Melchizedek Priestly Order

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him…He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life…

Hebrews 7:1-10

In Hebrews, the author is establishing that Jesus is Prophet, Priest and, King. Now, having established Jesus as superior to the angels and the prophet, Moses, the author explains why it would be foolish to go back to the Judaism of the old covenant. Now, the priesthood and animal sacrifices must be dealt with. Since Christ is better than that, there is no good reason to go on with the Old Testament system of the priesthood and sacrifices. The author of Hebrews has previously described Jesus as “a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” In our verses today, he explains how Jesus is similar to Melchizedek as the historical account of Melchizedek is found in Genesis 14. Melchizedek is the priest of God Most High. He blessed Abraham and received tithes from him after Abraham rescued Lot from a confederation of Canaanite kings. This priest of God Most High is a fitting model of Jesus for his name means “king of righteousness,” as it comes from the Hebrew words melek (king) and zedek (righteousness). Jesus is the prophesied Messiah who establishes His kingdom in righteousness according to Isaiah 9:7. Melchizedek is king of Salem which is later called Jerusalem, making him a “king of peace.” Here the author looks to the word Salem, which features the same Hebrew root as shalom, or “peace.” Jesus is Prince of Peace according to the promise of Isaiah 9:6. Melchizedek “is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.” This makes him like Jesus, who, as the Son of God, has no beginning or end. Melchizedek appears seemingly out of nowhere in Genesis 14 and, then, he disappears without any mention of his death. Jesus is like this, only He is much greater, because of His deity. He actually has always been and will always be. The author has the highest view of Jesus, understanding the Son to be very God of very God. Christ is no ordinary human founder of a world religion like Muhammad or the Buddha. Instead, He is the very God of the universe. We are called to believe and defend this precious truth with all the strength God gives us.

Source: S C Ball April 3, 2024


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