Our text for Week 4 was Hebrews 7:1-28. This week, we studied about the Levitical priesthood. We began with considering the story of Moses and the bronze snake. (see Numbers 21) The bronze snake had represented God’s faithfulness, yet over time, the snake became an object of worship. The people had taken a sacred object and twisted the intent and turned it into a false god. (see 2 Kings 18:4) Have you ever turned something good into an idol? For instance, the bible could become an idol if a person chooses it over their relationship with God, Himself. Or maybe the idol is a tradition practiced in the church.
The priesthood in ancient times had become part of the national identity of the people. The idea of someone becoming the high priest and pronouncing, no more priests were needed, was radical and unnerving. The priest was their go-between with God. How would they meet with Him if they didn’t have a priest from the tribe of Levi? Jesus, our great high priest was and is the answer.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
“but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them…He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” Hebrews 7:24,25,27
Jesus was of the house of David from the tribe of Judah. (see Hebrews 7:14) From a human perspective, Jesus had no claim to the Levitical priesthood but God ordained him to be priest following the order of Melchizedek. We spent half of our lesson learning about Melchizedek and comparing him to Jesus. We looked at comparative passages from Genesis 14:17-20 and Psalm 110:1-4. We then considered the reasons why Jesus is a greater priest than Melchizedek and how Jesus fulfills the duties, requirements and service of the Levitical priesthood.
Questions to Consider:
- How do you think the persecuted Jewish believers may have felt about trusting someone new and unfamiliar?
- What ancient traditions of Christian culture do you hope the community of faith continues to observe?
- What new trends in Christian culture make you uncomfortable?
- In an overview of the description of Melchizedek, which traits do you see reflected in the life of Jesus?
The video is a little long but I think you’ll enjoy Dr. Terry Harman describing the high priest’s garments.
Begin Week 5 this week. Only a couple of weeks left!
Have a great week,