (note they are looking for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in Hebrews 10:25-31, which will conclude Daniel’s 70th week).
The book of Hebrews is to Israel what the book of Romans is to us, the Body of Christ. Romans discusses Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork and how God uses it to save us in this the Dispensation of Grace. Likewise, Hebrews teaches how God will utilize Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork to save Israel in her prophetic (kingdom) program.
“Better” appears 13 times within the book of Hebrews. God the Holy Spirit is urging Israel to leave behind the types and shadows and embrace their fulfillments which are “better”: animal sacrifices versus Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of Himself, the earthly tabernacle versus the heavenly tabernacle, the Levitical priesthood versus Christ’s Melchisedecian priesthood (today’s Scripture), the Old Covenant versus the New Covenant, et cetera.
Today’s Scripture demonstrates that Israel’s Old Testament Levitical (Aaronic) priesthood was faulty because its members died. Throughout those 1,500 years, Israel’s priests died and were replaced. Today’s Scripture continues: “but this man [Jesus Christ; verse 22] because he continueth [liveth] [for] ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.” The word “unchangeable” means “nontransferable;” to wit, unlike the Aaronic priests who died and relinquished their office, Jesus Christ’s priesthood will never be transferred to anyone else because He lives forever!
At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will take God by the hand and Israel by the hand, and join them forever; Israel will then be saved. “Wherefore, he is able also save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (verse 25). What a wonderful hope Israel has!