“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)…”
For hundreds of years, the Hebrews had lived with the expectation of the good things that would come. They waited so long that they chose further expectations rather than fulfillment. The promised messiah came and with him a new covenant with fresh promises of the world to come. The coming of the Messiah brought the promised kingdom and the reign of God to earth but the Hebrews wanted to hold on to the old things. The promised messiah also brought an everlasting salvation. It was the most wonderful thing but because it required acceptance of a new priesthood and order the Hebrews rejected it as well.
In this verse, our author begins his explanation of what the new priesthood meant by explaining how it was better than the old one. The Christ, the promised Messiah, came as a high priest of a different order than Aaron and a different tribe than Levi. Because this was unexpected the Hebrews were having a hard time endorsing it. Of course, we know they had difficulty accepting the entire work and purpose of the Christ and in that difficulty, they put him on a cross.
Even those who later accepted him as the Messiah wanted to hang on to the trappings of the Old Law. The writer emphasizes the “good things that have come” in this letter. He wants the believing Hebrews to see that the good things brought wholesale changes; all of them good.
Task for Today: Thank God that you live in the “good things that have come” age and Christ is your high priest who can go right into the presence of God.