Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We Draw Near by a Better Hope

For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.  (Heb 7:18-19)

The Law ceases to have effect, he is saying, and the hope of better things is introduced.  It ceases to have effect, not for being evil (the frenzied view of the heretics), but for being ineffective and incapable of providing the perfect benefit.  It must be noted, of course, that he refers to the obsolete prescriptions of the Law as ineffective and useless—circumcision, sabbath observance, and such like things.  The New Testament also bids us observe to a greater extent the commandments: You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, and such like things.  In place of the former, therefore, we receive the hope of good things to come: it relates us to God.  An oath, however, confirms God’s promise for us.

Theodoret of Cyrus, “The Epistle to the Hebrews”

No comments: