“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
The Messiah to come would be born of a woman and would be both a Prophet and a King. Now we hear that He would also be a Priest.
The priesthood indicated is not the Levitical priesthood to which the nation was accustomed. This had been instituted by God Himself after bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and giving them the Law on Mount Sinai. But Jesus was not descended from Levi. Here God refers to a different priesthood that predates that of Aaron.
Melchizedek is a mysterious figure who is mentioned in only three passages. The first is when he meets Abraham as he returns from rescuing Lot. Here he both blessed Abraham and received from him a tithe of the spoils that Abraham had taken. He is also mentioned in Hebrews where we learn that he was ‘king of Salem and priest of God Most High.’ (7:1) The writer goes on to say that his name means ‘king of righteousness’ and ‘king of peace.’ There is no record of his parents or genealogy, of his birth or of his death. He is an indication that there is a priesthood superior to the Levitical priesthood.
Here then is a Messiah who is to take to Himself the major ministries of Prophet, King and Priest. As Prophet He is the eternal Word of God, the fulfillment of prophecy and greater than all the prophets. He is the King that God had in mind for Himself and greater than all and any of the kings of Israel. He is also the one true and eternal Priest who alone is qualified and worthy to serve the Holy God and with a one perfect and sufficient sacrifice.
Unlike the prophets of Israel He is the Prophet of eternal good news – a salvation not dependent upon the law but on the grace of God. He is the Shepherd King who, unlike David, is able to lead His flock into the quiet waters and green pastures of the heart of the living and Almighty God. And He is the Great High Priest who represents us to God and who offers to God not repeated animal sacrifices but the one great sacrifice of Himself which alone is sufficient to deal with all the sins of the world – past, present and future. And being the eternal Son these ministries are His ‘forever.’
This is our Saviour God.
Is my vision of the Lord big enough?
Think and pray about these things
Holy Spirit, please open my eyes to the glory, the truth and the love of the Lord Jesus. Amen.