14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. — Hebrews 7:14-18 NIV
Under the Old Testament law, the priest had to be a member of the Levite tribe. No one else was allowed to serve in the temple and/or offer the sacrifices that were required. Jesus was a member of the tribe of Judah. This was one of the issues that the Jewish religious leaders had with Him. But knowing the Old Testament, they should have realized that a new order would be established and the eternal priest would come from the tribe of Judah.
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. — Genesis 49:10 NIV
This new order would begin when the law had been fulfilled and Jesus did just that. He fulfilled the law and established a covenant of mercy and grace. The old law was weak and served only to show us that we needed a Redeemer. We could never live the life of perfection that it required. So, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to fulfill that law. His death and resurrection would usher in a whole new way of coming close to God. Earthly priests were no longer needed as we now could speak directly to God on our own behalf. Having a living God and a resurrected Jesus to worship is the defining difference in Christianity and worldly religions. It is why Chrisitanity offers the only hope for an eternity with Jesus. No religion offers the hope that we have as Christians and that is the real Christmas message that we need to be telling every day. It started with the birth of a baby in Behtlehem, it continued with the disciples and apostles and has been handed down to us to continue telling the old, old story. A story that is just as alive and vibrant today as it was when Jesus walked on the face of the earth. A light shone in the darkness then and has continued and will continue to shine throughout eternity. Our lifestyles should be mirrors that reflect that light every day, not just at this time of the year.