People need and want strong leaders for the most part. Sometimes strong leaders do well, but too often authority and power corrupts a person. Then, corruption breeds more corruption and oppression is unleashed upon those who desire and need strong leadership.
The problem is that no human leader can be supremely benign and powerful in a way that is fair and beneficial to all. Even very good leaders, well-respected and loved leaders, die because they are human. This creates a leadership vacuum in their absence.
Humanity isn't able to fix all their woes and weaknesses. We may continue to find ways to make life better but all these efforts have an end point or never accomplish their intended purpose. This is why the Lord Jesus needed to be sent. Not as a king or government leader, but as a Savior.
He led by example and connected with people at a very personal level, especially the poor and needy. His strength was not limited and fleeting, but enduring. Even in what many saw as weakness—His death on the cross—He proved to have an indestructible life. He is the only reliable mediator and bridge between all humanity and God.
So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? [vs 11]
And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe. This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. [vss 12-15]
Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (Ps 110:4) [vss 16-17]
(Hebrews 7:11-17 NLT) [Context– Hebrews 7]
Jesus became a priest... by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What are the two different priesthoods spoken of here and how are they different?
Why was a new and different priesthood needed? What change did this also require?
What set Jesus apart to be a priest as Melchizedek was?
What do the Scriptures (Ps 110:4) say about Jesus as a priest?
The first priesthood God established under the Mosaic Law is called the Aaronic priesthood. Aaron was the brother of Moses and served as the first High Priest of the Mosaic (Old) Covenant. Being human he died and a new high priest was required for each succeeding generation.
To break the inescapable cycle of life and death, God established a New Covenant with a new priesthood based on His grace rather than people's obedience to the Law.
The role of a priest was to be a bridge and mediator between God and His people. Jesus became a mediator who was also a savior for all people. There is now and only will be one high priest under this New Covenant of grace—Jesus.
The priesthood of Jesus continues forever, unlike that of Aaron and his descendants. Jesus endures as a priest forever because He is the Son of God, both human and divine in nature. Because His resurrection from the dead proved He had an indestructible life, Jesus continues as a mediator and the way to God for all humanity.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Is your relationship with God dependent upon a human priest, pastor, or spiritual leader?
Do you understand how the eternal nature of Jesus as the Son of God makes Him an indestructible priest and mediator?
Have you learned to trust Jesus as the only bridge and mediator between us and God?
In what ways are you learning to trust in Jesus alone as your mediator and Savior?
Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews