I think that the following verses, Hebrews 7:11- 19 (NIV), clearly spell out why salvation did not come from following the Jewish laws – and, they also reinforce the central message of this letter of Hebrews – the perfection of Jesus and our assurance of salvation: “If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come – one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 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.”
Selwyn’s conclusion – summarises this central theme – very well: “The law made nothing perfect, but Christ makes everything perfect. He bore our sin in such a way that He bore it all away. In Him we find perfect peace, perfect joy and perfect pardon.
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.”
[I’ve been on holiday; plus, I spent the last couple of weeks ‘talking to God’ about the directions I should take – especially in regard to my blogs. At the same time, I read a book on Paul’s second letter to Timothy, it helped me think through a lot of the issues that I was dealing with – it’s these sorts of experience which are covered by the fingerprints of Our Lord – that give us hope!]