Hebrews, Part 11, Chapter 7, incarnation
When Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, his eternal spirit became embodied in human flesh. Aeons and ages before his conception, the spirit/soul of the infant Jesus was already a Person, a spirit who had no beginning nor end. Because of his eternality and the inability of his life to be annihilated, he has AN INDESTRUCTIBLE LIFE (Hebrews 7:16).
Though God the Son’s life had gone on forever before the conception and would go on forever after his human death, burial, and resurrection, the word “indestructible” here has more to do with the indissoluble nature of his life. According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, indissoluble means: “incapable of being annulled, undone, or broken.”
His life is distinct from ours. Our lives were created at conception. We were not eternally preexistent, though we were foreknown or imagined by God before the foundation of the world. We die physically, yet, because of Christ, our souls live on until our bodies are reunited with our souls.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6 ESV).
In contrast, Jesus’ life is entirely indestructible, so indissoluble that his dead human body didn’t decay, but rather rose out of the grave on the designated third day. At his shout on the Last Day our own dead bodies will rise and will be reunited with our spirits, clothing them as Jesus is himself eternally clothed in his heavenly body. And one day, so will we be.Jesus' life is entirely indestructible, so indissoluble that his dead human body didn't decay, but rather rose out of the grave on the designated third day. One day, so will we be. Click To Tweet
In describing this for us, the Holy Spirit inspired many phrases and words that indicate eternality. I’ve placed these Scriptural words in bold and caps.
11 “Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 This becomes even more evident when another priest [Jesus] arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but BY THE POWER OF AN INDESTRUCTIBLE LIFE ” (Hebrews 7:11, 13-16 ESV).
The oath in Psalm 110, quoted above, sworn by the Father, appoints the Son who has BEEN MADE PERFECT FOREVER. The phrase “made perfect” is used, because holy and pure Jesus was able to live a completely sinless human life, though he was tested every day, whereas the first Adam failed at this, thereby dooming all of us, his descendants. The power of Jesus’ indestructible and thoroughly tested life guarantees our salvation and secures our eternity. It was promised long before the incarnation that he was A PRIEST FOREVER, and, therefore, could not be destroyed.
18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER.’” 22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant” (Hebrews 7:18-22 ESV. This contains God’s oath quoted from Psalm 110:4, written about a thousand years prior).
God the Father swore to give his Son in this capacity. This was his plan from before time. Jesus Christ is the only One who can guarantee the better covenant because of the fact that he holds his priesthood PERMANENTLY, since he CONTINUES FOREVER in the past and into the future. As a result, the Lord Jesus is able to save completely, entirely, and forever those who draw near to God through him, since he ALWAYS LIVES to intercede for us.
23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he HOLDS HIS PRIESTHOOD PERMANENTLY, because HE CONTINUES FOREVER. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since HE ALWAYS LIVES to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:23-24 ESV).
The letter to the Romans gives us a glimpse of what this intercession looks like: 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:33-34 ESV).
Our Lord and Messiah Jesus Christ intercedes for us with God the Father, alongside the Holy Spirit: 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27 ESV).
Because of Jesus’ forever-and-always priesthood, there is no gap in tenure between a former priest who just died and one who then takes his place. The former Old Testament priests could only serve for the course of their lifetimes and then it was only a flawed service, for they themselves were sinners and, thus, had to make sacrifice to atone for their own sins.
But Jesus had no need to do such a thing, for he had no sins. He has an indestructible life. Therefore, death could not hold him. Because of that he could ONCE FOR ALL TIME offer the sacrifice of himself to cover the sins of all who would ever call out to him in repentance and in faith.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has BEEN MADE PERFECT FOREVER” (Hebrews 7:26-28 ESV).
He lived a sinless life, the perfect human life, and thus, he is qualified to stand in for us as both the sacrifice and the intercessor.
All of this reality was wrapped up entirely in infant Jesus, meek and mild, fully God and yet fully man. The Savior of the world. Thank God for the gift of his Son. Remember why he came.Jesus lived a sinless life, the perfect human life. Thus, he is qualified to stand in for us as both the sacrifice and the intercessor. All of that was wrapped up entirely in infant Jesus, meek and mild. Click To Tweet