«The matter becomes even plainer; a different priest has appeared, who is like Melchizedek. He was made a priest, not by human rules and regulations, but through the power of a life which has no end» (Hebrews 7:15, 16, GNT).
PAUL PRESENTS to us a «different» priest than the one presented in Leviticus. There, only the one who was to come is presented, originating from the tribe of Levi, from Aaron’s family, with a service limited to days and years. Why was Jesus different? Dr. Mario Veloso sums it up as follows:
Different ill regards to the law. According to priestly law, it was mandated that the priest be a descendant of the tribe of Levi, but Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah.
Different in regards to life. The Levitical priesthood could only grant formal authority. Christ, on the other hand, is a priest by the power of an indissoluble, stable and permanent life (Heb. 7:16). There is no Levitical priest alive like Him. In the days of Jesus, in the temple, there was a system of turns for priests, specifying the times when each could exercise their ministry. The priesthood of Christ has no limitation.
Different in regards to time. He is a priest forever. All Levitical priests died. Even the Aaronic priestly system is over. However, Christ currently intercedes for sinners in the heavenly sanctuary.
Different in regards to the oath. The other priests were not made priests by an oath, but in this case God Himself made an oath in order to give assurance of the promise (Heb. 7:20, 21). This oath is the basis for the priesthood of the Son in contrast to the legal foundation of the Levitical priesthood.
Different because He is the Surety of a new covenant. Hebrews 7:22 and 23 says: «By so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.»
This intercessory Priest is the same One who created us, who redeemed us with His blood, who persists in His saving project and therefore intercedes daily and permanently for us. He does not need to offer sacrifices for Himself, nor does He have to borrow a life. He has life of His own and He gave His life for us.
An unbeliever intended to mock a believing grandmother, to whom he asked a question: «What does it mean to you to be saved?» She replied with certainty, «For me it means that Jesus puts on my shoes and I put on His.»
Jesus put Himself in our place by being
our Sacrifice, our Offering, and our Priest.
He died our death so that we can live His life. He put on our shoes so that we can wear His.