Hebrews 7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
In verse 20 God reminds us of the importance of an oath. An oath made by God is a solemn promise. God made an oath to Abraham in Genesis 22:16-18.
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
That was a solemn promise that God made to Abraham, that could not be broken. That oath is still binding today and one day Israel will appreciate that oath in its fullest extent.
God also made an oath to the rebellious Jews in Deuteronomy 1:34-35:
Deuteronomy 1:34 And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
That oath was a promise that a generation of rebels would not enjoy that promise that God made to Abraham.
In Deuteronomy 4:21 God made an oath to Moses:
21 Furthermore the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance:
Again, this was a solemn promise made by God and it could not be broken. God also made an oath to king David in Psalm 89:4:
Psalms 89:4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
That promise was also one made by God and could not be broken. Thus we see on several occasions God used an oath to establish His Word to certain people. In our text God declared that Jesus Christ was made a priest by an oath. Verse 21 contrasts that with the Aaronic priesthood. Aaron was chosen, but not with an oath. Wicked priests were punished and eventually that Levitical priesthood came to an end. That was not the case with the oath that God made regarding His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This promise was recorded in Psalm 110:4. We have referenced that passage before. God would not change His mind on this. There was no reason for Him to change His mind on this promise. As we have already learned, Jesus Christ learned obedience by the things that He suffered. There was never any danger that Jesus Christ would reject His Father. He was not just a mere man.
In verse 22 we are again reminded of the better testament that Jesus Christ was possessor of. As God has already shown, the Old Testament priest needed to bring sacrifices for his own sins and for the sins of the people. Jesus Christ had no sin and He would not just cover sin, but gives the repentant sinner a new nature and removes the sin.
God’s salvation is so much different and so much better than any supposed “salvation” offered by secular man. Drunkards attend AA and they try to get sober and remain sober. They are constantly reminded that their soberness is such a fragile matter. If they are not careful they can fall back so easily and so quickly.
That cannot be said for those who are truly saved.
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
God, through His Son Jesus Christ, changes the nature of the repentant sinner. He or she still can sin and they will sin, but they can never fall back to that former lost state. No true child of God can lose their salvation. This is not a ticket to carelessness.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
The Christian life cannot be compared to any other life. It is built upon an oath of God that cannot be broken. It has a Saviour that is unique to God. It has a Priest that is also unique to God. It has a Bread and a Water and a Light and a Door and a Way, etc. that is unique to God and such a great blessing for all those who become recipients of this blessing.
In verse 23 of our text we are again reminded of the fragile nature of the Levitical priesthood. They all died. Regardless how good any one of the priests was, he still died. He could have a son who would not be a good priest.
However in verse 24, Jesus Christ was the Author of an unchangeable priesthood and that continues on for ever. Why would anyone want to hold on to that which was done away with, rather than move over to that which is eternal. It was foolish for anyone to accept the false teaching of the Judaizers. It is equally foolish to accept the false teaching of Catholicism and the many offshoots of that false religion. Those who pursue that path are holding less than an empty bag. They have nothing. In fact the false priesthoods of today are imposters. They are anti-God. They were guilty of trying to lure people away from the truth.
Those who turn to God and accept His immutable promises are blessed beyond measure.