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"Jesus in Heaven: Our Intercessor" (posted August 8, 2002)
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
- Hebrews 7:25
A contrast is brought before us in verses 23 and 24. Aaron and his descendants exercised their priestly office one after the other and died. The Lord Jesus abides for ever and consequently His priesthood is unchangeable, that is, it never has to be transmitted to another.
The happy result which flows from this is stated in verse 25. Those that avail themselves of His priestly services, coming to God by Him, are saved "to the uttermost," or, "completely," because He always lives to make intercession for them. The salvation here spoken of is that daily, momentary salvation from every adverse power, which every believer needs all the way home to glory.
This verse is often quoted to show that the Lord is able to save the worst of sinners. That is most happily true, and the verse that states it is 1 Timothy 1:15. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I [Paul] am chief." Had that been the point here, our verse would doubtless have ended with the words, "since He died for them and rose again." But here the word is, "since He always lives." This salvation therefore is that which flows to us by His life of unbroken priestly intercession.
Suppose a distressed Israelite had applied to the high priest of his day for that compassion and help which he should be ready to give him, according to Hebrews 5:2. He finds him perhaps a most kindly and helpful man. But on going a little later, just when the crisis of his case has arrived, he learns that he has that very day died! You can easily imagine his distress. Another man who knows nothing of his case, and possibly of an entirely different disposition, becomes high priest. There was no salvation to the uttermost for him in the former high priest, and if he now gets any salvation at all he can only get it by beginning all over again with the new man.
Thanks be to God, no experience at all akin to this can ever befall us. Our High Priest lives eternally.
Let us not leave verse 25 without noticing that in it believers are described as those "that come unto God by Him." It is a very prominent thought in this epistle that the Christian has boldness and liberty to come to God, whereas in the former dispensation all true access to God was forbidden. These words also indicate that the great objective in all Christ's priestly service is to bring us to God, and to maintain us there.
On the one hand there is no access to God except by Him. On the other, all Christ's compassionate service on our behalf, sympathizing, succouring, saving, is a means to an end. The end being this, that thereby lifted above the things that otherwise would overwhelm us, we might be maintained in the presence of God.
F. B. Hole