- Having explained that Jesus is in the order of Melchizedek, the author of Hebrews goes on to explain who Melchizedek is.
- Melchizedek was both the king of Salem and a priest of God.
- He met Abraham after the rescuing of Lot, upon which Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of the spoils of war.
- Melchizedek means “king of righteousness” and king of Salem means “king of peace”.
- He is only mentioned for a few short verses in Genesis, and since no genealogy, beginning or end of life are given, he is compared to Jesus as a priest forever.
- Abraham, who is revered as the patriarch of the Israelites/Jews, recognized that Melchizedek was greater and gave a tenth of the plunder.
- This was before the law was set up commanding the Israelites to give a tenth of their earnings to the Levites.
- The lesser person (Abraham) was blessed by the greater person (Melchizedek).
- In the case of Levi, the tenth is collected by men who die, but in the case of Melchizedek the tenth was collected by someone declared to be living.
- Levi, who collects the tenth from the descendants of Abraham, could be seen as taking part in Abraham’s offering to Melchizedek, as he was a descendant of Abraham yet to come.
- Perfection could never be attained through the Levitical priesthood, otherwise God would not have promised that a priest would have to come through a different family line, nor would the law have to be changed.
- Jesus, however, did not come through the line of Levi, but of Judah. He has become a priest, not because of ancestry, but because of His power of an indestructible life.
- The old law/regulation about who could be a priest is set aside as the better hope of Jesus being the guarantee of our covenant is established.
- Normally a priest’s duties end upon death, but Jesus lives forever and therefore has a permanent priesthood.
- Therefore He is able to completely save those who come to Him, because He lives forever and can continuously intercede for them.
- Jesus is the perfect high priest. He is holy, pure, without sin and above the influence of sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He does not need to sacrifice for His own sin, for He has none, but instead gave one sacrifice, one time for all people.
- The law set up weak, imperfect priests, but the oath of God, established after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
I love how the author of Hebrews builds his argument as he writes this letter. In order to show that Jesus is the Great High Priest, one needs to understand how He is greater than any priest that has come before. I am in awe of how worthy He is.
Just as Jesus is the High Priest, we are called as a holy priesthood and have been called to intercede for others. If Jesus can intercede before God for all of humanity for all time, I’m pretty sure I can do a better job interceding for a the few people I know who have asked me to pray for them.
Jesus, you give me the courage to keep taking steps of faith. I know that if I fail you will not abandon me and you are there to intercede on my behalf. Would you be with me this week as I strive to better serve your people through prayer/intercession. Would you daily remind me of the things I have asked to pray for that I might be a man faithful to his word. Thank you Jesus, it is in your powerful name I pray, amen.
Posted on Tue, October 6, 2015
by Brian Landers