“And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” (Hebrews 7:15–16, KJV 1900)
When I worked in business management, I was often tasked with hiring people. In this our management team would read the resumes and then narrow down the search. Some of the important things were education, work experience, and references. After this, came the interviews. In these, we looked for poise, humility, integrity, and other things. At the end of this process, hopefully, we would find the best qualified applicant for the job.
The author of Hebrews now writes of the superior qualifications of Jesus as the great high priest. Jesus did not become this high priest based on a legal requirement of the flesh. That is, He was not born into it by being a descendant of Levi. He was appointed after a different order, one as we’ve already discovered came before the Law. This was the order of Melchizedek.
Moreover, Jesus’ unique qualification is based upon His eternal nature. He had no beginning and has no end. He is the Alpha and Omega. His first Advent was marked by the incarnation and his second advent is guaranteed by his resurrection. He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). He revealed himself to many giving convincing proofs of his being raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:5-8; Acts 1:3). Then He ascended to the right hand of God (Acts 1:6-11; Hebrews 1:3).
Jesus contrasts all the priests who came before. All the others lived and died. Jesus lives forever. The service of the Levitical priests was temporal. In fact, under the Law their service began at the age of 25 and ended at the age of 50 (Numbers 8:24-26). Their service had to do with their tribal lineage and age. Yet Jesus’ qualification for service as high priest had to do with the power of His endless life.
Thus, only Jesus was qualified to become a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Moreover, since He fulfills this role, He continuously mediates the New Covenant, one that is permanent, complete, and lacking nothing. As the author stated, “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” (Hebrews 7:19, KJV 1900) Jesus in His role as great high priest mediates a covenant that offers us eternal hope by which we can draw near to God with confidence.