Happy New Year and welcome back to our Hebrews Study!! I have missed meeting with you each week.
Heather, a huge thank you for guest posting and sharing such a beautiful and practical devotion with us. The winner of Heather’s giveaway is Cheryl Downey who posted on January 4th at 10:22 a.m. Please contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your gift.
As we jump back into our study, let’s do a bit of review that I think will be helpful to the next several chapters as we dig deep into the priesthood of Jesus. Remember only men from the tribe of Levi were able to serve as priests under Old Testament Law. And then, not all Levites qualified. Only those who were descendants of Moses’ brother, Aaron, could serve as priests. In this chapter, we will learn even more about the Levitical priesthood and why Jesus’ priesthood is superior.
Below please find the video lesson for Hebrews Chapter 7.
This Week’s Memory Verse: But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lives forever. Hebrews 7:24.
This Week’s Prayer:
Heavenly Father, You have taught me so much about You and Your Son over the last six chapters. Thank You for Your Word and how it confirms itself over and over again from Old Testament to New Testament. Thank You for loving us so much that You did not leave us in a place where we had to be separated from You and could only be in Your Presence through a priest. Thank You for sending Jesus so that we could be in an intimate, personal relationship with You. Thank You that anytime I want to talk with You, I can. Thank You that because of Jesus, You hear me. I love You, Lord.
Assignment: Read Hebrews Chapter Seven
1. Melchizedek is a type of Christ, yet Scripture tells us very little about him. Despite this lack of information, the author of Hebrews uses Melchizedek to help us understand the central, most important, aspect of Judaism…the priesthood…and why Melchizedek’s priesthood is greater than that priesthood. Let’s begin with this question: Who is Melchizedek?
- Read Hebrews 7:1-3. Name the two titles given Melchizedek in verse 1.
- What did Melchizedek do for Abraham?
- What did Abraham do in response?
- Share what else you learn about Melchizedek in verses 2 and 3.
2. Melchizedek’s priesthood was royal. Scripture identifies him as not only a priest but also the King of Salem. As we learned earlier in our study, Old Testament law did not allow this dual role of priest and king. But it was predicted by the prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 6:13 which says,
“It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.”
And as we have already studied in Psalm 110 (verses 1 and 4), David also speaks to a Messiah who will be both Priest and King.
- Read Hebrews 7:2 and list Melchizedek’s two titles and their meanings.
By his name alone, Melchizedek represented righteousness and peace. These are two words that often go together in Scripture and are usually associated with Jesus.
- Read Psalm 85:10, Isaiah 11:5-6, and Isaiah 32:16-18. Share what they speak to you.
3. Melchizedek’s priesthood was personal. It was not hereditary. The author of Hebrews identifies him, not by his blood line or genealogy but by the statement that he was a priest of “God Most High.” For Old Testament priests, genealogy was everything. If a man was not a Levite and a descendant of Aaron, the law forbid him from serving as a priest.
- What problems could arise due to the fact that priests were chosen by blood line and not character? How did God solve this problem? (For an example, read 1 Samuel 2:12-16, 27-34)
- What does Hebrews 7:3 say about Melchizedek’s family history?
- Why do you think it significant that there is no record of his genealogy?
4. Melchizedek was eternal. A Levitical priest served from age twenty-five to age fifty. The Levitical priesthood itself began with Moses and ended with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. But there is no biblical recording of Melchizdedek’s priesthood ending or beginning. It just was.
- Scholars believe this symbolizes the eternality of his priestly order and is yet another piece of evidence that Melchizedek’s priesthood is a t_ _ _ of Christ’s eternal priesthood.
5. Read Hebrews 7:4-7 and share two ways these verses affirm Melchizedek’s greatness as a priest.
6. What we learn from Melchizedek’s life is that priesthood is NOT based on inheritance alone. The key to priesthood is that it is received directly from God. For Old Testament priests, priesthood came through God’s Law. And because the Old Testament Levitical priesthood was based on the Law, God needed to establish a different priesthood for Jesus because He did not qualify under the Law since He was from the tribe of Judah, not Levi.
Also, the purpose of the priesthood was to reconcile men to God through a system of sacrificial offerings. And it accomplished this purpose to a point. But it was imperfect in that it could not give men complete access to God. Perfection would only come when they could offer full and complete access to God.
- Read John 14:6. What does it say? To whom was Jesus speaking?
- Read Hebrews 10:1-2. How does this reinforce what we just read?
7. The truth the author wants his audience to know is that the Old Covenant sacrifices offered in the Temple only covered the sins of the people. They never removed them. Had the sacrifices fully and completely removed sin, the priests would not have had to offer them day after day, year after year.
