Jesus is Able to Save Completely Because He Has Permanent Priesthood (Hebrews 7:23-25)
“Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” ( Hebrews 7:23-25 )
One of the most amazing truths in the entire Bible is that Jesus is able to save completely, perfectly and to the uttermost because of His resurrection from the dead. In fact our entire belief system hinges on this truth. Without the resurrection we would die in our sin, shame and guilt. Paul said in Romans 4, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” ( Romans 4:25 ), meaning that His resurrection is the positive proof that we have been restored to a state as if we had never sinned in the first place. The payment for sin was satisfied once for all when Jesus was delivered over to death to make atonement. Since it was satisfied and all debts forgiven, death no longer had claim on Jesus and had to release him from the grave.
This has incredible implications for us, because through Jesus, the grave has no claim on us either. Jesus has been appointed by God as our High Priest on oath that He would remain as such eternally. Before this time, death had been a problem in the Levitical priesthood because it continually interrupted this office. The position of High Priest was a lifetime position ( Numbers 35:25 ). So it was like starting over every time a new High Priest was appointed following the death of the previous High Priest. However, since death has no claim on Jesus ( Romans 6:9 ), His priesthood cannot be interrupted, therefore He is able to complete the work assigned to Him as High Priest.
The High Priest’s job was to make atonement for the people once a year. He was mankind’s representative before God in all things. The problem was that he first had to sacrifice for his own sins, disqualifying him from approaching God to make atonement in the first place. Jesus on the other hand was sinless so His sacrifice for sin, when offering himself as payment, was more than enough to permanently wipe out the debt that sin created. In fact the writer of Hebrews has stated over and over that our sins are paid for, forgiven and forgotten ( Hebrews 9:12, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 9:26, Hebrews 9:28, Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:18, Hebrews 10:22 ). Which means that Jesus’ atonement as High Priest worked the first and only time it was given. And if it worked, then by no means does it need to be made again ( Hebrews 10:10-14 ). In fact, Jesus now sits at the right hand of God the Father because His work is finished and complete ( Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 10:12 ).
Since this work is finished and death has no claim on Jesus, he resides as High Priest forever. And if He lives forever with this office, He is also able to save for all time and eternity those who come to Him by faith. In fact, God promised Jesus on oath that this would always be the case which is why he promised Him that He would provide a High Priest, not after the Levitical line perpetuated by death, but after Melchizedek who had no record of death ( Hebrews 7:3 ).
This is incredible news and very important to know because it assures our hearts before God. In fact these things have been written to give us insight and confidence in approaching God by faith ( John 20:31, I John 5:13 ). Knowing that we have been saved, forgiven and restored to a state where we are justified and righteous before God should give us boldness in approaching Him without the consciousness of sin and resulting guilt ( Hebrews 4:16, Hebrews 10:22 ). Then knowing that Jesus lives forever to assure this relationship, making petitions and intercession on our behalf, should usher us into a state of heart peace and empower us to live a life like no other. These truths have been written for our benefit; so that we may understand all that we have access to through Christ Jesus.