“If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.”Hebrews 8:4 NIV
So, what is the effect of the verse above since Jesus was not yet a priest during those time while He was on earth?
Usually, if you are the in-charge, your name is the authority. While on earth, the one in charge was the priest in the lineage of Levi (Aaronic). They serve as the mediator under the law but, they mediate only for the house of Israel.
“No one is to be in the tent of meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel.”Leviticus 16:17 NIV
“But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.”Hebrews 9:7 NIV
Jesus as one of the Jew knew this and since Him being a priest will only become effective after He was not on earth anymore, He respected the law and allowed a smooth transition from Levitical to His Priesthood. By doing so, while on earth, He instructed His disciples not to go to gentiles just yet since His name was not to be used yet as the existing priests (Levitical) who mediate between Israel and God were still in effect.
“These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.”Matthew 10:5 NIV
This is the reason also why He still encourage Israel to tithe. The current priest that serves as the mediator were still in the lineage of Levi and it is their right according to the law to receive their inheritance.
“I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.”Numbers 18:21 NIV
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”Matthew 23:23 NIV
He also did not instruct His disciple while on earth to baptised in His name because, aside from the fact that His disciple will be killed untimely as it was highly blasphemous to the Jews, the only name with authority to those who believe was the name Jesus as this was the name of the Father thus, the name always has and will carry the authority. However, the title name “Christ” which refers to the anointed flesh was at that time still in the process of fulfilment because, technically even after resurrection He was still on earth. His instruction was:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19 NIV
The authoritative name is not yet complete at that time as the name Christ to be carried by the Son (His Image) was still in the process of fulfillment. His disciple understood this hence, they only baptized in the complete name “JESUS CHRIST” after He ascends to heaven as it was only then the name “Christ” became effective and only then, the Holy Spirit was sent in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”Acts 2:38 NIV
It is said that the law is the shadow of the good things to come.
“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.”Hebrews 10:1 NIV
The law was basically run by the Levitical priesthood therefore, it follows that the law was the Levitical priest. This Levitical priesthood was the shadow of Jesus Christ priesthood which was the thing to come. Apparently, Jesus Christ legally or by law was from the lineage of Judah to which Moses did not write any law for the priest that will come from the lineage of Judah.
“He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.” Hebrews 7:13-14 NIV
This is one of the reasons why Jesus was able to annul the law without even destroying it. It simply became not applicable to Him since He did not come from Levi thus, He was able to create a new one replacing the old one. The transition was amazingly done smoothly.
“For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,”Hebrews 7:18 NKJV
Today, we are benefiting from this as we now don’t need to offer sacrifices yearly as in the old days.