As we walk through Hebrews in our reading plan, below are a few additional thoughts, questions, commentary, and quotes. These aren’t designed to substitute your personal study and reflectionon God’s Word, but they’re small supplements to your study. It’s always helpful to begin your study by reading the passage and making some basic observations. See the post “Making Observations” for basic questions to help you understand and apply what you’re reading.
Study, Reflection, and Discussion Questions
- Chapter 7 reiterates that Jesus perfectly and completely pays for our sin and saves us forever, so there’s nowhere else we need to turn to deal with our sin. How might you apply this when you fall into sin or are discouraged by failures?
- Write out at least ten things you this passage teaches us about the person or work of Jesus?
- Another way to think of Jesus’ ministry in heaven as our High Priest is to view him as our advocate (see 1 John 1:8-2:2; Rom. 8:31-34). What does it mean that Jesus is our advocate?
- Jesus being our advocate could be interpreted (wrongly) to make it seem like Jesus has to win the Father over to our side or that the Father and Jesus are on different sides. But why is it important to remember here that Jesus is the Son and perfect revelation of the Father (see Heb. 1:1-4)?
- In 8:1-2, and throughout Hebrews (see 4:14; 6:18-20; 9:24), the author emphasizes Jesus’ place in heaven, at the right hand of the Father, to give us comfort, assurance, and confidence. Why is the place Jesus is right now such an encouragement to us?
|The Levitical Priests and their Old Covenant Ministry||Jesus and His New Covenant Ministry|
|Weak and insufficient (18)||A better hope (19) and better covenant (20) because it doesn’t suffer from weaknesses or insufficiencies|
|They were priests without an oath (20, 28)||Priest by God’s oath (20, 28)|
|Many in number due to their sin and deaths (23)||Only one priest, because he lives forever (24)|
|[Unable to save] (11, 18)||Saves us to the uttermost (11, 25)|
|They offer animal sacrifices (27)||Offers himself and his perfect blood (27)|
|They must daily make sacrifices (27)||He offered himself once for all (27)|
|They were weak and sinful (28)||He is holy (26), perfect (28), and the Son (28)|
|Were made priests by law through descent (16)||Made an eternal priest by his indestructible life (16)|
|Minister on earth as prefigures to the reality (8:15)||Ministers in the heavenly reality (8:1-2)|
|Mediate the old covenant that passes away (8:7-9)||Mediates the new covenant that remains (8:6-13)|
For Further Study
- High Priest: Ex. 28:9-10; Lev. 16; Heb. 7:25; 8:1; 10:21; John 17.
- Watch a Bible Project video on “The Covenants” or “Sacrifice & Atonement” at bibleproject.com.
- Christ as Ascended Priest: “Celebrating Ascension Day: 4 Things Jesus is Doing Right Now” by Dustin Crowe at indycrowe.com; “Differences Between Jesus and the Levitical Priests” by Justin Taylor at thegospelcoalition.org; “Jesus Ever Lives Above, for You to Intercede” by Gavin Ortlund (interviewing D. A. Carson) at thegospelcoalition.org;
Ideas for Response
- Meditate on the permanency of Christ’s priesthood and the place of Christ’s priesthood in heaven. In confidence through Jesus, draw near to God in worship, prayer, and communion with Him.
- Spend time in confession of sin. That doesn’t require a “big sin” but we live in the reality that we daily fall short of God’s glory and sin against him. Hebrews 7-8 should encourage us with the knowledge that Christ fully paid for our sin and intercedes for us now, and through him, God invites us to draw near.
- Encourage someone today or this week with the reminder of Christ’s current, ongoing, active ministry on our behalf.