Friday, August 23, 2013

Hebrews 7 - Christ, Better Priesthood

LINK: Hebrews 7


BACKGROUND


The story of Melchizedek is found in Genesis 14:17-20 (BBC Post: Genesis 14). He was a God-honoring person in the Old Testament who was not a Jew. The name "Melchizedek" means "king of righteousness" and his title, "king of Salem (now Jerusalem)," means "king of peace" (Isaiah 32:17; Psalm 85:10; 72:7). He is the first priest and also a king. 

In Jewish law, a person could not be both a priest and a king. The priests came from the tribe of Levi, while the kings came from the tribe of Judah. Christ came from Melchizedek's line because He is the High Priest, King, and the epitome of righteousness and peace!

Some believe Melchizedek is a "type" of Christ. The other day we learned that a type is a person in the Old Testament that foreshadows someone in the New Testament. There was no end to Melchizedek's priesthood, as there is no end to Christ's. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe demonstrating that he was superior to Abraham and the Levitical priests who would be descended through Abraham in the future.   

The Levitical system was inadequate and had to be replaced by something superior. The word "perfection" in 7:11 refers to "complete and unhindered communion with God." The Law made nothing perfect (7:19). The animal sacrifices could not "make perfect those who draw near" (10:1-3). The Mosaic Law that included the Levitical priesthood was not to be permanent. It was the tutor or schoolmaster to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:19-4:7). 


Christ was not from the Levitical line. He was from the line of Judah. Therefore, God had a whole new, permanent arrangement, and Christ came through the line of Melchizedek, and this priesthood was forever (Psalm 110:4)!  He accomplished what the Law could not by being a perfect sacrifice for our sins, once for all. Finally, the priests could not meet all our needs, but our perfect High Priest can!


REFLECTION/APPLICATION/PRAYER




Enjoy worship today with brothers and sisters from another country!

We place You

On the highest place
For You
Are the great High Priest.
We place You
High above all else
And we come to You
And worship at Your feet.


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