Today’s Reading: Hebrews 7
Comedian Ray Romano said this about parenting: “Having children is like living in a frat house—nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there is a lot of throwing up.” For us parents, this is so true. Let me tell you an “everything’s broken” story.
When my son was little, he loved to color. One day while I was away from my laptop, my son decided to take his coloring skills to a new level. He grabbed a black Sharpie permanent marker and drew all over the screen. I walked into my office and caught him. I was frozen, not sure what to do other than plan my son’s funeral. Then it hit me. My laptop was a Dell, and at the time, Dell had an amazing guarantee that if anything happened to the laptop, they would replace it. No way that guarantee means a Sharpie and a two-year-old, I thought, but figured I’d call Dell and tell them the story. The customer service representative laughed and said they would ship out a new laptop in a day and I could use that box to send back to Dell the one my son signed. They did guarantee their product.
Hebrews 7 takes guarantees to a whole new level. This chapter compares the old covenant under Old Testament priests with the new covenant under the High Priest and Savior, Jesus. And the writer finally arrives at the guarantee portion of the covenant:
“This makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between us and God—one that really works! A new covenant. Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. But Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. He’s there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them.” (Hebrews 7:22-25, MSG)
Jesus is the guarantee that the new covenant works and is better. Let me explain. When we are born again and come to God through Jesus Christ, we have a guarantee that we will make it to heaven. Under the old covenant a person was only as safe and secure as their next sin. And then they had to wait till the yearly sacrifice of the high priest for the sins of the nation of Israel. Under the new covenant, the writer tells us there is a guarantee. The Bible uses a comparable word to guarantee. It’s the word surety. That word means a person who takes responsibility for another’s performance of an undertaking. For example, their appearing in court or the payment of a debt. Remember the reality show Dog, the Bounty Hunter? He was a bail bondsman. When a person was released on bail money, but skipped appearing in court, Dog would hunt that person down to get that person to court.
That’s why it’s hard to be a backslider when our surety is Jesus. He comes after those who walk away from God, because He is the guarantee to get them not to court but to heaven. Jesus is the surety that we will make it to heaven. Jesus is, in a sense, your Dog, the bounty hunter. Ouch, I know that’s hard to say, but He is. He has too big of an investment in you to lose you.
How does Jesus help you in that? That’s where verse 25 explains an important point: “He is able to save fully from now throughout eternity, everyone who comes to God through him, because he lives to pray continually for them” (TPT).
Jesus is praying for you and me right now. And all of Jesus’ prayers get answered. He is committed to getting us home. Robert Murray McCheyne said it like this: “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference because He is praying for me.”
The short life of the Old Testament priests made their guarantee weak, and the writer of Hebrews tells us that since our Great High Priest, Jesus lives forever, this warranty lasts that long. Puritan writer Thomas Watson shares this wonderful insight about our guarantee:
“When God calls a man, He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favourites, and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration. God’s call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out His people’s sins, but not their names.”
I like guarantees! When we buy certain products, especially electronic products, or when we buy a car, that guarantee is important. In buying gifts we like to know about the guarantee. Does it say, “Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!”?
God offers His Son Jesus as our guarantee. God backs up His promises with His Son. Every time we see the reenactment of that first Christmas, we are being reminded of God’s guarantee. Think of it this way. If I made a promise to you, and you asked for some guarantee; some surety; that I would keep my promise, I would not hand over my son, Christian, and say, “Here’s my son. He’s yours until I keep my promises.” That’s outrageous. But in a sense, God did that. He gave us Jesus, His Son, as a guarantee, as a surety that He will do what He said. “Here’s my Son, He’s yours forever!” to guarantee that you and I will make it to heaven when life is over.
Jesus is our guarantee! God proved that He meant what He said. He signed it, sealed it, and sent the ultimate guarantee—the living Word. He is unchangeable. He guaranteed it forever. No limitations. No fine print. No tricky words. Jesus is the guarantee—forever!
That’s good news. You are going to make it home to heaven.