What does Hebrews 7:23-28 really mean?

Hebrews 7:23-28 is about the superiority of Jesus as a high priest compared to the Levitical priests, emphasizing his eternal priesthood, perfect sacrifice for sins, and ability to intercede on behalf of believers for all time.

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.

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Setting the Scene for Hebrews 7:23-28

In Hebrews chapter 7, the scene unfolds in the heavenly realm, where the writer describes Jesus as the eternal high priest. The setting is majestic, with golden hues illuminating the surroundings, and a sense of reverence and awe filling the atmosphere. The heavenly beings are gathered around, their faces glowing with the light of divine presence.

In this scene, Jesus is depicted as the ultimate high priest, who does not need to offer sacrifices daily like the earthly priests. He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on behalf of believers for all time. The writer emphasizes the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood over the Levitical priesthood, highlighting his perfection and ability to save completely those who come to God through him.

The heavenly beings, including angels and saints, are in awe of Jesus’ role as the eternal high priest, and they worship him with songs of praise and adoration. The scene captures the eternal nature of Jesus’ priesthood and the profound impact it has on believers, offering hope and assurance of salvation for all who put their trust in him.

What is Hebrews 7:23-28 about?

This powerful and comforting verse reminds us of the profound role that Jesus plays in our lives as our eternal high priest. Just like the high priests in the Old Testament who served as mediators between the people and God, Jesus stands before God on our behalf. His role as the high priest is not temporary or fleeting, but eternal, showing us the depth of his love and commitment to interceding for us.

Think about it: Jesus, the Son of God, taking on the role of a high priest to bridge the gap between us and the Father. This verse paints a beautiful picture of Jesus standing in the gap for us, ensuring that our prayers, struggles, and needs are presented before God in a way that honors and pleases Him. It is a reminder of the constant love and care that Jesus has for each of us, always advocating on our behalf and offering grace and mercy in our time of need. Let this verse serve as a source of comfort and reassurance, knowing that we have a high priest who understands our humanity and stands with us in our journey towards God.

Understanding what Hebrews 7:23-28 really means

The Book of Hebrews stands out for its emphasis on the superiority of Christ and His priesthood. In this context, Hebrews 7:23-28 takes center stage, shedding light on the eternal nature of Jesus’ priesthood and the sufficiency of His sacrifice. The passage begins by contrasting the Levitical priests, who were numerous due to their mortality, with Jesus, who holds His priesthood permanently because He continues forever. This distinction underscores the temporary nature of the Levitical priesthood, as seen in the transfer of Aaron’s priesthood to Eleazar in Numbers 20:28, highlighting the need for a lasting and unchanging High Priest.

Jesus’ eternal priesthood is further emphasized through Psalm 110:4, which prophesies about the eternal nature of the Messiah’s priesthood. This eternal aspect of Jesus’ priesthood is not merely a theological concept but holds practical significance for believers. The passage declares that Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, pointing to the completeness and sufficiency of His salvation. This assurance is echoed in John 14:6, where Jesus proclaims Himself as the way, the truth, and the life, emphasizing the exclusivity of salvation through Him.

Moreover, Jesus’ role as an intercessor for believers is highlighted, with Romans 8:34 affirming His continuous intercession at the right hand of God. This intercessory ministry provides comfort and assurance to believers, knowing that Jesus is actively advocating for them. The passage also underscores the unique qualifications of Jesus as our High Priest – holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens, as described in 1 Peter 2:22.

The contrast between the Levitical priests and Jesus is further accentuated by the daily sacrifices offered by the former for their sins and those of the people. In contrast, Jesus offered Himself once for all, as emphasized in Hebrews 10:11-12 and 9:26, highlighting the finality and sufficiency of His sacrifice. This once-for-all sacrifice stands in stark contrast to the repetitive offerings of the Levitical system, pointing to the completeness and efficacy of Jesus’ atonement.

In a world where uncertainty and striving for acceptance abound, the eternal security, intercessory ministry, and once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus offer believers profound comfort, assurance, and freedom. Understanding and embracing the implications of Hebrews 7:23-28 can bring peace and confidence in one’s faith journey. As we reflect on the eternal priesthood and perfect sacrifice of Jesus, may we find solace in His unchanging love, unwavering advocacy, and all-sufficient grace.

How can we approach God with confidence?

According to Hebrews 7:23-28, we can approach God with confidence because Jesus, as our eternal high priest, is able to save completely those who come to God through him. Unlike the temporary priests of old who offered sacrifices daily for their own sins and the sins of the people, Jesus offered himself as the perfect and final sacrifice for sin once and for all. Through his sacrifice, he has made a way for us to be reconciled to God and to boldly come before him in prayer and worship.

This passage highlights the superiority of Jesus as our high priest, who is able to intercede for us continuously before God. Because of his perfect sacrifice and ongoing intercession on our behalf, we can have confidence that our prayers are heard and that we have access to God’s presence at all times. It is through Jesus that we can draw near to God with assurance and trust that our sins are forgiven and that we are accepted as beloved children of God. The confidence with which we can approach God is rooted in the atoning work of Jesus Christ as our high priest. His sacrifice has paved the way for us to have direct access to God, free from guilt and condemnation. Jesus is continually interceding for us as we come before God in prayer and worship, fully accepted and loved by God because of the work of Christ on our behalf.

Application

Embrace Jesus as your eternal high priest, who stands before God on your behalf. Hold onto your faith in Him, for He can save you completely. Approach God with confidence, seeking His mercy when you need it most. Will you take this opportunity to trust in Jesus and boldly come before God in prayer?