Hebrews 7:11–28 (ESV)
Jesus Compared to Melchizedek
11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people
received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is
necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our
Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises
in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is
introduced, through which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but
this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’ ”
22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better
23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but
he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those
high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but
the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.
Though the Levitical priesthood could not bring the fullness of God’s salvation, Jesus, the sinless and
perfect Priest, serves eternally as the one who brings our needs to the Father. In Him we have access to God’s blessings. His perfect work reminds us that death will always cut short even the best effort that anyone makes to serve God. However, Jesus
freely brings us God’s eternal blessings through His sacrificial death.
I pray: Father, thank You for providing us with a true High Priest, who serves us with purity and perfection. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran
Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2114.