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Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-13

Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

 

Jeremiah records the words of God as He makes a new promise to inscribe His Teachings (Torah) on the hearts of his people. That writing began during the Babylonian captivity and continued through the next five centuries, including the time of Jesus on earth. That promise is complete with the death and resurrection of the Son of Man, but not yet perfect in that it must be written on every heart. Many resist.

The Torah (teachings) was given to the people through Moses to guide their lives forever, but the people turned from the teachings over and over. Starting in Babylon, the Torah became an internal teaching. The people of God no longer memorize rules they will break, but learn to trust God in all things.

Still, it was not until after the resurrection of the Son of Man that the hearts of men began to achieve the highest levels of understanding of the teachings; more than an intellectual understanding, rather an emotional, visceral, from lowest to highest understanding. It is the idea of imitation of Jesus present in the lesson last Sunday.

The Son of Man, Jesus, became our High Priest as the author of Hebrews declares. That is not meaningless to us with the Temple in ruins. We must remember that his one duty, the duty no one else could accomplish, was to enter the Holy of Holies, in the very presence of God, on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

Why does Hebrews write about the order of Melchizedek? He seems unimportant, only appearing in three verses in Genesis (14:18-20), and one verse in Psalm 110:4 reads, The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” NIV It is in Hebrews that we complete the picture. Melchizedek was a king, but also a high priest of Yahweh, the Most High El. Because he served both roles, God promised, through David in his Psalm, that the Messiah would be a king like David and a priest-king like Melchizedek.

Because Jesus is our High Priest, he and he alone can approach God and plead for our lives. If I imitate Jesus and have the Torah written on my heart, then Jesus’ words are written there as well: If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there tooNJB

We have his final promise: And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myselfNJB

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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