Thursday Morning: 13 Jun 2019 – Hebrews 7:11-28 ~ Jesus guarantees God’s covenant

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Hebrews 7:11-28 (NLT)

So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron?

And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe.

Jesus Is like Melchizedek

This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied,

“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him,

“The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You are a priest forever.’”

Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.

There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.
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Morning Reflection:

Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.
– Hebrews 7:22

In today’s reading, we are introduced to God’s new (better) covenant with Jesus as the guarantor.

The particular word the writer chose to use for covenant conveys the idea of God’s absolute will, e.g. a last will and testament, rather than an agreement between two equal parties, e.g. marriage. It’s a one-sided declaration, rather than a negotiation; and God has appointed his Son, backed by God’s sworn oath, to be its underwriter.

So let’s look at why God appointed Jesus as our High Priest forever –

  • Jesus offered himself, once and for all, as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
  • Jesus’ sacrifice is one of a kind because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin.
  • Jesus has been set apart from sinners, and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.
  • Jesus’ priesthood saves, once and forever, those who come to God through him.
  • Jesus’ priesthood continues forever to intercede with God on our behalf.
  • Jesus’ priesthood lasts forever, because Jesus lives forever.

Questions for consideration:

  • In what way is the new covenant better than the old covenant? Please explain.
  • What do the expressions “once and for all, once and forever” mean to you? How do they relate to your every-day life? Please explain.
  • Since Jesus is continually interceding for you, where do you need his help today? Please explain.
  • How often do you receive the Lord’s Supper in your tradition? Why? Please explain.
  • Have you experienced God’s grace through receiving Communion? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Life Support Prayer:

Gracious God: Thank you for the blessing of our children and the hope they give for the future of our faith. Watch over them and protect them. Thank you for placing them in believing families and faith communities where they can be nurtured by your Word and Spirit and grow into the faith-filled future you prepared for them even before they were born. Help them to find their place in your family, that they may love and serve you to the glory of your name. I ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer of Consecration (Preface): Anglican Church in North America

Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and when we had sinned against you and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent your only Son Jesus Christ into the world for our salvation. By the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary he became flesh and dwelt among us. In obedience to your will, he stretched out his arms upon the Cross and offered himself once for all, that by his suffering and death we might be saved. By his resurrection he broke the bonds of death, trampling Hell and Satan under his feet. As our great high priest, he ascended to your right hand in glory, that we might come with confidence before the throne of grace….

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“Come To The Table” – Sidewalk Prophets

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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