Change of Law

Since this “Word spoken in a son” is complete and definitive, it is “better than” the partial revelations of the past “spoken in the prophets.” Unlike his predecessors, the Son, “having achieved the purification of sins,” sat down at God’s right hand where he remains to this day mediating for his people as their faithful High Priest. Logically, this means that the previous “words” by the prophets and the ministries of the Levitical priests proved insufficient to remove the stain of sin from the covenant community.

The Letter to the Hebrews demonstrates the superiority of the word in the “Son” by contrasting his priesthood, covenant, and sacrifice to the Levitical priesthood, covenant, and repeated animal sacrifices performed in the ancient Tabernacle.

Spring Flowers - Photo by Kouji Tsuru on Unsplash
[Photo by Kouji Tsuru on Unsplash]

The fact that God promised a future priesthood “
after the order of Melchizedek” demonstrated beyond doubt that the Levitical priesthood and sacrifices were incapable of achieving the “purification of sins” and cleansing the individual believer’s conscience.

The former priestly order required multiple priests and animal sacrifices, and it was received at Mount Sinai as part of the Mosaic legislation. Therefore, the promised change in the priesthood also meant a “CHANGE OF LAW” - (Hebrews 7:11-12).

Due to human mortality, the Levitical priesthood was dependent on lineal descent and multiple generations of qualified priests. Humanity's frailty was always the weakness of the system. Therefore, a fundamental change in the law itself became necessary, or at least, a change in the regulations that governed the priesthood, the annual calendar, and sacrifices for sin.

THE NEW HIGH PRIEST


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 now intercedes continually for his “brethren” - (Hebrews 7:15-17).

Unlike the old priesthood, this priest after the “order of Melchizedek” was installed by the word and oath 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” that saves “to the uttermost” everyone who approaches God through him because he “lives evermore to intercede in their behalf” - (Hebrews 7:19-25).

The old 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 and 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 Tabernacle carried by Israel in the wilderness was a mere “glimpse and shadow of the heavenly reality,” just as Moses was told to make the earthly Tent “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).

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 purifying sins and the human conscience - (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, and it is governed by a different set of rules than the Mosaic legislation.

Thus, the jurisdiction of the Levitical code over the conduct, hopes, and beliefs of the people of God has been 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 either the stain of sin or a guilty conscience.



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