Daily Devotion: The Intercession of Jesus

“The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.’ – Psalm 110:4

The above Psalm is a prophecy about the priesthood of Jesus in the order of Melchizedek. The story of Melchizedek is contained in Genesis chapter 14. Abram rescued his nephew Lot who had been captured after the city of Sodom and her allies were defeated in battle. Abram rounded up his fighting men and some others to help and went and defeated the victors, freeing Lot and the other captives. After winning the victory this scene occurs,

“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying,

‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
And praise be to God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand.’

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” – Genesis 14:18-20

The character and significance of Melchizedek is explained in Hebrews 4:14-8:4 in relation to the priesthood of Jesus.

“First, the name Melchizedek means ‘king of righteousness’; then also, ‘king of Salem’ means ‘king of peace.’ Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.” – Hebrews 7:2-3

Jesus is from the line of Judah, not Levi from whom the Israelite priests come. Melchizedek is the only priest in the Bible before Jesus that is not of the tribe of Levi. Jesus is therefore a priest in the order of Melchizedek.

“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 forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.’

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

‘The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’ – Hebrews 7:15-21

Having established the priesthood of Jesus we can better see the aspects of the intercession He makes on our behalf in that role.

  • The intercession of Jesus is compassionate

 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:15-16

In Hebrews chapter 5 the writer describes the role of a priest by saying,

“He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.” – Hebrews 5:2

Christ took on flesh and allowed Himself to experience weakness in humanity for a time (Philippians 2:6-8), He “knows our frame and remembers we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). Therefore He is able to empathize with us in our weakness and treat us with mercy and grace.

  • The intercession of Jesus is perfect

“Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. – Hebrews 7:26-28

Jesus “truly meets our need”. He is perfect and His work is perfect. His sacrifice was “once and for all”.

  • The intercession of Jesus continues until the end of time

“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

At this moment Christ is interceding on your behalf before the Father (Hebrews 8:1-2). He will forever be our perfect high priest. He is compassionate and understanding in His dealings with us, leading and guiding us gently. His intercession is perfect and effective, taking care of all our sin and defeating every accusation of the enemy (Revelation 12:10), and He will carry on His work to completion “he is able to save completely those who come to God through him”.

Take encouragement in the perfect, continuous, and compassionate intercession of our great high priest. Look to Him in time of need and rely fully on the completeness of His work for the glory of God.


Related:
Boldly Before the Throne

 

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