Jesus remains a priest forever; his priesthood will never end. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf. - Hebrews 7:24-25
If people only attend church at Christmas and Easter, it is quite possible that they will never get further than thinking about Jesus as a baby who was born in a stable and cradled in a manger, who grew up, was crucified and rose again, and more or less disappeared from the scene, leaving some very good teachings that should not be taken too seriously.
But many people who attend church on a regular basis—not just at Christmas and Easter—often miss out on another important dimension of the Savior’s ministry—that which is celebrated on Ascension Day. The full significance of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus cannot be grasped without a solid understanding of the continuing ministry of the risen Lord. His work did not end when he rose again from the dead. He returned to heaven where he continues his ministry to this day—and forever.
Drawing from the rich history of the Jewish people, the writer of Hebrews compared the work of the risen Lord with that of a human priest. One of the obvious disadvantages of a human priest is that he is susceptible to death, and when he succumbs, his priestly ministry is terminated. Jesus, however, is “a priest forever” (Heb. 7:17). His continuing priesthood is exercised in “the power of a life that cannot be destroyed” (7:16), and “his priesthood will never end” (7:24). In practical terms this means that he can save people “once and forever” (7:25), because his priesthood knows no end or interruption.
Those who have come to faith in the Lord Jesus can say with assurance that they have been saved. They know this as a past experience. But they need more than that. They must face life on a daily basis, and they will continually come up against things that will rob them of their joy and hinder them in their growth. They need to know what it is to be saved on an ongoing basis. They need not just a salvation in the past, but also an experience of spiritual deliverance in the present. To make this possible, Jesus “lives forever to plead with God on their behalf” (7:25), in order to apply the benefits of his death on a daily basis to those who believe in him.
Being aware that the Lord Jesus is, at any given moment, praying for him will alert a Christian man to the supply of divine resources available to him in response to Jesus’ intercession. Secure in this knowledge, he will be better equipped to live wisely and well on a daily basis. And he’ll enjoy the benefits of Christmas and Easter daily, not just annually.
For Further Study: Hebrews 7:15-28
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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