“. . . 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 7:24-25)
We rightly rejoice in all that the Lord Jesus has accomplished for us. His victory is assured and complete, as Peter says:
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18)
Peter speaks of Christ’s completed work in the past tense, as does the writer to the Hebrews here in chapter 7: “He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” (v. 27)
But the writer also speaks in this curious present tense: “. . . he always lives to intercede for them.” (v. 25)
So is our salvation completed or ongoing? It’s both! When Jesus intercedes on our behalf, he does so on the basis of what he already accomplished at Calvary. Dane Ortlund puts it like this:
“His interceding for us reflects his heart — the same heart that carried him through life and down into death on behalf of his people is the heart that now manifests itself in constant pleading with and reminding and prevailing upon his Father to always welcome us.”
So the sacrificial death of Jesus did take place ‘once for all’. Yet his perfect sacrifice is the means by which he constantly makes our case before the Father. Every time we say and do the things we ought not to. Every time we neglect the things we ought to.
But unlike the priests of old, Jesus doesn’t have to offer constant sacrifices on our behalf; he’s already made the perfect sacrifice in himself. That’s how he’s ‘able to save completely’.
Our salvation is absolutely certain, because Jesus always lives to intercede for us. He doesn’t simply watch us struggle on from afar – he abides with us and pleads for us always. That’s why we have a high priest who truly meets our need (Hebrews 7:26).
Hillsong’s What A Beautiful Name reminds us:
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now?
Praise be to Jesus, who always lives to intercede for us! Take a moment right now to give thanks to God for this glorious truth.