October 13
‘Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered,’ Hebrews 5:8
Bible reading: Hebrews 7:11-28 (Go to the Bible passage)
Such a long passage we have been reading today and how hard it is to understand! But it really is very important. For here the priestly office of the old covenant is compared with the essentially different priesthood of Jesus.
When God made the covenant with Israel in the desert, that was - of course - a great event. Yet it is completely dwarfed by what God ultimately has in mind for us. The prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31,32) testified of this. ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant (…) It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand…’ And Paul said, ‘It (the covenant of the law) was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus) to Whom the promise referred had come’ (Galatians 3:19).
So God speaks of a new and better covenant, of which Jesus Christ is the High Priest. The old covenant had a hereditary priesthood: the office passed from father to son. The new covenant has only one High Priest Who will remain eternally, for He is risen from the dead and lives forever. Contrary to the ever repeated sacrifices of the Old Testament, He sacrificed for our sins ‘once for all’ when He offered Himself as a complete atonement for all our sins.
Let us therefore no longer live in the old ways, but let us submit ourselves with great joy to the new covenant that God offers to us unconditionally through our eternal High Priest: Jesus Christ. By His sacrifice on the cross of Golgotha He opened for us the way to live a purposeful and fruitful life, reconciled with God, in the service of our Lord and of everyone He makes our neighbors.
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