Post Categories New Testaments,Series,Studies in the New Testatment
And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, `You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’”), by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever” (Hebrews 7:20-28).
The certainty of salvation for all who trust in Jesus as their Savior is a guarantee, an accomplished fact! Our Savior assures us of that throughout Scripture. He gives us that certainty here as well.
We daily face many dangers from the attacks of our adversary. Very often, the thing with which our enemy tempts us appeals to our sinful nature. We see our own weakness and are led to share Paul’s confession, “I am the chief of sinners.” We face a constant battle against the world, the devil, and his number one ally—our flesh—to the very end. Our adversary works treacherously to try to cause us to doubt our salvation. Nevertheless, in His infinite grace, our Savior repeatedly assures us in His Word that nothing could be more certain than our salvation! The removal of all sin, guilt, and shame is absolutely assured, as is our inheritance of life eternal. That is the message He gives to us in the Scripture before us.
We are reminded that in the Old Testament, the Levitical priests would offer up sacrifices for themselves and the people. This was actually a “preaching” of the Law in all its severity and the Gospel in all its mercy and grace. It taught them they were sinners and that sin required a payment in blood in order to be forgiven. However, “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). Rather, these sacrifices pointed them ahead to the promised Messiah, Who would one day come as our High Priest and make the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice. He Himself would be the complete payment to the Father for the sins of the world.
Jesus, our High Priest, came in fulfillment of an oath that the Father Himself gave: “The LORD has sworn and will not relent, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” This oath is one of the many certain evidences we have of the way in which God fulfilled His plan to provide salvation for all mankind. He appointed His Son as the Messiah of the world, the eternal High Priest. Therefore, Jesus is the “surety of a better covenant,” the absolute guarantee of the Father’s promise of salvation by grace through His Son. As the holy spotless Lamb of God, Jesus achieved this for all “when He offered up Himself,” sacrificing Himself as our substitute. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him.” Salvation guaranteed!
Because Jesus “continues forever,” lives eternally as our High Priest, the salvation He earned is complete in every detail, not lacking in any way. No other priest, sacrifice, or anything else will ever be needed. Anyone in the whole world who looks to Jesus in faith, trusting in
Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, possesses that
blood-bought salvation! Furthermore, since Jesus “lives to make intercession” for us, and “He and the Father are One,” we again can see the certainty of salvation through His
all-atoning life and death.
The Father, as if to put yet another guarantee on our salvation in Jesus, says, “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.” The Old Testament priests were sinners, just as we are. They could not win reconciliation to God by their daily sacrifices. Jesus did! The Father makes it clear that our High Priest Jesus is holy, blameless, and perfect in every aspect. His precious blood paid the full price demanded, once and for all. Jesus lives and reigns for all eternity, assuring us that no power—not even the gates of hell—can prevail against us, because Jesus has called us and made us His very own.
Jay Hartmann is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Coloma, Michigan.