TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:18-19 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Today, I want to go to Hebrews 7. This is an interesting chapter of Hebrews that compares the high priesthood of Jesus to the priest Melchizedek, who is a mysterious person mentioned only briefly in Genesis and again in Psalm, before the author of Hebrews wrote about him. I have read several theories on Melchizedek and haven’t arrived at a super strong opinion beyond the fact that his name is fun to say. But let’s go specifically to Hebrews 7:18-19 which says, “For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.”
It’s the words in parentheses that I want to touch on first… “for the law made nothing perfect.” Amen. Beyond the fact that we cannot possibly do anything to “earn” our salvation, including following the law to complete perfection, our society is proof that the law doesn’t fix things. My husband shared a quote from Greg Laurie that says, “The reason we have tens of thousands of pages of laws in this country is because we can’t (or won’t) settle on God’s 10 laws.”
Ha! Isn’t that the truth?! We have laws against looting and riots. Guess what’s happening on the streets of America?! We have laws against vandalism. Have you seen what the “citizens” of CHOP have done to their occupied corner of Seattle?! Or what protestors have done to our historical monuments? We have laws about how we interact with one another, including freedom of speech, but in this country, it seems that law only applies to the people who agree with your point of view. The tolerance that is preached and demanded by others is only tolerant to the point of complete agreement; otherwise, it’s not as simple as “we disagree.” Instead, disagreement means you’re a hateful bigot. So we can see clear evidence that the law is only as good as the people who are willing to abide by it.
The same is true with biblical law. We have failed. It started with ten simple commandments that God gave to Moses and which Jesus eventually summarized in two: “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV).
When you think about it, seriously—how hard is this?! Ten Commandments were too hard so Jesus boiled it down to two and we still can’t get it right! Sometimes I wonder why on earth He puts up with us. I’m so grateful He does though…
And with that said, we go to the last part of the verse… “on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.”
This hope is, of course, Jesus! First Peter 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”
Y’all have undoubtedly picked up on my incredible frustrations about our current circumstances and I know with confidence that you share them. Yesterday was the first time in a while that the whole thing pushed me almost to tears but I held it together with the thought of this single truth: My hope is in Jesus. I’m reminded of the song lyrics, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…”
The law is clearly not what is going to save this country and it won’t save the world. But Jesus can. If we continue to lean on Him and through these trials, encourage others to lean on Him, we can take comfort in our ultimate High Priest who, having once taken up the mantle of humanity, understands our fears. But because He lives, hope is possible. Let’s wrap up with Hebrews 6:19-20 which says, “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being the one High Priest we need, who intercedes for us, died for us, and through His resurrection and salvation, gives us hope. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you trust in these promises more than you trust in laws or people. Ask Him to embolden your heart to share the hope of Jesus with others.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.