(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.Hebrews 7:19(NASB)
Hebrews is the book that sets out to show that the Person and ministry of Lord Jesus is vastly superior to anything that has gone before. It has superseded the Law given to Israel through Moses, and replaced the Aaronic priesthood that came through Levi. Hebrews shows how the old system with its laws, feast days, festivals, and sacrifices, has been replaced with a new and better system.
The old, Mosaic covenant was limited, transient, and inferior to the new administration, which is limitless, eternal, and superior. The old order fulfilled its purpose, which was to point sinners to Christ and the new, perfect order in Christ is able to accomplish what the Law could never do.
While the Law gave some hope that one day, fallen mans' relationship with God could be restored, the new and better system is an eternal administration that is designed to restore our relationship with our Father in heaven, bring us into His holy presence... and be declared righteous in His sight, through time and into eternity.
God gave the old Mosaic Law, with its Levitical Priesthood and the office of 'high priest', to Israel who were His chosen people. They were the nation through whom God chose to bring forth the promised Seed of the woman - the Messiah of Israel and Saviour of the world, Who would come to save His people from their sin.
Israel was the nation whom God chose to be His peculiar people. Israel was His adopted son, to whom belonged the Shekinah glory of God, the covenants of Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and David, the giving of the Law and the prophets, the temple service and sacrifices. To Israel were given the precious promises of God - all of which were to have their fulfilment in Jesus Christ - God's only begotten Son and Heir of all things.
The perfect Law of God was given to Israel to point them to Christ. However, the Law could not make anyone perfect. The Law could only identify the sin in fallen man. The purpose of the Law was to make Israel aware of their sinfulness, show them their need for salvation, and point them to Christ. Paul told us that, "the Law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith," while the mission of God's people was to be a light to the Gentile and bring into the camp of Israel... to bring them to God, so that they might be saved and justified by faith.
While the entire book of Hebrews systematically details Christ's superiority over angelic beings, Moses, the Law, Aaron and the priesthood... chapter seven pays particular attention to Christ's role as our heavenly High Priest - not a priest according to the old Levitical system, but an eternal priesthood... a new and better priesthood, where Christ acts as our heavenly High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Jesus is High Priest of an eternal priesthood... a royal priesthood that reconciles God to man, "with the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God."
Throughout Scripture we see God's plan of redemption unfolding. We see God preparing the world for the arrival of His Son, Who would be the sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. We see the fall of Adam and the need for a blood sacrifice to cover man's sin. We see Abraham as a type of our heavenly Father, offering his son Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. We see Isaac, the only son of promise, as a type of the Lord Jesus - the beloved Son Who was given as the sacrificial offering for the sin of the world and was willing to become a burnt offering - a sweet-smelling savour to the Lord.
We see God giving Israel the perfect Law, which sinful man could never attain. It was given as a signpost pointing the lost sinner to Christ. We recognise much in the old order - the Mosaic Law, the Tabernacle, the sacrifices, the feasts, and the priesthood, as typifying Christ and pointing us to the Person, the ministry, and the finished work of Lord Jesus, which is vastly superior to anything that has gone before.
The Bible could be described as a picture-book, where Christ is the focal point of every image on every page. "Search the scriptures," He challenged the religious leaders, "for they testify of ME!" Scripture is the gradual revealing of the New Order, the New Creation in Christ, and the New and Better Covenant, with its limitless, eternal, and superior administration, "for the Law made nothing perfect, but on the other hand, there is a bringing in of a better hope, our hope in Christ, through Whom we draw near to God."
The Law made nothing perfect, but it was the tool God used to identify sin and point the condemned sinner to Christ for salvation. The Law could not forgive sin but it exposed the shocking truth that all have sinned and all fall short of God's perfect standard, which is only found in the Person and Work of Christ Jesus our Saviour - through Whom ALONE we can draw near to God.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and the truths it contains. Thank You for the Scriptures that point us to Christ and help us to understand that we have all sinned and we all fall short of Your perfect standard. But how we praise You, Lord, that by Your grace You cut a New Covenant through the blood of Christ Jesus, Who has become our Kinsman-Redeemer, and through Whom we can draw near to You, by faith in His sacrificial work. Thank You that we have a new and better hope through faith in Christ and an eternal home in heaven - praise Your holy name, AMEN.