In Praise of His Permanent Priesthood

“This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him,

‘You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.’

“On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness..; but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God…

“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

“For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself… a Son who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:15-19,23-27,28c

There are many things we wish were, or want to make, permanent: youth, health, relationships, places of comfort, ‘these good old days.’ But in this world and life, our days are as vapor, our control is limited, circumstances change, and things that we collect are temporal and subject to decay. We live among what is destructible, fleeting, and weak, destined for an end of days but yearning for an indestructible eternity. (Job 14:1; Psalm 90:10; 144:4; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Matthew 6:19; James 4:14)

Enter Jesus, who gave His life as a unique, complete atoning sacrifice for us, and in that single act became our perfect, permanent, ongoing priest and mediator. His ministry is a mysterious cohesion of once-for-all accomplishment and powerful continuity on our behalf. Our human minds cannot grasp the syncopated scope, but can surrender to it with full assurance in faith.

Everything about Jesus and what He provides His children is better that what this world offers. What makes us reticent to draw near to Him, or prone toward temporal enticements? Why do we settle for undependable ‘safe places’ or superficial promises, when we can delight in ‘no separation from His love’? Why do we flirt with false religions and practices whose only certainty is incessant searching for improvement, enlightenment, and fulfillment? When once we draw near to God, and find unshakable security in His grace-filled salvation, we are His, and He ours, forever. We settle in His ongoing ownership, advocacy, and love, and cannot help but praise. (Song of Solomon 2:16; Romans 8:31-39; James 4:8)

“Jesus, my great High Priest,
offered his blood and died;
my guilty conscience seeks
no sacrifice beside.
His pow’rful blood did once atone,
and now it pleads before the throne.

My advocate appears
for my defense on high;
a gracious Father hears
and lays his thunder by.
Not all that hell or sin can say
shall turn his heart, his love, away.” ~Isaac Watts (1709)

Lord, adjust my sights away from this world to Your better and permanent hope. Increase my confidence in Your eternal priesthood, and make it my joyful theme as I interact with others who need You.

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