The Forever Intercessor
By Christopher L. Scott
Moses Lake, Washington
Do you remember incandescent light bulbs? Those that use to burn out every few months. Now we have high-tech LED light bulbs that literally if used in the correct conditions, last for decades. In fact, there are some light fixtures where multiple LEDs are built into the fixture and the manufacturer provides a guarantee that those won’t burn out.
The priests in the Old Testament were like those incandescent bulbs: often being replaced. When Aaron died (Numbers 20:28) he was replaced by his son, Eleazar. But later Eleazar died (Joshua 24:33) so his son, Phinehas took over the priesthood. And so the cycle continued for centuries. The Jewish historian Josephus estimates that 83 different high priests officiated Judaism from Aaron to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Antiquities, 20.227).
But Jesus replaced the Old Testament priest system. He is now our priest forever. Hebrews 7:22-25 tells us, “so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (NASB).
There are a few important words in this passage we need to notice. Jesus is part of a “better” covenant than was used in the Old Testament. While the Old Testament priests regularly died and were replaced, Jesus continues “forever” and he holds the position of the priest “permanently.” He saves us “forever” because we have placed our faith in him for salvation. This means that Christ “always” makes intercession for us.
But what does it mean for Christ to intercede for us?
First, Christ atones for our sins and strengthens us in temptation. Hebrews 2:17 says, “He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
Second, Christ sympathizes with our weaknesses, gives us mercy, and helps us when we need it. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “We have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Jesus intercedes for us. He is our intercessor forever.
Christopher L. Scott, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, is a pastor and freelance writer. Christopher L. Scott writes from Exeter, CA. Learn more about his writing ministry at ChristopherLynnScott.com.
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