Watering the Tulips
February 17, 2016
“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”– Hebrews 7:23-25
The writer of Hebrews spends much time discussing the priesthood of Jesus and how much better it is than the former priesthood. The passage before us is crucial in such a study.
No matter how well intentioned an Old Testament priest was, he was “prevented by death from continuing in office”. Therefore, he was unable to be a permanent priest. He may very well have been willing to continue eternally as a mediator between God and men. Nonetheless, his willingness didn’t equate to ability. Priest after priest died and were replaced. On this point alone, the priesthood could never be fully perfected. The system was good. The servants were inadequate.
Enter Jesus. His priesthood replaced theirs. Unlike them, He is “a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 7:17). In great contrast to the priests of the old covenant, Jesus walked out of the grave three days after being buried and showed Himself victorious over it. Death has no hold on Him. He is “exalted at the right hand of God” even today (Acts 2:33).
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him”. Jesus is the only way into fellowship with the Father. Remember His words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Only through the greatest priest ever can men approach God. The duty of a priest was to build a bridge between God and man. Yet, no other priest was able to do this except Jesus Christ. As long as the Old Testament priests served, the temple curtain remained in place, which made access to God impossible. When Jesus died, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51).
Not only did Jesus pave the way to God through His sacrifice for our sins, but also He continues making intercession for us. He has saved us “to the uttermost”! It’s not that we are somehow saved by the skin of our teeth. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). Jesus (being the perfect, permanent priest) saves entirely and eternally. If He stands between you and God, you are completely saved. Because of this, the believer is said to now have laid hold of eternal life (John 3:36).
Are you seeking fellowship with God through some other means than Jesus today? Are you hoping to get there by your good works? It’s past time that you forsake such a hopeless cause and look to the only One that makes eternal fellowship with God a certainty. Jesus has built a bridge between God and man. He is the Bridge. Our prayer is that God grants you faith to believe this truth today.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!