Updated 1 Jun 2019
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In this chapter, the discourse continues regarding Jesus as our great High Priest. An eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110).
The presence of Melchizedek is regarded by some scholars as an early appearance of Christ, like the one who appeared in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). However, even if Melchizedek is not Christ, it is clear that he is a picture of the Christ who was coming and who would have a superior priestly role to Aaron.
The Significance of His Name
His name means 'King of Righteousness' and 'King of Peace'. These titles are, of course, also descriptions of Jesus.
Status and Authority
He is priest and king. Later, the combination of priest and kingly role is forbidden but here, Melchizedek’s joint role is appointed by God. Jesus is, likewise, appointed as both priest and king.
We are not told of his background and genealogy but his appearance to bless Abraham is clearly very significant. Abraham gave a tenth of the plunder acquired in recent battle to Melchizedek. Later, God's people gave a tenth of what they had, so that the Levites could give their time fully to ministry.
The Levitical priesthood, descended from Aaron, was ordained of God but the suggestion is that Melchizedek is of a higher order. Aaron’s ministry was temporary and imperfect, whereas Jesus’ ministry is permanent and perfect.
The need for a new High Priest
Reasons are given why a new priest after the order of Melchizedek was necessary, which also required a change of the law.
Aaron represents a priesthood that was dependent upon the law. However, the law demands perfection and sinful man is totally condemned by it. Therefore, Jesus fulfilled the law and, like Melchizedek, heralds an age of blessing, grace and mercy. Coming before the Aaronic priesthood, Melchizedek's appearance gives us a taste of where things are really heading when Christ comes. It’s a little glimpse of the glorious revelation of Christ our Saviour!
The Greatness of Jesus
Aaron is a descendant of Abraham. Melchizedek has a mysterious arrival and departure. Jesus, however, is eternal God who became man at Bethlehem.
Jesus is the bringer of a new covenant. This sacred promise or oath from the Lord is powerful and is embodied in Christ, rather than in the law.
Jesus is the guarantor of the new covenant. It is totally secured because of who he is. He is indestructible and he lives forever. Priests come and go but Jesus’ priesthood is eternal. He is able to save completely, all who come to God through him.
Jesus always lives to make intercession for us. He is beautiful, holy, pure and blameless. Other priests had their own sins to deal with but not Jesus. That is why he is able to create such a strong guarantee for us. The new covenant, the oath from God Himself, is enacted by our wonderful great High Priest, Jesus.
Jesus has limitless power and is able to intercede ceaselessly on our behalf. He is our mediator and stands in the gap our sin creates, to bring us to God. He prays constantly for us and we are always on his heart and mind.
Points to Consider:
- These verses note different characters and the roles appointed to them by God. However what do you think is most important to God. Our service for Him or our title?
- Jesus is our servant king. What makes Jesus’ ministry great and how should we seek to be like him?
- What is the role of a priest? What can we learn about our roles as priests for our God?
- Why did Abraham respect Melchizedek? What can encourage people to respect us?
- How does it affect us to know that Jesus always lives to make intercession for us?
- Examine your prayer life. How much time do we spend seeking God for others and how much are we looking for our own needs to be met?
God bless you!
Bible Study: Hebrews 7
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