The new priesthood after the order of Melchizedek in Jesus also means a “change in law”– Hebrews 7:12.
Hebrews is structured around several comparisons that demonstrate the superiority of the “word spoken in the son” over the past revelations “spoken in the prophets,” including Moses and the angels. The previous “words” were true but partial, promissory, and preparatory. But now, “upon the last of these days,” He has “spoken” with great finality in one who is a “Son.”
Jesus inaugurated the promised New Covenant, and by doing so, rendered the former covenant obsolete – Hebrews 8:13.
According to Hebrews, the “word of the Son” surpasses all past revelations “spoken in the prophets.” He went beyond his predecessors, having “achieved the purification of sins,” therefore, he was exalted to “sit down” at the right hand of God, where he inherited “all things.” His victory signaled the inauguration of the promised “new covenant.”
Jesus qualified as our high priest by participating fully in human sufferings, mortality, and death – Hebrews 2:5-18.
The priesthood of Jesus is one of the key subjects of the epistle to the Hebrews – He has become the “merciful and faithful high priest” for “his brethren.” The topic is anticipated in the opening paragraph of the letter, including the uniqueness of his priesthood. Unlike the Aaronic priests, the “Son achieved purification of sins,” then “sat down” in the “real” Tabernacle.
The epistle to the Hebrews stresses the superiority of the Word “spoken” in the Son over all previous but partial “words” – Hebrews 1:1-2:4.
The epistle to the Hebrews was sent to a congregation located in or near the city of Rome. Previously, it experienced pressure from outsiders, but was facing renewed pressure, and perhaps persecution. Consequently, some members were contemplating withdrawal from the assembly, and even returning to the local synagogue.
SYNOPSIS – The types and “shadows” of the old covenant find their substance in the Son – Hebrews 8:1-5.
The epistle to the Hebrews develops its exhortation for believers to persevere in the faith from its theme of fulfillment – What God has accomplished already in Jesus. His partial word has been superseded by the complete one “spoken” in His “Son.” Most likely, the letter was addressed to a congregation with a significant complement of Jewish believers. It was facing the possibility of persecution; consequently, some members began to withdraw from the assembly and were contemplating a return to the synagogue to avoid trouble – (Hebrews 2:15, 10:32-34, 12:4, 10:24-31, 13:24-25).
The epistle to the Hebrews presents the exaltation of Jesus, His elevation from suffering and death to sovereignty over the Cosmos.
Threaded through Hebrews is the theme of the elevation of the “Son” from a lowly to an exalted state. His rise to sovereignty was through his obedient death and subsequent resurrection. In his sufferings, he was “perfected,” and God vindicated his obedience when he resurrected him, and then exalted him to sit at the “right hand of the majesty on high.”