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Today’s message is from Hebrews 7:24, “he has a permanent priesthood.“ Same as the previous message, we will learn from verse 24. I believe verses 24 and 25 are important words. Christ lives forever and acts as an intercessor for us as a permanent priest. We would like to accept this God’s promise with faith. We have learned so far that Jesus entered the Holy of Holies in heaven as our forerunner and became a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Through the expression of a high priest in the order of Melchizedek, a new priest who was not a Levite priest was chosen by God, and he brought a liberation from the Old Testament law. Selecting a new high priest was God’s plan, and God brought about such a revolution, with the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. The mediator of the new covenant is Christ. We would like to learn these things today. Now, please read Hebrews 7: 24-8: 13.
Hebrews 7:26 says,「Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.」(Hebrews 7:26 NIV) Jesus is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, but it is also clear that he was not completely different from us. Jesus never sinned, but as Hebrews 2:17 says,「For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.」(Hebrews 2:17 NIV)
He is the one who was with the sinners and he understood their sufferings and difficulties. At the end, he was crucified taking our sins on the cross. Hebrews 4:15 says,「For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.」(Hebrews 4:15 NIV)
Since Jesus is such a high priest who understand our weaknesses, we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. I’m really thankful for that. Hebrews 7:26 also mentioned that Jesus is exalted above the heavens, which reminds us of how Jesus was raised to heaven. Luke 24:50 describes Jesus raising his hand to his disciples and blessing them. And while he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. It is promised that Jesus will come back in the same way (Acts 1:11). I am truly grateful that Jesus is praying for us and blessing each of us, both on earth and in heaven. We need such a Savior, who prays for us.
Hebrews 7:27 says,「Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.」(Hebrews 7:27 NIV)
Here, the difference between the sacrifice offered by the high priest appointed under the Old Testament law and the sacrifice of Christ himself as the high priest, that is, the work of redemption, is contrasted. In the time of Old Testament, priests offered sheep and other sacrifices on a daily basis. In the New Testament, the Savior Jesus gave his life on the cross, and his sacrifice was only once, and that was enough. The work of redemption for the sins of the people was completed in just one time. The differences are so clear to see. Jesus once offered himself on the cross. Because of that one time event, sacrifices for our sins are completed. It’s such a wonderful and powerful thing! English translation uses the expression “Once for all”. It means all at once. We would like to remember that the work of redemption on the cross that completed everything was once for all.
Hebrews 7:28 says「For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.」(Hebrews 7:28 NIV)
The oath is written in Psalm 110:4, which is introduced in verse 21.「“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ”」(Hebrews 7:21 NIV)
The Lord’s oath was to give the savior Jesus, and that Jesus is the high priest forever. Jesus is the eternal priest, that is what God has promise. Verse 28 also says “The Son who has been made perfect forever”, and it means Jesus has fulfilled our salvation forever by offering himself only once. The new covenant is to have the Son as a mediator, and we remember that every month as we have communion together.
Hebrews 8:8-13 introduce the scripture from Jeremiah 31:31. Here, it is prophesied that God himself will end the era of the Old Testament and bring the new era of the New Testament. This promise came true when Jesus was made as a mediator. From the perspective of the New Testament, the Old Testament is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven (8: 5). It is the age of the New Testament now. Through the New Testament, we can learn the Word of Christ and the mighty work of Christ. We can also learn the will of God through many letters in the New Testament. Above all, the Holy Spirit works within us and we can experience a living fellowship with Christ. And a new era has already begun in which we can live a life encouraged by Jesus as a priest. Christ has a permanent priesthood. We would like to accept it and experience this truth in our lives.