Jesus Christ, our High Priest, arises to this rank not because of his physical ancestry, but “thought the power of a life that cannot be destroyed” (Heb 7:16).
I’ve been reading Fr. John Behr’s book The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death, and one of his assertions is that the death and resurrection of Jesus were not “self-interpreting” events.
So the early Christians didn’t actually understand that Jesus had a “life that cannot be destroyed” until after they reflected on his death and resurrection through reading the (Old Testament) Scriptures in a new way… that is, as the Scriptures that, as Jesus said, “spoke of him.”
There are lots of implications of this that I’m actively thinking about right now, including the radical difference between this allegorical reading of the Scriptures the early church did with the predominant historical-critical reading we do today.
It feels obvious that the way to interpret Scripture is to try and figure out “what was really happening” in the author’s mind who wrote it, and I think there is some value in this, but the early Christians didn’t seem to be bothered by this question at all.
Instead, they assumed that the foundational reality to read the Scriptures from is now the death and resurrection of Jesus, so now they take on new meaning that the original author could never have dreamt of.
This kind of allegorical approach, though, is perhaps more familiar to us than we realize. Every time we preach a text of Scripture as Scripture, we are assuming that God has something to say to us today that the original author of the text we are preaching from could never have imagined, yes?
It will, of course, have coherence with what God said then, but God will be saying something new today, through these Scriptures that speak of Christ, who is indeed alive and working now.