Change stinks . . . or does it?
Change stinks . . . or does it?
Change is hard. It doesn’t matter what is changing, I find it difficult to adapt. Maybe it’s because I’m a creature of habit. Maybe it’s because I get too comfortable. I’m not really sure. Change is just hard for me.
I know many other people who don’t struggle with change, though. Some people thrive on it. It seems to me that these folks never stop changing. Like they can’t ever do the same thing twice or they decide to change things just to keep life interesting. Personally, I find life interesting enough without changing my plans or my habits daily.
However, sometimes change is good. I know it’s necessary most of the time. And even the changes I don’t like, I can see the need for, even if I have a hard time adapting to it.
The book of Hebrews is one of the deepest books of the Bible. It’s really really difficult to wrap my head around most of the things that go on in Hebrews, but one of the concepts throughout the book is change. Hebrews is talking about the difference between the old religious system that used to be the way to God and the new promise God has set up through Jesus.
This was something that had to change. It needed to change. The old system was flawed, broken, insufficient. It had worked for the time being, until the time was right for God to send Jesus into the world. But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the old system wasn’t necessary anymore. So it was time for a change.
In the old system, people had to live under the crazy, detailed laws set down in Leviticus. They had to make sacrifices, portraying a picture of innocent blood spilt for their sins. There was a laundry list of things people had to do to be right with God in the Old Testament. But every rule and every law people had to follow pointed forward to the promise God had made them — that the rules He’d set up were only temporary and that Someone Better was coming to take away their sins.
The whole chapter of Hebrews 7 is talking about Jesus as our High Priest.
Israel had hundreds of high priests, and they had a tremendously somber responsibility of being the ones who communicated with God. The priests were the ones who made the annual sacrifice. They were the only ones allowed into the holiest chamber of the temple, where God’s presence resided at times. The high priest, I guess you could say, was the intercessor for Israel. The high priest was the one who stood in the gap and communicated between God and the people of Israel. But the high priests before Christ were limited because they were only human. They sinned. They died. They could only do so much.
But Jesus isn’t limited by humanity. He was human, so He knows what it’s like to be human. But He’s also God. Jesus lives forever so as our new High Priest, His priesthood lasts forever.
This is where we find our verse of the day in Hebrews 7:25.
25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save[e] those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
Through Jesus, we have direct access to God Himself. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, because He gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins, when we choose to believe that, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, and we are granted access to the throneroom of God. We no longer need to go to a priest to ask forgiveness. We can just ask for ourselves. We no longer need anyone to stand between us and God; Jesus already did that once and for all.
If you read the Old Testament, you’ll see that there were many high priests and most of them were utter failuers, if not in their leadership than in their family lives. But Jesus is something different. He always has been something different.
The old system didn’t work. It was like putting a bandage on an amputated limb. It treated the symptoms and not the illness itself.
What Jesus did changed everything.
Change is hard and difficult to get used to, but some changes have to happen. Some things need to change. And God had been planning this specific change for millennia. For thousands of years, God had been promising that the old system would go away in favor of a New Covenant.
Change is difficult. It’s scary. It’s unknown and it always presents a risk because you don’t know what else changing your life will affect. But if God is calling you to change something, you need to do it. Because when God directs a change, the results will be better than what you’re living with right now.