Hebrews 6:19-7:9: The Highest High Priest
Read: Hebrews 6:19-20, Hebrews 7:1-9: The Highest High Priest
The author of Hebrews has already shown that Jesus is God, that Jesus is superior to angels, and superior to Moses — as if that wasn’t enough already. Here in Chapter 7, the author of Hebrews argues for Jesus superiority over Abraham and the Levitical line of priests. He does this by showing a pecking order in terms of who was giving and who was receiving tithes. The author of Hebrews recalls again Melchizedek from Genesis 14:18-19. He recalls that Melchizedek name means “King of Righteousness” and that he was “King of Salem” – that is the “King of Peace”. He also recalls that Melchizedek was a priest of “El Elyon”, which means the “God Most High”, a title given to Abraham’s God in Genesis 14:22. Melchizedek was a priest-king who, as the author of Hebrews argues, was a priest with no lineage that entitled him or even a record of his birth and death. He was otherwise an obscure, foreign king, yet he was priest, and Abraham paid tribute to him, and he blessed Abraham. The blessing is significant, because generally speaking it is the greater who blesses the lesser. In this case, Melchizedek is blessing Abraham. The author Hebrews then argues that the Levites were descendants of Abraham making them a lesser to Abraham. In short, Melchizedek is greater than Abraham, and Abraham is greater than the Levitical priests. Likewise, author of Hebrews says that Melchizedek is like the Son of God. If this is so then Jesus is greater than even Melchizedek because Jesus is the Son of God. A priest of Jesus’ standing can be no higher.
Because Jesus is the High Priest, he can enter the “behind the veil”. In the temple and tabernacle, there was a place in the center that was called the “Holy of Holies”. Only the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies, and he did so only once a year to make an offering for his own sin and the sins of Israel. Jesus, however, can enter in to the Holy of Holies on his own accord because he is without spot or blemish. Hebrews 6:19 calls this a “hope that enters in”, and this is on behalf of those who he represents before God. Hebrews 10:19-22 shows that through Jesus the hearts of those who believe are cleaned and consciences of sin are cleared. This is not done in timidity, rather in confidence because of who the High Priest is.
Lord, because you are my priest, I am confident that my sins are washed away!