By Tyson Thorne

March 22, 2018

Hebrews 10 Large

Yesterday we started a study that begins in chapter seven. That study is an exposition on the superiority of Jesus, our high priest. We divided this into several sections that are natural in the text. Section one's thesis, which we discussed yesterday, is that it was God's unchanging purpose by oath to provide a perfect high priest to intercede forever and then save completely (7.1-28). This lesson naturally divides into two parts. Yesterday we examined the first section, discussing the superiority of Melchizedek's priesthood over the Levitical (verses 1-10). Today we'll discover how Jesus came into this order (verses 11-28).

The argument is pretty straightforward. The Levitical priesthood was tied to the law. If someone sinned (broke the law) they needed a sacrifice for their sins (performed by the high priest). If no one ever sinned, then the high priest would not have to make any sacrifices. The problem is, everyone sins. As a result they are all guilty of breaking the law and all the animal sacrifices in the world are not enough to save a person from all their sinfulness. Something better was needed.

So why have the Law and the sacrificial system at all? Think of it as a prerequisite course. You can't take physics until you have had geometry. In order to understand why we need a savior in the first place we have to be confronted by our sin and understand that we can never do enough to absolve those sins. We have to recognize that we need a Messiah, a Savior. Why not skip all of that and go right to Jesus? Most people could be told they need a savior and start from there, right? Being told a truth is different from experiencing a truth. God doesn't want to be the God of your mind only, but the God of your heart, soul and strength too.

For this reason there are two covenants. It's like Salvation 101 and Salvation 201 in the course catalog. Once we understand our need for a savior, we have to put our faith in God to supply that need. In the old covenant the people had to trust before the savior was revealed, and in the second covenant we trust in what God has already done, but either way the path to salvation remains the same: Faith in God and his chosen Messiah.

So the first covenant, while helpful to bring our whole being into a desire and need for right fellowship with God, was insufficient to complete our salvation. So we have a second covenant, one that doesn't have the dependencies on humanity that cause it to fail. Instead of a person becoming a priest due to their lineage, we have a merit-based priesthood. Instead of an animal sacrifice we have the sacrifice of God's only begotten. Instead of a high priest that intercedes for us once a year, we have a high priest who is always interceding on our behalf. Instead of a covenant that merely shows us our need for salvation, we have a covenant that "is able to save completely".

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