Hebrews 7:17

Monday, 26 November 2018

For He testifies:
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 7:17

The author now returns to his proof text concerning Melchizedek to support his words of the previous verse. There he said that the Lord’s priesthood, which is in the likeness of Melchizedek, is “according to the power of an endless life.” From there, this verse is now introduced with the word, “For.” He has made the statement, and now he supports it by going back to inspired Scripture, which contains the words of God being spoken out through the psalmist. There, God testifies concerning Christ that, “You are a priest forever.”

David was speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit as he penned these words, and they looked forward to the coming work of Jesus. As was seen in the previous verse, this new priesthood is eternal because it is based “not according to the law of a fleshly commandment.” Instead, it is one which is spiritual in nature, and it deals with the internals, not the externals. How absolutely unimaginable it must have been to the Levitical priests and the Sanhedrin that the One they accused and condemned as worthy of death, and who indeed they asked to be crucified, would supersede their priestly order by an indestructible life! As Paul says it in Romans 1:1-4 –

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

It is by the power of the resurrection that Jesus proved He was and is fully God, eternal, and a “priest forever.” Further, this is “According to the order Melchizedek.” Thus, it is one of inherent right, one which is greater than Levi (just as Abraham was greater than Levi), and most especially because of its eternal nature. As Christ is eternal, and as He is the High Priest of the New Covenant, He is “a priest forever.” It is for this glorious reason that the believer in Him is both eternally secure and always allowed access into the most holy place.

Life application: We have an eternal Mediator who sits at the right hand of the Father and is always interceding on our behalf. If your prayers seem like they are not being answered, don’t fret – they are. Jesus is there, working out His office of High Priest, and aligning your needs with His glory so that in the end you will see the absolute wisdom of what was accomplished on your behalf. Please understand this as you face trials or hardships – Jesus is there with you and is tending to every need as an empathetic and merciful High Priest.

Lord, may I never doubt Your glorious hand in my life. Rather, Your word assures me that You are now and always “a Priest forever.” You can empathize with my weakness and you have the exalted position at Your Father’s right hand. Certainly, those things assure me of Your ability to handle every woe and trial I may face. Glory to You, and may Your glorious name ever be praised. Amen.

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