The book of Hebrews is all about how Jesus has satisfied all God’s requirements of us on our behalf.  He’s greater than the prophets, the angles, Moses, and the law, and especially the Levitical priesthood. The priesthood and the law had to change or I was doomed to failure. The law and the sacrificial system was established, not to make us acceptable to God. That was impossible. The blood of bulls and goats could never cleanse us of our sins once and for all. The law and the sacrificial system administered by the priests were established by God to give us hope. David Allen observes, “As we have seen, the key to the author’s hermeneutical method is to read the Old Testament, including the Law and cultus, through a Christological lens.”[1]  Jesus who served as a priest in the order of Melchizedek was different than the priests of the Old Testament that merely offered the penitent a second chance. He was a priest of a different kind as Hebrews 7:13 says, “For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar.”

Ed Stetzer explained the difference between the Priest’s ministry in the Old Testament and Jesus’ priestly ministry to us today. He says, “It is not one more chance to be good. Jesus Christ came and died to pay the penalty of our failures and if we receive him, his record becomes our record. He doesn’t say one more chance to do good deeds, oh no, instead, he says, don’t you see, your doing will never get you there looking at me – I have done all the good deeds for you. I have lived the perfect life, I have died the perfect death. I put myself in your place, I took your penalty so that if you trust in me, and you lay your doing down, and you trust wholly in me, the Father will welcome you as complete in me. Lay your deadly doing down at his feet, stand in him alone, gloriously complete.” (see:

The Old Testament as seen through Jesus’ lens, the Christological lens, shows us how everything written by Moses and the Prophets points to Jesus. The Levitical Priesthood with its laws and sacrifices is all about Jesus and how he will fulfill them all on our behalf. The priesthood of Levi presented the idea of an intermediary who would intercede with God on our behalf. He would bring our sacrifices to God to regain favor in God’s eyes in spite of our sinfulness. It’s clear that the laws were not meant to bring perfection but a realization of our imperfection which can once and for all be satisfied only in Christ. We’ll never be perfect in our obedience! We’ll never do enough good deeds to earn a spot in heaven or the full approval from God. That can only be accomplished through faith in Christ. He is our sacrifice! He is our good deeds!

[1] David L. Allen, Hebrews, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2010), 421.