Read Hebrews 7:16. On what basis did Jesus become priest?
Jesus received the priesthood on the basis of an indestructible life and because He holds an eternal ministry. The implications of these facts are astounding. It means that Jesus’ ministry will never be surpassed or outclassed. Jesus saves completely, eternally, “to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25). The salvation that Jesus provides is total and final. It reaches the innermost aspects of human nature (Hebrews 4:12, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:1-4). Jesus’ intercession before God involves all the benefits granted under the new covenant.
It includes much more than the forgiveness of sins, too. It implies putting the law in our hearts, making us new people in Him, and leading to the dissemination of the gospel to the world (Hebrews 8:10-12). As One with God and with human beings, He represents us before the Father. As One who offered His life as a sacrifice, Jesus has unwavering favor before God.
Read Hebrews 7:22. What is Jesus in relation to the new covenant?
Jesus is the surety of the new covenant because God swore an oath that Jesus would be a priest “forever” (Hebrews 7:21). It is very easy to fail to understand the importance of this oath. Paul had already referred to the oaths God made to the desert generation and to Abraham (Hebrews 3:7-11, Hebrews 6:13-15). The difference between those oaths and the oath that God has sworn to the Son is that those oaths were made to mortal human beings. Oaths stay in force as long as the beneficiaries are alive. God’s oath to the desert generation and to Abraham were binding as long as there was a desert generation and descendants of Abraham (see Galatians 3:29).
In the case of the Son, however, whose life is “indestructible,” the oath God made to Him will be binding forever. A person who stood in surety or guarantee of another was liable to the same penalties as the person for whom he stood in surety, including death. Yet, the Father established Jesus as a guarantee to us that He will not default on His promises. That’s how certain we can be of the salvation that we have been given in Jesus.