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  • Henry Omotayo

The Law: A Placeholder

Hebrews 7:11-28, 8:1-13

Message No. 0559 | Twitter @GodandUs |

Just as a regent is a temporary administrator for a monarch who is a minor, an interim government is a government that is temporary, with the anticipation of an election in a near future. The most prominent interim government type here on earth, most people would agree, is the military government. The military recently sacked an elected government in Myanmar, and neither the country nor the civilized world has any good thing to comment on this action. A temporary government is often not perfect, but a reflection of the hope of the people. Policies are temporary and procedures are transient. Officials are transitional and if things don’t work well, they expect that a substantive government will correct them.

When God handed the Law down to Moses, it was like handing thousands of parts of a machine to a non-engineer. What God wanted was the whole, but there was no entity who could represent or reflect the whole. God appointed Aaron and his family into priesthood, but they were weak, imperfect people. The chief priest was expected to make sacrifices to atone the sins of the people, but he needed his own sins atoned also. How could an imperfect person present before a perfect God an atonement for imperfect people? It was like God holding His nose to accept a sacrifice that did not remedy sin.

In Hebrews 7:11, the Bible says:

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?

Survival under the law was questionable, because the law was administered by people who weren’t faultless. People were stoned to death by those who themselves should be stoned to death. People were judged by individuals who deserved judgement. The entire procedure under the law was a placeholder for a more glorious future. At the height of administration under the law, some administrators had constituted themselves into feared, untouchable people whose words and decisions were final. They were so powerful and so defensive of their positions that they wanted Jesus dead, by every means, in order to preserve their privileges. It was like an existential fight!

When the time was ripe, God decided to institute the real thing. In order to do that, however, He had to sack the prevailing order. Under the law, priests handed over to priests because, according to Hebrews 7:23, “there were many priests because they were prevented by death from continuing.” Under the new order, death was too small to prevent the High Priest. In verse 24, the Bible says that He, the new Priest, continues for ever and has an unchangeable priesthood. Under the law, daily sacrifices needed to be made, but, of the High Priest under the New Covenant, the Bible says:

For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself (Hebrews 7:26-27).

In verse 28, the Bible further says:

For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Living under the New Covenant is a breath of fresh air, for which every child of God should be grateful. Sin is horrible and we should not indulge in it; we cannot continue in sin and expect grace to abound. However, in the (unwanted) circumstance that sin happens, there are no faulted self-righteous individuals to stone anyone to death anymore. Rather, there is One who appears before God to remind Him of the sacrifice that He already gave. This is what the Bible says about the New Covenant, in Hebrews 8:7-12:

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Do you appreciate what Christ has done for you? Think about this, because if God has made salvation so free, it becomes impossible for anyone to explain why he or she ignored it. Please don’t put yourself in this position. Have a blessed week!

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
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