July 28 – A Better Hope

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July 28 – A Better Hope

…one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.’  The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:16-19)

This is one of those difficult things for us to truly comprehend … the radical difference between living under the Law and living under grace.  We have no concept of what the people who lived around the time of Jesus had to face as they transformed their thinking.  As we look back on it with the gift of a couple thousand years of study and understanding, we can only be grateful.

However, one of the reasons that Paul’s teachings affect us in such a visceral manner is that we easily find ourselves bound up in the rules of religion rather than the grace of Christ.  It is easier for us to live our lives if we can bring structure to the things we do, but that makes legalism something we need to constantly beware of.  It is so easy to get caught up in the immense list of things we should and shouldn’t do that we begin to operate our lives based on that list and we transfer that list to everyone around us.

Jesus attempted to remind us that it wasn’t about a list of dos and don’ts, but rather about love … for God and for each other.  When we operate out of a sense of grace, mercy and love rather than obligation to a ruleset, we find that we live within the ‘better hope’ Paul speaks of.

This is how we draw near to God and this is how others will find their way to Him as well.