The text we will be looking at in this article is the following: “And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (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:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:20-25).
In the previous chapter, we discussed God making an oath to Abraham and swearing by Himself to keep His promise (Hebrews 6:13-18). The hope that ties to that oath, through Christ, includes Jesus being a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:19-20). We have read that God testified that Jesus was/is a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 7:17; cf. Psalms 110:4 and Hebrews 5:6-10). Under the Law of Moses, there was no oath made that the priesthood after Aaron would continue forever. Nor was there a promise made that the Levitical priesthood would perfect those during that time.
The focus is that God has made a promise and has sworn to uphold it. He will not change what He promised. When we read about God taking the kingdom of Israel from Saul, we read this: “And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent” (I Samuel 15:28-29). He kept His word (II Samuel 5:3). When God promised judgment on Zion, He said: “For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it” (Jeremiah 4:27-28). He kept His promise (Lamentations 1:4; 5:18). When God sent Balaam to Balak we read: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good” (Numbers 23:19)? For first century Jewish Christians struggling with the change in the priesthood, they needed to realize that it wasn’t going backwards. God’s will that Jesus be the high priest forever after the order of Melchisedec was done. This is one of the many things we love about God. He keeps His promises. That is why we can trust in our salvation (Titus 1:1-3).
As our minds consider salvation, we have already studied how the priesthood of Christ ties to our salvation (Hebrews 4:14-5:10). We have also studied already how that the New Testament is a better law than what existed of old through Moses and the prophets (Hebrews 7:12). We have also already talked about how Jesus’ eternal being is greater than what existed in the priesthood under the old law (Hebrews 7:16). What we do need to remind ourselves of is how our eternal Savior Jesus Christ ever lives to make intercession for us.
Isaiah wrote, in a contextual prophesy about Jesus (Isaiah 53:1-12), the following: “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). Paul wrote this to the congregation in Rome: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34). When we progress later in this Hebrew letter we will read: “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24).
These wonderful truths are great things to ponder. We know that Jesus is going to share His inheritance with us (Romans 8:17). Jesus said this to the Laodiceans: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). How many people go and intercede for those that are going to take part of what belongs to them? The church in Laodicea needed to repent of their lukewarm affection for the Lord (Revelation 3:14-20). Yet, Jesus still desired to see them overcome and gain part of what is His.
There is another term that we need to consider that is not in this context, but certainly highlights what Jesus is as one who intercedes. That term is advocate. John wrote of the fellowship saints have with God, even though sin was part of the past of those saints (I John 1:1-10). Immediately following the great lessons therein, this was written: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:1-6).
Jesus lives now and is in Heaven advocating for us and the world. He is our mediator with our Father (I Timothy 2:1-5). There could be no greater one to stand before our Father to argue our case. Be thankful for what Jesus does as our High Priest.
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