Hebrews 7–10

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 226


Introduction

The Melchizedek Priesthood is greater than the Levitical Priesthood (Hebrews 7), and the gospel of Jesus Christ and His offering are greater than the law of Moses (Hebrews 8–10). Read Hebrews 7–10to see what is taught about Melchizedek and how the higher priesthood is different from the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood.

Prayerfully study Hebrews 7–10and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 385–93.

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for Hebrews 7–10.

Hebrews 7–10. Jesus Christ is greater than Abraham and Melchizedek. His priesthood is greater than the Levitical Priesthood. His sacrifice was greater than all the sacrifices of the Old Testament.

(30–35 minutes)

Ask students what priesthood the prophet holds, and write the answer on the board. Invite students to briefly share an appropriate story about having experienced the power of that priesthood. Have them read Doctrine and Covenants 107:2–4looking for the name of that priesthood and why it is called after Melchizedek’s name.

Explain that in Hebrews 7–10Paul taught the superiority of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Melchizedek Priesthood over the ordinances of the law of Moses. Discuss the following questions as a class, using the references provided. (Or give them to students as a handout and have them work on them as individuals or in groups.) As necessary, use information from the commentaries for these chapters of Hebrews in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (pp. 385–93) to help clarify the doctrine.

  • Who was Melchizedek? (see Hebrews 7:1–2).

  • Who had greater authority, Melchizedek or Abraham? (see Hebrews 7:2–4; if students ask about the meaning of verse 3, refer to the Joseph Smith Translation of this verse in the appendix).

  • What priesthood did Jesus Christ hold? (see Hebrews 5:5–6).

  • If Jesus Christ is a priest after the order of Melchizedek, how could he be greater than Melchizedek? (see JST, Hebrews 7:3).

  • In what ways is the Melchizedek Priesthood greater than the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood? (see Hebrews 7:11–12, 22–25; 3 Nephi 15:8–9).

  • How is the new covenant of the gospel, administered by the Melchizedek Priesthood, superior to the old covenant or law of Moses, administered by the Aaronic Priesthood? (see Hebrews 8:8–13).

  • How is the Atonement of Jesus Christ, made by the Great High Priest, superior to all the offerings and sacrifices offered by priests in the Old Testament? In other words, what does the Atonement of Jesus Christ do that the law of Moses could not do? (see Hebrews 9:1–15; Alma 34:10, 13–14).

Hebrews 10:9–22. Sanctification can come only by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

(15–20 minutes)
young man behind bars young man in white shirt

Show students the inmate in the accompanying picture (see appendix, p. 307). Note: Be sensitive to students who may have relatives in jail. Ask:

  • Why do people end up in jail? (They break the law.)

  • Why do you think a man in this situation might be sad?

  • When he finishes paying the penalty for his crimes and is released from prison, why might he be happy? unhappy?

Show the second picture (see appendix, p. 306) and ask students why they think some convicts do not change their ways and have to return to prison. (Some are angry and continue to break the law.) Have students read Mosiah 2:41, and discuss what this man must do before he can truly be happy. Discuss the following questions:

  • What results when we break God’s laws? (see Alma 41:10).

  • How is our happiness determined by the way we live and not merely by our environment?

  • How are we sometimes guilty and, like the inmate, prisoners in a spiritual prison? (see Romans 3:23; 1 John 3:4).

  • What must we do to obtain happiness in this life and in the life to come?

Invite students to read Hebrews 10:10, 14–17and look for what can happen to us because of the offering of Jesus Christ. (We can be sanctified.) Write the word sanctified on the board and ask students to explain what it means to them. Have a student read the following statement by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, and discuss it as a class:

“Through the marvelous power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, a power activated by our obedience to His commandments, we can be washed clean of our sins. His infinite ‘mercy can satisfy the demands of justice’ [Alma 34:16] for everyone who will repent” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 98; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 72).

Discuss the following questions:

  • What must we do to be sanctified by the power of the Atonement?

  • How can being sanctified from sin bring us happiness in this life and in the next?

  • Why is it worth paying any price for the happiness the Lord can give?

  • What can you do today to enjoy true happiness?