A Change of Law

The Letter to the Hebrews is structured around a series of comparisons that demonstrate the superiority of the “word spoken in the Son” over every past revelation “spoken in the prophets,” including Moses. Jesus surpasses even the Great Lawgiver. The previous prophetic words provided by the Hebrew prophets were true but partial, promissory, and preparatory. But now, “upon the last of these days,” God has “spoken” with great finality in one who is a “Son.”

And since this word is complete and definitive, it is “better than” the partial revelations of the past. “Having achieved the purification of sins,” the Son sat down at God’s right hand as the “appointed heir of all things.” And that means the word spoken “in the prophets” failed to achieve the “purification of sins.”

Bible red ribbon - Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash
[Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash]

After demonstrating the Son’s superiority over the angels, the Letter warns that if the previous incomplete word included “
just recompense” for disobedience, believers cannot escape a FAR WORSE PUNISHMENT if they ignore the superior word “spoken in the Son” - (Hebrews 2:1-4).

Hebrews demonstrates the superiority of the new word by contrasting the Son’s priesthood, covenant, and sacrifice to the Levitical priesthood, covenant, and repeated animal sacrifices performed in the ancient Tabernacle.

The fact that God promised a future priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” demonstrates beyond doubt that the Aaronic priesthood was incapable of achieving the “purification of sins.”

And that priestly order required multiple priests and animal sacrifices, and it was received at Mount Sinai as an integral part of the Torah. Therefore, and quite logically, the promised change in the priesthood means also a “CHANGE OF LAW” - (Hebrews 7:11-12).

Due to human mortality, the Aaronic priesthood was dependent on lineal descent and multiple generations of priests. Humanity's frailty was always a weakness in the system. Therefore, a fundamental change in the law was necessary, or at least, a change in the law of the priesthood and the system of animal sacrifices.


In contrast, the priesthood “after the order of Melchizedek” is perpetual since it is based on the endless resurrected life of the Son. He is, therefore, the “priest forever” who serves in the “real Tabernacle not made with hands” where he intercedes continually for his people - (Hebrews 7:15-17).

Unlike the Aaronic priests, the priest, singular, after the “order of Melchizedek” is installed by the declared word of Yahweh - (“Yahweh swore and will not regret: You are a priest everlastingly”), therefore, he holds the priesthood “un-transmissible.”

Moreover, he became the “guarantor of a better covenant” and saves “to the uttermost” everyone who approaches God through him because he “lives evermore to intercede in their behalf” - (Hebrews 7:19-25).

Under the old system, the high priest entered the “holy of holies” once each year with blood from sacrificial animals TO STAND BRIEFLY in the Sanctuary as he applied animal blood to cleanse the sins of the nation committed in the preceding year.

In contrast, Jesus entered the “real sanctuary” ONCE-FOR-ALL with his own blood to atone for the sins of his people, then he “sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” WHERE HE REMAINS TO THIS DAY.

The tent of the “former” covenant was a mere “glimpse and shadow of the heavenly reality,” just as Moses was told to make the earthly Tabernacle “according to the pattern he saw in the mount” - (Hebrews 8:1-5).

Jesus is also the mediator of a better covenant legislated on better promises. If the “first covenant” had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second one.  However, having found fault with it, the Lord announced the coming days when “I will conclude a new covenant” with Israel - (Hebrews 8:6-7).

And according to Hebrews, the New Covenant is NOT “according to the covenant” made at Sinai. It is NOT a “renewed” or modified covenant, but something new, one that is necessary because the old legislation was incapable of “achieving the purification of sins” - (Hebrews 8:8-13).

By establishing the promised New Covenant, Jesus made the “first one obsolete.” Even now. it is in the process of disappearing, at least, from the perspective of the Letter to the Hebrews.

Thus, the jurisdiction of the Levitical code over the conduct, hopes, and beliefs of the people of God is superseded by the “word of the Son.” Therefore, anyone who wishes to remain under the old system chooses that which is obsolete and incapable of cleansing the stain of sin.


Ekklésia - Assembly of God

Mercy and Enemies