887. Hope from our Great High Priest

Today’s post is all about a stronger hope because of a greater High Priest.

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

Hebrews 6 sets the stage for an introduction of Christ as our Great High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. To better grasp what that is all about, let’s look at verses sixteen through twenty:

For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

high priestAs we read this, it is clear that it has something to do with hope, which we all desperately need, but what exactly is that hope, and what does it have to do with oaths and high priests? Today in a court of law, a promise to tell the truth isn’t sufficient. We must take an oath. A promise from God, however, is all we need since it is impossible for Him to lie. Yet, because He wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose crystal clear to us as we come to Him, especially in times of trouble, He condescended to add a solemn oath to His promise.

Because of His promise and oath, all those who read the original letter and those of us who read it today are encouraged to take hold of the hope that is being offered. But what exactly is that hope? Verses nineteen and twenty tell us that it is the Melchizedek ministry of Jesus. As our Great High Priest whose office is superior to that of the earthly high priests, He has entered, not only within the veil, but heaven itself on our behalf. He stands ready today to offer love, peace, joy, comfort, forgiveness, strength, whatever we need. He has become a true refuge in time of trouble.

AS I SEE IT

The better we understand his continual and unending role, the greater our hope as we come to Him when things get rough. He will hold us steady just like an anchor does for a ship when itship-in-storm becomes battered by a storm. The original readers were familiar with the role of the earthly high priests whose ministry ended when they died. Perhaps the most significant characteristic of the Melchizedek priesthood is that it is eternal. It is consistent with no gaps.

Verses fifteen and sixteen of Chapter Seven elaborate on this characteristic by stating that when another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, He will have done so because of the power of an indestructible life. What a picture of a mighty, immovable Savior offering hope to His weak and shaken people!

 

anchor-christI decided to write this article not to expound on some scriptural interpretation. I wanted to create a picture we could call to mind when things get rough and we really need help. The picture the author of Hebrews presents is one of our faith entering the sanctuary in heaven. Jesus is sitting on the throne. Our faith grabs hold of Jesus’ grace and mercy to the degree that it is held fast, as if by a great anchor, withstanding the waves of trouble and especially doubt.

In the midst of all we are going through, our faith remains steady because of our eternal Great High Priest. As we focus on Him instead of the waves that crash against us, our hope grows into certainty. His priesthood is firm and forever, as is His love for us. Because His priesthood is of the order of Melchizedek, our hope remains sure. Hallelujah!

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