Hebrews 6:18b–20; 7:15–28 comment (0)
October 12, 2006
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: Hebrews 6:18b–20; 7:15–28
Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile
Live in Hope
Hebrews 6:18b–20; 7:15–28
Do Christians have reason to feel hopeless? Certainly. The world situation, intense personal problems, stress at work or even difficulties in their church may sometimes overwhelm Christians to the point of hopelessness.
Yet the followers of Christ, as they trust Him, do not have to feel hopeless about these or any other situations. Christians can rise above circumstances and live with confidence and great hope. Jesus has provided for them the kind of hope they need to be always upbeat about their world, their life and their church regardless of the current situation. As Christians, we can demonstrate the secure hope we have concerning our relationship with Jesus and concerning our future.
Hope: Anchored (6:18b–20)
The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews encouraged his readers to grasp the exceptional hope provided for them by the work of Christ. Their lack of spiritual maturity, coupled with the pressure to return to Judaism, caused them to miss recognizing and enjoying the marvelous hope they had in Christ. The term “hope” does not refer to an optimistic wish as in the statement, “I hope it doesn’t rain today.”
The biblical term “hope” refers to a confident expectation based upon the promises of God. Biblical hope confidently expects God to keep His promises because He is trustworthy. In fact, His promises really turn out to be guarantees. Our hope is an attitude of confidently expecting God to keep His Word.
This is the kind of hope that stabilizes believers in times of difficulty. It is like an anchor holding a ship steady in stormy seas. Our anchor is sure; it cannot break and it is steadfast; it cannot slip. Believers possess, in tough situations, a place of refuge and safety in Christ. We Christians have fled to Jesus and found Him to be our eternal place of safety. He has entered into the presence of God for us as our “forerunner,” our trailblazer, so that one day, we will follow Him into the presence of God.
Jesus, as our eternal High Priest, possesses a priesthood superior to that of Aaron; He is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. As such, Jesus acted, in His death and resurrection, on behalf of sinners and now provides a sure hope to those who trust Him.
Hope: Guaranteed (7:15–22)
This hope is eternal and guaranteed by the Melchizedekan priesthood of Christ. The Jews were accustomed to the priesthood of the tribe of Levi. Aaron, the first high priest, was appointed by God.
But now, with Christ, the Levitical priesthood had come to an end. The writer of the Epistle demonstrated that the Melchizedekan priesthood of Christ has replaced the Levitical priesthood. By its rituals and sacrifices, the Old Testament priesthood could not complete the work of God in the hearts of the worshipers. The Old Testament rituals could not give any worshiper a perfect standing before God, “for the Law made nothing perfect” (v. 19).
However, through Christ’s priesthood, believers find a better hope, fully and finally removing sin as well as providing a new way of access to God. This means that Jesus has become the guarantee of a covenant better than the Mosaic covenant. In His own Person, Jesus guarantees the superiority of the new order; He established a better covenant.
Hope: Secure (7:23–28)
The Old Testament priesthood could never minister in a permanent way since all its priests were subject to death. But the permanent priesthood of Christ gives Him the capacity to carry His ministry through to completion. He is able to save completely and eternally all who come to God through Him. Jesus, being Himself perfect, did not need to offer sacrifices for Himself; instead He offered Himself for our sins once for all. His priesthood is forever and His sacrifice is permanently valid. Our hope is secure.