March 20th 2020: Hebrews 7:11-28

You can read today’s post here: Hebrews 7:11-28

Hebrews is a complicated book. It, or the English translations of it at least – I can’t claim to have read in other languages – is full of close argument and complex sentences which take a lot of unpicking. Take the 18 verses we’re given in the Morning Prayer Reading from the Church of England today. People could write books about exactly what is being argued here. Indeed it’s been done. But breaking it down to the core important single point the writer is making is what I am hoping to do in the next few sentences.

The writer is making the point that God set up priesthood – people who point people to God and represent them to Him -first with the tribe of Levi and Aaron. The covenant – the contract or relationship between God ands people – was continually broken by the people as they turned from God and did their own thing, living life in their own way. And so God set up priesthood in a new line, the order of Melchizedek – Melchizedek means ‘My King is Righteousness” – God wanted a King who was truly good, in the deepest, most meaningful and foundational sense of the word and so Jesus, who was ultimately good, ultimately put the kingdom of God first, justice mercy, joy and peace first and showed what true love was, this man was able to properly show God to people and people to God and so the new relationship was made possible.

I’ve tried to keep that short and so would probably be accused by some of cutting corners or missing out something central to Christian belief and history, but the key point is this: we couldn’t ever get to the point where we were who we were designed to be on our own. We needed Jesus to show us what it is to be a Godly person. He put God first in His life. He put the needs of others before His own. He didn’t ask to be served. He served others instead. His actions backed up His words. And His words shared love, joy, mercy and peace, as well as justice and a warning that one day a moment will come for each of us where we will be asked to account for what, or who we put first in our own lives. Jesus sacrificed everything so that we who often put ourselves first, so selfishly, don’t receive the consequences our selfish actions deserve. If we put our trust in him, ask for forgiveness for what is gone past and every day seek to live facing in a new direction, his direction, then we can be free in the freest sense of the word free.

I want that kind of freedom, but not so that I can put my feet up, metaphorically or literally and live just as I want to, but so that I can live in a way that is as close to the way that Jesus did it as I possibly can. Wouldn’t it be good to feel free? It doesn’t mean things won’t be hard or go wrong in the future, but it does mean that we have the kind of freedom, the kind of peace, that it is just not possible to manufacture on our own.

Something to do

Commit to doing 5 things tomorrow that will definitely put someone else first, rather than just making you happy or more comfortable.

Something to pray

Ask God to show you things from today from your life which have been selfish, have hurt others, hurt you or been not the way that he would want. Ask him to forgive you. If you do that and really mean that you won’t live the same way from now on, you can know that you are free. Make sure to (safely!) spread some of that freedom tomorrow.

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