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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 7 - Verse 28

Verse 28. For the law. The ceremonial law.

Which have infirmity. Who are weak, frail, sinful, dying, Such were all who were appointed to the office of priest under the Jewish law.

But the word of the oath. By which one was appointed after the order of Melchizedek. See Barnes "Heb 7:21".

 

Maketh the Son. The Son of God. That appointment has resulted in his being set apart to this work.

Who is consecrated for evermore. Marg., Perfected. See Barnes "Heb 2:10".

The idea is, that the appointment is complete and permanent. It does not pass from one to the other. It is perfect in all the arrangements, and will remain so for ever.

 

REMARKS.

The subject of this chapter is the exalted high-priesthood of the Redeemer. This is a subject which pertains to all Christians, and to all men. All religions imply the priestly office; all suppose sacrifice of some kind. In regard to the priestly office of Christ: as illustrated in this chapter, we may observe,

(1.) He stands alone. In that office he had no predecessor, and has no one to succeed him. In this respect he was without father, mother, or descent—and he stands in lonely majesty, as the only one who sustains the office, Heb 7:3.

(2.) He is superior to Abraham. Abraham never laid claim to the office of priest, but he recognised his inferiority to one whom the Messiah was to resemble, Heb 7:2,4.

(3.) He is superior to all the Jewish priesthood—sustaining a rank, and performing an office, above them all. The great ancestor of all the Levitical priests recognised his inferiority to one of the rank or "order" of which the Messiah was to be, and received from him a blessing. In our contemplation of Christ, therefore, as priest, we have the privilege of regarding him as superior to the Jewish high priest—exalted as was his office, and important as were the functions of his office; as more grand, more pure, more worthy of confidence and love.

(4.) The great High Priest of the Christian profession is the only perfect priest, Heb 7:11,19. The Jewish priests were all imperfect and sinful men. The sacrifices which they offered were imperfect, and could not give peace to the conscience. There was need of some better system, and they all looked forward to it. But in the Lord Jesus, and in his work, there is absolute perfection. What he did was complete, and his office needs no change.

(5.) The office now is permanent. It does not change from hand to hand, Heb 7:23,24. He who sustains this office does not die, and we may ever apply to him, and cast our cares on him. Men die; one generation succeeds another; but our High Priest is the same. We may trust in him in whom our fathers found peace and salvation, and then we may teach our children to confide in the same High-Priest —and so send the invaluable lesson down to latest generations.

(6.) His work is firm and sure, Heb 7:20-22. His office is founded on an oath, and he has become the security for, all who will commit their cause to him. Can great interests, like those of the soul, be entrusted to better hands? Are they not safer in his keeping than in our own

(7.) He is able to save to the uttermost, Heb 7:25. That power he showed when he was on earth; that power he is constantly evincing. No one has asked aid of him, and found him unable to render it; no one has been suffered to sink down to hell because his arm was weak. What he has done for a few, he can do for "all;" and they who will entrust themselves to him will find him a sure Saviour. Why will not men then be persuaded to commit themselves to him? Can they save themselves? Where is there one who has shown that he was able to do it? Do they not need a Saviour? Let the history of the world answer. Can man conduct his own cause before God? How weak, ignorant, and blind is he! how little qualified for such an office! Has any one suffered wrong by committing himself to the Redeemer? If there is such an one, where is he? Who has ever made this complaint that has tried it? Who ever will make it? In countless millions of instances the trial has been made, whether Christ was "able to save." Men have gone with a troubled spirit, with a guilty conscience, and with awful apprehensions of the wrath to come, and have asked him to save them. Not one of, those who have done this has found reason to doubt his ability; not one has regretted that he has committed the deathless interest of the soul into his hands.

(8.) Christ saves to the uttermost, Heb 7:25. He makes the salvation complete. So the Bible assures us; and so we see it, in fact, as far as we can trace the soul. When a Christian friend dies, we stand at his bed-side, and accompany him as far as we can into the valley of the shadow of death. We ask him whether he feels that Christ is able to save? He replies," Yes." When he has lost the power of speaking above a whisper, we ask him the same question, and receive the same reply. When he gives us the parting hand, and we, still anxious to know whether all is well, ask the same question, a sign, a smile, a lighting up of the dying eye, declares that all is well. As far as we can trace the departing soul, when it goes into the dark valley, we receive the same assurance; and why should we doubt that the same grace is bestowed further onward and that he saves "to the uttermost? " But what else thus saves? Friends give the parting hand at the gloomy entrance to that valley, and the gay and the worldly coolly turn away. The delusions of infidelity there forsake the soul, and minister no comfort then. Flatterers turn away from the dying scene—for who flatters the dying with the praise of beauty or accomplishments? Taste, skill, learning, talent, do not help then—for how can they save a dying soul? None but Jesus saves to the "uttermost;" no other friend but he goes with us entirely through the valley of death. Is it not better to have such a friend than to go alone through that dark, gloomy path? Any other gloomy and dangerous way may be more safely trod without a friend than the vale of death.

(9.) The Christian religion is fitted to our condition, Heb 7:26,27. It has just such a High Priest as we need—holy, harmless, undefiled. Just such an atonement has been made as is necessary —ample, rich, full, and not needing to be made again. It reveals just such truth as we want— that respecting the immortality of the soul, and the glorious state of the redeemed beyond the grave. It imparts just such consolation as is fitted to our condition— pure, rich, unfailing, elevating. It reconciles us to God just as it should be done—in such a way that God can be honoured, and the purity and dignity of his law maintained. It is the religion adapted to dying, ignorant, sinful, wretched man. No other system so much consults the true dignity of our nature, and the honour of God; no one diffuses such consolations through the life that is, or fills with such hopes in regard to the life to come.

(10.) Since, then, we have now such a great High Priest; since the promises of the gospel are settled on so firm a foundation; and since the gospel in its provisions of mercy is all that we can desire it to be, let us yield our hearts entirely to the Saviour, and make this salvation wholly ours. We have the privilege, if we will, of drawing near to God with boldness. We may come near his throne. Though we are poor and sinful, and deserve neither notice nor mercy, yet we may come and ask for all that we need. We may go to God, and supplicate his favour with the assurance that he is ready to hear. We may go feeling that the great atonement has been made for our sins, and that no other offering is now needed; that the last bloody offering which God required has been presented, and that all that he now asks is the sacrifice of a contrite and a grateful heart. All that was needful to be done on the part of God to provide a way of salvation, has been done; all that remains is for man to forsake his sins, and to come back to a God who waits to be gracious.

{1} "consecrated" "perfected"

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