- Read Jeremiah 31:31-34. What does this say and how does it support what the author of Hebrews is saying?
8. Remember the author’s audience as you read this and how absurd his words must have sounded to them. They were Jews steeped in the tradition of sacrificial offerings. I am certain that they could not fathom the idea that the priesthood Moses had instituted thousands of years earlier was temporary, inadequate, and imperfect. It was all they knew. Day in and day out, year in and year out they faithfully brought their sacrifices. Now this teacher…this man…this religious leader was telling them it was no longer valid. He was telling them the old priesthood had been replaced by Jesus and that He was now the new way to receive forgiveness of sin and access to God.
- Read Hebrews 7:12. Of what does the author speak here?
- Define the word “change.”
- What would you have thought if you were a Jew sitting in his audience? Would his words have convinced you?
9. Read Hebrews 7:15-17. Below you will find verses 15-16.
And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.
Let’s examine the word “another” for a moment. The Greek language has two words for “another.” Allos, meaning another of the same kind, and heteros meaning another of a different kind. Allos indicates the adding of another, a quantitative difference. Heteros indicates a change in type or kind, a qualitative difference. As applied to Hebrews 7:15, the author is saying Jesus is not another Levitical priest like those who ministered in the temple. He is a completely different kind of priest.
- Now read Hebrews 7:18-19. Why did the author of Hebrews state that the old requirements for priesthood were “weak and useless (NLT)” or “weak…and unprofitable…(NKJV)?
10. The climax of his case comes now with the author telling his audience that Aaron has been replaced by Christ. The old has been set aside for the new.
- What is the better hope in which we have confidence in Hebrews 7:19?
- If you had to distinguish the old and new system as they relate to sin, what do you believe is the most profound difference?
- Read 1 Peter 1:10-12. Share your thoughts on this passage and how it relates to our lesson this week.
11. Hebrews 7:20-22 tells us God established the new system with an oath.
- Find the oath. From where does it originate? Identify the three places we already have seen it in Hebrews (hint: chapters 5 and 6)
- Quite often when God does a big thing, He does it with an oath. Not because it makes His promise any more valid or reliable, but because the oath places emphasis on the importance of what He is saying. If you want to go a bit deeper on this subject, read Genesis 22:16-18. If you do this, share how God used an oath here and why.
- Read Hebrews 7:22 again. What does this passage tell us about Jesus’ role?
- Describe what having Jesus as your surety (or guarantor) means in your own life?
12. Read Hebrews 7:23-28. Let’s focus on Hebrew 7:25 because contains a most marvelous promise. Below please find this verse in several translations to give you greater insight into the verse.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (KJV)
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (NIV)
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (NASB)
Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save] those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. (NLT)
- Spend some time with this verse and these translations. Share what God speaks to your heart.
- Friend, the promises found in these verses should fill our hearts to overflowing with praise and gratitude! According to Hebrews 7:25, who does God save?
- What is the assurance we have in the last half of Hebrews 7:25?
13. Christianity is often criticized for claiming Jesus is the only way to God. Christians make this claim because it is what the inerrant, unchangeable, eternal Word of God says.
- Read John 14:6. What does Jesus say here?
Jesus is not only able to save. He is the only one able to save. His the only one who has been given authority by God to free people from the slavery of sin and death. Jesus alone delivers us from ALL sin…past, present, and future. There is no other requirement for salvation than faith…faith in Jesus. All God asks is for in return is a humble and contrite heart, a tender and remorseful heart that desires forgiveness above all else.
And, if that is not enough, once we receive forgiveness, Jesus remains near, ever interceding on our behalf.
Picture yourself bowing before Him and confessing your sins…your critical spirit…your gossiping tongue…your unforgiving heart?
Now, listen to His words as He goes before His Father in heaven on your behalf:
“Father, I know it looks bad. I know this is her third time asking for forgiveness about this. But she is struggling. She is trying. She is praying. She is on her knees. She is broken. Remember, Father, I have already paid for what she has done. My grace is sufficient. She has been forgiven. See my righteousness in her, Father.”
Because of what Jesus has done, sweet sister in Christ, you and I are able to stand in the presence of a Holy God and be found blameless and holy in His sight! Can you think of a greater gift?
As we end today, I have two questions for us to ponder.
*Do you believe what we have studied this week is Truth? If you do, how does it encourage you as you interact with your Father in heaven?
*Will you take time to thank God for the gift of Jesus in your life? Journal how He moves your heart. Stay in this place a while and praise Him…thank Him…feel Him…need Him…love Him. He is most worthy!
May God richly bless you this week as you spend time in Hebrews Chapter 7. Please share your thoughts with us as you read, study, and pray. I will be praying for all of us as we dig deeper with Him.