Now there have been many Levitical 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.
The aim of God for humanity is healthy relationship with Himself. And being the loving Initiator of relationship that He is, God provided the means for that relationship–Jesus. All of history led up to and radiates out from that point–the consummation of Jesus Christ as eternal high priest.
In referring to the Old testament and proclaiming Jesus as a “priest forever,” the author of Hebrews is saying that God’s new covenant way of relating to people has replaced the old and will never be altered. It continues in this paradigm forever without change. “Consequently, Hebrews’ view of reality, grounded in the eternal high priesthood of the Son of God, offers us lasting stability for life,” says George Guthrie in his commentary on this passage.
For us today, chances are, we are not tempted to relate to God via Levitical priests or goat sacrifices. But what false, non-God-given ways do we relate to God? What do we need to turn from in order to relate rightly with YHWH? What paradigm do we still cling to that needs to shift in order to be in healthy relationship with our Creator? For some, maybe you need to repent of reading your Bible or going to church in order to be close to God. Maybe you need to turn from relating to God as wrathful, eager-to-punish task master since that is not the truth revealed by Jesus. For others, you need to stop running yourself ragged serving God, ministering to people, doing good deeds for the purpose of intimacy with God. For that comes only through a humble clinging to the one and only mediator between God and humans–our eternal High Priest.
Perfection, God’s desired end of healthy relationship with Him, comes through Jesus Christ, our means, guarantor, saver complete, and eternal intercessor. The paradigm for relationship with God shifted cosmically with Jesus, and was set never to shift again.
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria