Jesus' High Priesthood: our life

I'm reading "Jesus Ascended, the Meaning of Christ's Continuing Incarnation" by Gerrit Scott Dawson (T&T Clark, 2004). Dawson (pictured at left) shows how vital it is to understand Jesus' ascension as God still in human (though now glorified) flesh.

Jesus, the ascended God-man, is our High Priest. He now resides bodily and intercedes continuously for us from heaven. And through his Spirit he lives in us and with us here on earth. In these ways he shares with us the eternal life that is his in communion with the Father and the Spirit. The ascended Jesus is our life - our "place" - with God (see John 14:2).

Dawson quotes Andrew Murray :
As Son, Christ alone was heir of all that God had. All the life of the Father was in Him. God could have no union or fellowship with any creature but through His beloved Son, or as far as the life and spirit and image of the Son was seen in it. If our salvation was not to be a merely legal one - external and, I may say, artificial - but an entrance anew into the very life of God, with the restoration of the divine nature we had lost in paradise, it was the Son of God alone who could impart this to us. He had the life of God to give; He was able to give it; He could only give by taking us into living fellowship with Himself. The priesthood of Christ is the God-devised channel through which the ever-blessed Son could make us partakers of Himself, and with Himself of all the life and glory He hath from and in the Father (page 130).
Commenting on Murray's observations, Dawson writes:
The priesthood of Christ does not consist merely of an external legal transaction of sacrifice, a paying of the bill, so to speak, but also of a reconciliation accomplished in his person and maintained in his person. This is why [William] Milligan insists that "life, not death, is the essence of atonement, is that by which sin is covered." The killing of an animal in the Hebrew sacrifices meant the fullest offering of its lifeblood. What was presented to God was not the death, but the life of the creature. Leviticus 17:11 declares, "For the life of the creature is in the blood." So "in the highest conception of offering death has no place. Had man never fallen it would still have been his duty to offer himself together with all he possessed to God in whom he lived, and moved and had his being." The effect of Christ's priesthood, then is to accomplish something within us, something that changes us and reconciles us from the inside out.
Dawson continues to quote Murray:
Jesus Christ is become a Priest after the power of an endless life [see Heb 7:16]. These precious words are the key to the higher life. Jesus lives in heaven as High Priest in the power of an endless life. And as He lives, so He works in that power...He works within us as a life, as our own life, so that it is our very nature to delight in God and in His will. His priesthood acts as an inner life within us, lifting us up, not in thought but in spirit and in truth, into a vital fellowship with God. He breathes His own life in us. And He works it in as the power of life, a life that is strong and healthy, because it is His own life from heaven (pp. 130-131).
As Dawson goes on the say, it is Jesus' "very continuing life [that] constitutes our atonement" (p. 132).

I wish you all a fresh revelation of this truth as this Easter season we celebrate both the resurrection and the ascension of our Lord.

-Ted Johnston
Canton, OH