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?” (Hebrews 7:11).

The words “perfect” and “perfection” are significant terms in the book of Hebrews. As is true with any word, the precise connotation within its range of meaning is always determined by the immediate context.

In Hebrews 5:9, for example, the verb “perfect” is used to denote the flawless and complete qualifications Jesus had to become the author of salvation to all who obey Him. “Though He was a Son, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). This loving obedience to God in all things and unto the extreme of His brutal death made Him flawlessly qualified to be the Savior.

Here in Hebrews 7:11, “perfection” denotes the idea of total and complete reconciliation to God which makes unfettered access to His holy presence possible. This was not something the Law with its Levitical High Priest could do (Hebrews 7:19). The veil in the temple was a perpetual, visual reminder of the continual barriers and hindrances all Jews—including the High Priest—had. No one under the old law could draw near to God freely.

All of this would no longer be true with the priest, according to the order of Melchizedek. The perfect author of salvation has made perfect reconciliation to God.

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Author: jchowning

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