by Philip Layton
‘He [Jesus] sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself’ (v 27)
- Why did the Hebrews need a high priest, prior to Jesus?
- In what way did Jesus become our High Priest?
- In what sense is Jesus the ultimate High Priest?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Melchizedek is a bit of a mystery – mentioned also in Genesis 14 and Psalm 110. A priest of God Most High, he pronounced a special blessing upon Abram, after which Abram gave him a tithe because God delivered the enemies into Abram’s hands (Genesis 14:20).
Why is Melchizedek mentioned again here in this letter to the Hebrews?
Let’s look at the Hebrew name itself. Malki means ‘my king’; sedeq means ‘righteousness or justice’. The word priest comes from the Latin pontifex, meaning ‘bridge-builder’. Melchizedek: priest of God Most High and king of righteousness and justice; one who built a bridge between God and humankind.
The orthodox Jewish priesthood depended solely upon genealogy. Melchizedek’s lack of genealogy emphasises his timelessness. He serves as the prototype for the Son of God; the new priesthood for the Hebrew people. He here represents Christ, our unchangeable High Priest – interceding for us and meeting our needs:
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens (vv 25, 26).
The Hebrews needed to know this new priesthood was superior; that Jesus provided direct access to God and the mercy seat was now available for all. The God who made us so that our hearts would beat some 40 million times a year, driving our bloodstream a distance of 12,000 miles a day, with the wonderful mechanism of our eyes and ears, the mysterious qualities of our brain, didn’t create us just to exist. Rather, so we could walk and talk with him. According to the Order of Melchizedek, our High Priest Jesus Christ made the supreme sacrifice once and for all for us. Redeemer, Lover, Friend. Hallelujah!
Beverly IvanyTags: Hebrews