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Christ's Indestructible Life

Hebrews 7:13-17
He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: 'You are a priest for ever, in the order of Melchizedek.' (NIVUK)

Because our minds are finite, we cannot know what we have not experienced, or learn from the experience of others. We must therefore look back to make sense of the present and the future. It is difficult to imagine how Hebrew-background believers would have thought about discarding so much of the religious way of life they had been brought up to obey, unless a new future had been promised.

The promise had already been given. In the Messianic Psalm 110, David is inspired by the Holy Spirit to describe an all-conquering king who would also be a priest like Melchizedek (Psalm 110:1-4). That was the indelible clue the church needed to move from trusting the old-covenant law, with its system of priests and sacrifices, to trusting the Lord Jesus Christ - who was both the Great High Priest and the once-for all-time sacrifice for sin.

Melchizedek's priesthood preceded that of Aaron and the Levites and pointed to Jesus, the perfect King-Priest. He is also indestructible. Although Satan tried to annihilate Him, Jesus proved that death could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). Jesus' power and authority to be the sole mediator between God and human beings (1 Timothy 2:5) is inexhaustible, because He lives for ever.

How good that our eternal future is not governed by how well we have kept God's law, because none of us has, or by a priest we once knew and has since died. But it is guaranteed by Jesus who never goes off duty, never has a day off, never goes on holiday, never forgets us and never dies. As Hebrews 7:25 says, "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." It is a remarkable privilege to be able, at any time and for as long as we live, to come to God with freedom and confidence, in and through the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 3:12). The power of His endless life gives us the certainty that His sacrifice for our sin is always effective. So give Him thanks and live like a released captive, a ransomed slave and a justified sinner – with joy. And tell your friends and colleagues that Jesus is alive to rescue them too.

Eternal God. Thank You that Jesus is alive and is still interceding for me. Forgive me when I drift back into moralistic legalism, believing that I can earn Your favour. Help me to fully trust in the Lord Jesus, whose sacrificial death and endless life are the guarantee that You accept me, and will continue to accept all who trust in Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams