We go on to Hebrews 7:20-28
v20: He was not made priest without an oath: This greater hope was established with an oath. The Old Testament priesthood was established through law (no promises were made), the New Testament truth, concerning Messiah, came through an oath.
v21: This verse from Psalm 110:4 has been repeatedly emphasised.
There is only one New Testament priesthood, of which Messiah is its Great High Priest. We become a kingdom of priests, but He is the One who is effectual in bringing about ministry – it is still His ministry. We can be called a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) because He is the King. We are simply vessels who are used by Him.
- The L-rd has sworn: This New Testament priesthood came about because G-d swore it would, and He confirmed it with an oath. This is an eternal priesthood and cannot be changed or done away with. The Old Testament priesthood was not confirmed with an oath from G-d. This is the reason why it can be done away with.
v22: Yeshua has become a surety (guarantee): The One who ratified (officially validated) this covenant – with His blood – was Messiah Yeshua. We have an oath, as well as Messiah, guaranteeing it.
- A better (superior) covenant: A covenant is an agreement. There can be a human covenant made between individuals. A greater/superior covenant than this, called the New Covenant, was made between G-d and humanity (Jer 31:31-37).
v23: There were many: They died, so they had to be replaced.
v24: But: This is a conjunction that speaks about something being different.
- An unchangeable priesthood: His priesthood cannot be set aside because He does not die.
v25: To the uttermost: The Greek word used here means completely, entirely, perfectly, through all of time. His ministry is sufficient to save us eternally.
- Those who come to G-d through Him: Those who are going to become believers but are not believers already.
- Make intercession for them: Messiah is at the right hand of G-d His Father. The Scripture tells us that He lives forever to make intercession. He did everything completely and does not have to do another thing for our salvation. His blood eternally justifies. He is not making intercession for the maintaining of our salvation. He intercedes for us believers, in regard to our prayers, supplications for help and assistance, strength, healing, deliverance – but this is not the context here. In this verse we are told that He is interceding for those who are not yet believers but who are turning towards G-d, coming to salvation. Without that intercession they would not be able to come to G-d. Salvation is dependent on Him, and that is why He gets all the glory and praise for it.
v26: A (fitting) High Priest: Messiah never sinned. He was an appropriate, perfect, candidate to be of the order of Melchizedek, and to purchase eternal redemption for us by His own blood.
- Holy… undefiled: He is without evil, without stain.
- Higher than the heavens: There is a heavenly realm (angels, the four living creatures etc.) but Messiah has been made higher than even this realm. He is transcendent. There is only One who is above the heavens, and that is G-d Himself. This again confirms to us the divinity of Messiah. This does not mean that He was only made higher than the heavens after the fact. In the Greek grammar this word is in the perfect – which means that this was true for the past, for the present and for the future. What is being declared, here, is that Yeshua received this position, deserved it. When He emptied Himself, He turned away from that privilege (Although He emptied Himself, Phil 2:6-11, He never ceased to be G-d). Now, through obedient perfection, He is restored to that eternal habitation and eternal condition of transcendence.
v27: Does not need daily…to offer up sacrifices: He made One sacrifice when He offered up Himself. There was no need for Him to do it a second time. On the cross Messiah said: “It is finished/complete/perfect.” The first priesthood could not mediate perfection, but Messiah’s priesthood did.
- First for His own sins and then for the peoples: The Old Testament priests had weaknesses. Therefore, they had to first offer up sacrifices for themselves to be in a fitting state to minister and mediate the things of G-d to, and for, the people.
v28: The law appoints as high priests men who have weakness: The priesthood, under the Mosaic law, appointed flawed men (Rom 3:10). Their inadequacy (insufficiency) led to what they accomplished being inadequate. This meant that it could not endure forever. In the future it is going to be done away with, but not yet. There is still a relevance for it as it gives us the perspective and framework to better understand the person and work of Messiah.
- The word of the oath: See explanation of oath in Heb 6:13-18 and Heb 7:20-22
- After the law: This oath came about after the law. It is not rooted in the law, and it supersedes the law. It cannot be transferred by man, but came directly from the mouth of G-d.
- Perfected: Complete, finished. In Greek, the word implies that He was perfect in the past, perfect today and perfect for forever.