Hebrews 7-8 “A More Excellent Ministry”
Chapters 7-10 form a wonderful treatise regarding the Savior Jesus Christ and the higher priesthood and law. Note the following regarding chapters 7-8:
- What significant things did Paul teach about Melchizedek, in Hebrews 7:1-2, 4?
- In verse 11, Paul points out that the Levitical priesthood (Aaronic or lesser priesthood) and the law of Moses did not possess sufficient authority to lead anyone to perfection, thus necessitating the “order of Melchizedek” (the higher or Melchizedek priesthood), as ministered by Jesus Christ (who is referred to as “another priest”), supplanting and exceeding the priests who ministered under the law of Moses.
- Verse 12 refers to the “change” (fulfillment) of the law of Moses.
- Verses 13-14 point out an additional change; the Savior Jesus Christ being of the tribe of Judah—unlike prior priests who were of the tribe of Levi.
- Jesus Christ can be considered a priest “after the similitude of Melchisedec” (verses 15-17; see also verse 21); showing us why Paul cited Melchizedek’s example in verses 1-2, 4.
- Again, the “commandment going before” (the law of Moses; verse 18) could not bring its adherents fully to Christ and the Father; which is remedied by the “better hope” of the gospel of Jesus Christ (verse 19).
- Again also, the priests of the law of Moses ministered “without an oath [and covenant]” (verse 21).
- What else do you gain in regard to the superiority of Jesus Christ and the Melchizedek priesthood, from verses 22-28; as well as Hebrews 8:1-2, 6-9? What tremendous promises of the Lord does Paul cite in 8:10-12?
Hebrews 9-10 “The Mediator of the New Testament”
Use the diagram below and Hebrews 9:1-10, 19-21 to find the elements of the tabernacle of the children of Israel in the wilderness:
Next, read verses 11-15, 22, 24, 28, looking for ways in which Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled the law of Moses, as well as His performance of the new and higher covenant of the gospel. Read also Hebrews 10:1, 4, 9-14.
Make a list of the things we are invited to do, as found in Hebrews 10:19-25, 35-36?
Note that Hebrews 10:20 affirms that the veil of the tabernacle—and of our modern temples—represents Jesus Christ. The Savior’s flesh was torn, as was the temple veil (see Matthew 27:50-51), symbolizing His opening of the veil for us to enter into the “most holy place” (the holy of holies), which—again, as in our modern temples—represents the presence of God. We remember His offering each week as we partake of the sacrament bread and water, symbols of His broken flesh and shed blood.
Hebrews 11 A Masterpiece on Faith
How would you define faith? The Joseph Smith Translation changes substance in Hebrews 11:1 to assurance. What “assurances” and “evidences” do you have regarding your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His restored gospel?
What role did faith play in each of the examples recounted in verses 3-12, 17-31, 34-38? (Note that several of these examples show men and women whose faith led to affliction and reproach; see verses 25-26.) What additional inspiring examples of faith come to mind, as you consider the principle of faith?
Hebrews 12-13 “Jesus the Author and Finisher of Our Faith”
Read and ponder Paul’s teachings regarding faith, in Hebrews 12:1-4.
Read 12:5-7, 9-11. When did you feel you were being “chastised” by the Lord? Can you say that you are thankful for the experience?
Exercising faith often requires sacrifice, along with mental and spiritual exertion. What inspiration about faith do you find in Hebrews 12:12-14, 28; Hebrews 13:1-3, 5-6, 12-13?