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Daily Archives / Sunday, November 3, 2019

  • Nov 03 / 2019
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)

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A Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:20-28 (Pastor Heo)

20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind:

‘You are a priest forever.’ ” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect _forever_.


This is the continuation of the comparison between OT and NT priesthood.

Differences:

1. Oath: without / with oath

OT priests – from the children of Aaron (Levites), men with no physical defects could become priests before God with no oath – their appointment was based on the Law with no divine intervention.

In the case of Jesus, he became a High Priest WITH an oath.

Ps. 110:4 “4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””

This was written 600 years? before Christ – about a person / priesthood 1000 years prior.

God never lies like we do. He is Almighty God, omnipotent. Nothing is impossible with God – then why did God take an oath? This shows DOUBLE guarantee, importance, significance. This is the revelation of God’s radical plan for our salvation – this is the ultimate sovereign will of God – his last will. So, the ultimate sovereign will of God for the salvation of man = “A better covenant.”

This is another keyword in Hebrews. To understand this word, we must understand the background.

There are two testaments, two covenants in the Bible. New Testament = Better Covenant.

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better Covenant.”

This book has the word “better” the most of any other books in the New Testament – at least 11 times.

  • Last week: Better Hope
  • This week: Better Covenant

Later, Better Promise, sacrifice, possessions, country, resurrection.

This word “Covenant” is also repeated at least 16 times (the most in the NT). If we are IN Christ, our lives will become better and better – our future will become better and better IN Jesus. This is a better covenant – because the best is not yet come, the best is coming. Believe your future will become better. We can be convinced in Jesus Christ.

The background is from the Last Supper with his disciples. In the upper room, while eating, Jesus took bread and gave thanks to the Father and gave it to them and said, “Take and eat, this is my body.” Also, Jesus took the cup and gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood. This is the NEW covenant, poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.”

Originally, “covenant” = agreement between two parties – if either side failed, that covenant is broken.

  • Old Covenant was based on the Law, Justice, obedience.
    • New Covenant is based on Love, and Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross.
  • O.C. based on man’s performance before God.
    • N.C. based on God’s (Jesus’) performance on the cross.

In this better covenant, Jesus did all that God had to do to save us, and all that we must do to be saved.

In this better covenant, we have nothing to do for our salvation, except believe in Christ for our salvation, look to him, follow Him – he is available to all of us, just trust him for the forgiveness of sin – for joyful, satisfactory life. That is all – just believe in Christ. That’s all we can do for our salvation and forgiveness of sins in the better covenant. That’s why this is called the better covenant, the New Testament.

God bless you all with the Better Covenant.

2. Another difference: Length of service

v. 23-24

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.”

Wow.

Difference of duration between OT and NT Priests.

I don’t know the number of High Priests in human history, but a historian Josephus estimated there were 83 HP from Aaron to the destruction of the second temple in 70AD. Each served in their office, job, and should be replaced by their successor. Why? They died.

But N.C. High Priest (Jesus) lives forever and has a permanent priesthood. This means Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

What does this mean, practically in our daily lives?

The application: He is available in helping us in every area.

In our culture today, sometimes we need human lawyers, counselors, financial advisers, physicians, insurance agents, tour guides, for better life, hope, security. That is not bad, but Jesus is always available to us to become our helper, lawyer, counselor, guide, agent, in every area of life. HOW? How can we acknowledge his permanent priesthood in our daily lives? By acknowledging his Lordship, Leadership, Guidance in each and every situation. Let us do that. Because he is our permanent High Priest.

v. 25 (Memorize)

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

This means, the basis, foundation, ground (without which we cannot stand) for this complete salvation is heavenly intercession of our high priest Jesus.

Intercede: To approach, appeal, make a petition. Jesus now is making petition for us before the Father God continually.

We should not imagine that Father God is angry with us – and THAT’S why he must appeal to God to not judge us. NO. Father God, and Son Jesus are in complete agreement about our salvation.

“…no one can snatch you out of my hand. My father is greater than all, … no one can snatch you out of my father’s hand… The Father and I are ONE.” (One in giving you eternal life.)

The Trinity God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are completely united in agreement for our salvation.

Romans 5:16 “The Spirit testifies with our spirits that you are children of God.”

In the same way, the Spirit intercedes with us – sometimes we don’t know what is right, what to pray, but the Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express.

Jesus is continually interceding for us. The Trinity God is one in essence, in agreement, in sovereignty. This is a mystery of mysteries.

Once more:

v. 25

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

How can we come to God?

Draw near to Jesus = draw near to God – because Jesus is the incarnation of the invisible God. No one can add to what Jesus already did to save us. Our past, present, and future sins are completely forgiven in Christ.

Jesus has paid the price for sins “once for all.”

3. More differences: Sacrifice

v. 26-28

“26 Such a high priest _meets our need_ [Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”]–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

In the OC, a priest was merely a sinful human being – so he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins first before offering sacrifices for the people. This had to be done continually, day by day because animal sacrifice could not remove the stain of sin permanently.

In the OT, when animals were offered as sacrifices, there were 5 steps (at least):

  1. Cut into pieces
  2. Each piece washed
  3. The fat was burned
  4. The meat was boiled
  5. The blood was sprinkled

The blood is the key point in the sacrifice offering. At that time, as a shadow of Christ, God accepted the blood of animals temporarily to teach of the reality that without the shedding of blood, forgiveness of sins is impossible.

Essentials:

  1. High Priest
  2. Offering (blood)

Jesus was holy, blameless, pure, sinless, – so he never needed to offer sacrifices for himself. But he offered the sacrifice for the sins of others first, directly.

Also, he did not offer animal’s blood, but his own blood – as a sacrifice on the cross. He gave his own blood for you. He allowed his own blood to be sprinkled on the cross for the forgiveness of all sins – yours and mine.

When Jesus offered himself as a perfect sacrifice, he obliterated the penalty, price of sin. There was no more sacrifice needed for sin.

  • Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.
  • Jesus is the last and lasting sacrifice.

That’s why he has a permanent priesthood. Such a priest meets our need. This is available in every step to us today.

Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want… He leads me in quiet waters, he restores my soul… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… Your rod, your staff, they comfort me…”

Even though we are walking with Jesus, sometimes we Walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It doesn’t say, “I will NEVER walk through the valley” – no – it says, “EVEN THOUGH I walk through the valley.”

“No fear!”

(But practically, much fear sometimes. Only IN Jesus Christ is it possible to have no fear, anxiety.)

So what should we do in this?

We say,

“I trust in Jesus alone.”

That is all we can do.

“Forgive my sins through Jesus Christ, give me eternal life through Jesus Christ.”

And we can shout “Hallelujah!”

God bless you with our permanent high priest, Jesus.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen