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Book of Hebrews
Theme: Christ our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek
The rest of the Epistle to the Hebrews deals with the subject of the Living Christ who is at this moment at God's Right Hand. Right Hand of God: (Mk.16:19; Lk.22:69; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22)
It is a subject that is really neglected in the church today. We talk a great deal about the death and resurrection of Christ . . . that is wonderful! But, we need to go on further . . . to a Living Christ who is at God's Right Hand, and is always there for us. The reality of His ministry to us is what is going to test our spiritual life. Consider this: Is the truth of this chapter of Hebrews going to affect your spiritual life?
The writer to the Hebrews is going to make a comparison and contrast of the priesthood of Melchizedek and the priesthood of Aaron.
Christ Is Perpetual Priest (7:1-3)
Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; (KJV)
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God . . .the little word ‘for’ is used by the writer to the Hebrews to hold together what has been said before. For is like ‘therefore’ and ‘wherefore’. He is now going to refers us back to verse 20 of chapter 6. Melchizedek is a type of Christ. http://www.godcannotlie.org/types_of_christ_melchizedek.htm
In the historical record Melchizedek is called "king of Salem" and "priest of the most high God" (Gen.14:17-24). So little is said about Melchizedek in Genesis that we could easily forget about him . . . but the Holy Spirit did NOT forget about him. He brings him up again in Psalm 110:4, and there, there is this prophecy concerning the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ: "...Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek". We are living in the day of Christ's priesthood. On Earth, today we have a High Priest, but He is NOT ministering in any building here. He is up in Heaven at God's right hand, right now.
Who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him . . . the four kings (Gen.14:1), whom Abraham slew, and over whom he got a total victory, with only three hundred and eighteen men of his own house.
Since we are going to look at Christ as a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, we need to know all we can about Melchizedek. The kings of the east formed a confederacy and came against the kings of the west, that is, those who lived around the Dead Sea. The kings of the east won and carried off the people as slaves and the wealth of the cities as booty. Word was brought to Abraham that Lot was carried away into captivity. Abraham immediately armed about 318 men out of his own household, which means he had quite a large household. He took these 318 men, and by a surprise attack he was able to get a victory over the kings of the east. All he was concerned about was rescuing Lot, but in so doing he was able to rescue the king of Sodom and all the others.
In Genesis 14:17, we are told: "And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale." The king of Sodom made Abraham an offer which he refused, then out of nowhere we read: "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God" (Gen.14:18).
There are not many references to Melchizedek in the Old Testament, there are quite a few references to him here in the Letter to the Hebrews. "Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec" (Heb.5:10). "Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Heb.6:20). Now here in verse 1 of chapter 7, the writer tells us, "For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him." The writer is going to talk a lot about Melchizedek in this chapter. I think the key to this chapter is found in verse 17: "For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec."
Hebrews 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; (KJV)
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all . . . or tithes, as in (Gen.14:20).
First being by interpretation king of righteousness . . . Melchizedek is a type of Christ . . . he represents Jesus in several different ways. He is king of peace and king of righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ is a King. He is righteousness, and He was made unto us righteousness.
And after that also king of Salem, which is king of peace . . . some think that Salem was Jerusalem. Others say that Salem is not a place . . . the word salem means "peace." The writer does not say that Melchizedek was king of Jerusalem. He was king of peace; he was a man who could make peace in that day. I think that he was king of a city somewhere, but I do not think this means he was king of Jerusalem. Melchizedek was king of peace, and may regard his peaceable government; which relates to Christ, the Prince of peace; whose Kingdom is a Kingdom of peace; His scepter is a scepter of peace; His royal proclamation is the Gospel of peace.
Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (KJV)
Without father, without mother, without descent . . . I think this could mean that his father was not a priest, nor did his mother descend from any in that office; nor had he either a predecessor or a successor in it. It to me means there is no record of his background.
Having neither beginning of days, nor end of life . . . there is no record that shows when he was born, or when he died; and in this he was a type of Christ, who has no beginning of days, was from the beginning, and in the beginning, and is the beginning, and was from everlasting.
He is the Living God; and though as Man He died once, He will die no more, but lives for ever. It is also said of Melchizedek,
But made like unto the Son of God . . . made like unto the Son of God in the above things; from this it appears, that he is not the Son of God; and that Christ, as the Son of God, existed before Melchizedek, and therefore could not take this character from Jesus’ incarnation or resurrection:
but is a type Christ, for there never will be any change of Christ's priesthood; nor will it ever be transferred to another; the virtue and effectiveness of it will continue for ever; and He will ever live to make intercession; and will always bear the glory of his being both priest and King upon his throne: one version reads, "his priesthood abides for ever"; which is true both of Melchizedek and of Christ.
Abideth a priest continually . . . here Melchizedek is a picture of Christ and a type of Christ in another way. The Lord Jesus comes out of eternity, and He moves into eternity. He has no beginning and no end. He is the beginning. He is the end. You cannot go beyond Him in the past, and you cannot get ahead of Him in the future. He has been in all periods of time and all of eternity.
Melchizedek is a picture and type in the Book of Genesis, a book that gives ancestries, giving the ancestry starting with Adam on down. But in this book that gives the genealogies, there is NO record of Melchizedek. He simply walks out onto the pages of Scripture in Genesis 14, out of nowhere, little is said of him, then he disappears, and we do not see him anymore. This is one of the mysteries of the Bible! WHY isn’t the genealogy of Melchizedek recorded? Because Melchizedek was to be a type of the Lord Jesus in His priesthood. From the prophecy given in Psalm 110:4, we see Melchizedek as a picture of Christ in that the Lord Jesus is the eternal God, and He is a Priest because He is the Son of God, and He is a Priest continually. Jesus is a Priest, and He continues to be a priest for ever . . . there will be absolutely NO change in Jesus’ priesthood because He is eternal.
Christ Is the Perfect Priest (Hebrews 7:4-22)
Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. (KJV)
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils . . . Abraham was the patriarch of patriarchs, as the sons of Jacob are called (Acts 7:8-9). Abraham is the father of the whole Jewish nation, and of many nations, and of all believers, the friend of God, and heir of the world. So consider just how great this man Melchizedek was, because Abraham paid tithes to him! And also consider how much greater Christ must be, who was foreshadowed by Melchizedek, a type of Christ. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. He accepted that Melchizedek was above him and that he was the priest of the most high God.
Hebrews 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: (KJV)
And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood . . . the Levites are of the tribe of Levi, who descended from Abraham, through Jacob (Gen.29:34).
These have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law . . . the ceremonial law (Num.18:20-26). The Levites took the tithe of all the people of Israel in the rest of the tribes, by the commandment of God, because of their service in the tabernacle.
That is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of the Abraham . . . the sons of Levi, were descended from Abraham, and Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. This shows that Melchizedek was superior to Aaron and his family (Ex.4:14).
Hebrews 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. (KJV)
But he whose descent is not counted from them, and blessed him that had the promises . . . the genealogy of Melchizedek, is NOT numbered with the Levites, nor from any from whom they descend. Melchizedek’s lineal descent is NOT the same as theirs; and so he did NOT receive tithes by any law, as the Levites did, but because of his superiority. Melchizedek received tithes. You would want to think that Abraham would be superior to Melchizedek, but he was not. Melchizedek was a Gentile who was the priest of the most high God. The Bible does not give us any more information about Melchizedek, nothing about how he knew God or how he was given the permission to accept tithes. We know NOTHING more about this mysterious man, than what is in the Scriptures. Should someone tell you they know more, I think you would be safe to consider them fools.
Hebrews 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. (KJV)
And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the greater . . . Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek who was higher up than he was. When we worship the Lord Jesus and bow before Him, we recognize His supremacy and superiority. There is a plain truth, and it is undeniable; “He that blesses is greater than he that is blessed by him.” So Melchizedek, as a priest of the most high God, and as blessing Abraham, was greater than he; and so must be greater than the Levites, who sprung from Abraham. Melchizedek and his priesthood would be more excellent than the Levites, and therefore Christ, the One Melchizedek foreshadows, has to be greater too; which is what the writer of Hebrews is trying to get through to the Hebrews he is writing to.
Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. (KJV)
And here men that die receive tithes . . . the priests and Levites were only mortal men, and so did not continue, for they died and had to be replaced (verse 24).
But there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth . . . here men that die refers to the Levitical priests; "but there he" refers to Melchizedek. Since there is no record of Melchizedek’s birth or death, this might may be interpreted of the eternity of his priesthood, and of his being the forerunner of Christ.
Hebrews 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. (KJV)
And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham . . . the Levites, who receive tithes according to the law of Moses from the people of Israel, paid tithes in Abraham, meaning that those who receive tithes also pay them out of their own income.
Hebrews 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. (KJV)
For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him . . . the priestly tribe of Levi was in the loins of Abraham when he paid tithes to Melchizedek, and so, Levi also paid tithes to Melchizedek. In this same way, way back when Adam sinned, I also sinned. In Adam all died. The reason we will die, if the Lord tarries His Coming, is that we are in Adam and we sinned in Adam. BUT . . . today I am perfect because I am in Christ. Do you realize what this means? When God looks down and sees me, God sees me in Christ, and I am perfect in Him. God sees the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19), and I am accepted in the Beloved (Eph.1:6). And Jesus, our High Priest is up there in Heaven, at God’s right Hand, taking our side! What a great Scriptural truth this is!
A New Law and a New Priesthood
Hebrews 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? (KJV)
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? . . . this is saying that the Levitical priesthood was incomplete. It never brought perfection, never brought complete communion with God. It never gave redemption and it never brought acceptance before God to the people. It never achieved its goal. SO . . . we really do need Christ Jesus, our High Priest.
Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (KJV)
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law . . . the Levitical priesthood was changed and abolished to make way for the priesthood of the Great High Priest, and the change of the priesthood required the change of the law. Now, the legal dispensation of the covenant of grace (Rom.6:14-15), and the bringing in with another priesthood with a better hope (Gal.3:17-29). Compare verses 18-19 of this chapter, the covenant of grace in the Gospel dispensation.
We are NOT under the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law belonged to the Aaronic priesthood where they offered bloody sacrifices. The Mosaic Law and the Aaronic priesthood go together. The grace of the Gospel dispensation and the Priesthood of Christ Jesus go together.
Hebrews 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. (KJV)
For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. . . this means the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, to whom they had reference. The things here spoken of pertain to His office as Priest; His being of the order of Melchizedek. The writer here assumes it as a point concerning that which there could be no dispute that these things referred to the Lord Jesus. Those to whom he wrote would not be inclined to call this into question.
Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. (KJV)
For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah . . . it was out of the tribe of Judah, that the Messiah was to spring from (Gen.49:10; Num.24:17). He was to be of the family of Jesse, and of the house of David; and hence He is sometimes called David himself, and so the Jews expect that He will come from the tribe of Judah, and not from any other.
Of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood . . . the priestly office pertained only to the tribe of Levi. No one of the tribe of Judah had any part in the performance of the duties of that office. This was settled by the Jewish law. Jesus was descended from the tribe of Judah.
Hebrews 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, (KJV)
And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest . . . this is what the prophecy in Psalm 110:4 said about the Messiah who was to come.
Jesus the son of David, of the tribe of Judah; one that is not of his family or tribe of Levi, but one like to Melchizedek. Many say that from this, we can learn that Melchizedek and Christ are not the same person; and that the order and likeness of Melchizedek are the same; and that Christ's being of the order of Melchizedek, means only that there is a resemblance and likeness between Him and Melchizedek. The "arising" of another priest, does not mean that Christ set Himself up as a priest, only that His appearance as a Priest, would be in continual existence, and virtue of His Priesthood. It is God the Father who set up Jesus as our High Priest.
Hebrews 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. (KJV)
Who was made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life . . . Christ became a Priest after His resurrection from the dead; He has an endless life. The indication here is that Christ was not appointed as a priest after the order of Aaron, wherein weak and perishing men must succeed each other, but He was made a High Priest after another order . . . the power of immortality or endless life.
Hebrews 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (KJV)
For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec . . . meaning either David, the author of Psalm 110, or the Holy Ghost, the editor of it, or God’s Words in the Scripture. (Heb.5:6,10; 6:20). All testify that Jesus is a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. (KJV)
For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment . . . not the moral law, but the ceremonial law, which is the commandment that had to do with the Levitical priesthood.
Going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof . . . with respect to time, the law, being before the Gospel state, or the exhibition of the new covenant of grace (Rom.6:14); and with respect to use, as a type or shadow of good things to come; and as it was a schoolmaster (Gal.3:24-25), going before, and leading to the knowledge of evangelical truths. This ceremonial law is now repealed and made void, the middle wall of partition is broken down (Eph.2:14), and the law of ceremonial commandments contained in ordinances before is abolished. All bloody sacrifices shall cease in the future state, or time to come. But the sacrifice of praise will always remain (Jer.17:26;33:11; Ps.27:6; Heb.13:15).
Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. (KJV)
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God . . . this refers to the introduction of the Gospel or the new covenant to take the place of the old covenant. There is ONLY ONE WAY that we can come to God, and THAT is through Christ Jesus (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). The Lord Jesus Christ as our High Priest is a perpetual priest and He is a perfect priest. The priesthood of Aaron could not fill the bill. Now we have a Perfect Priest, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. He, and He alone has provided salvation for all sinners, IF we simply BELIEVE in faith! God took us out of Adam and put us in Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV) . . . We are no longer joined to Adam but are now joined to the Living Christ.
See the contrast between the priesthood of Aaron and the priesthood of Melchizedek:
Law vs. Power . . . (law restrains -- power enables)
Commandment (external) vs. Life (internal)
Carnal (flesh) vs. Endless (eternal life)
Changing vs. Unchanging
Weakness and unprofitableness vs. Nigh to God
Nothing perfect vs. Better hope
Something else to consider: Jesus is Better than Aaron.
1. Makes perfect (Heb.7:11,19; 10:14)
2. Of a higher order (Heb.6:20; 7:1-21)
3. A priest after a higher law (Heb.7:16)
4. An eternal priest (Heb.7:16-17,21))
5. A priest of an all powerful and more profitable covenant (Heb.7:18)
6. A priest of a better hope (Heb.7:19)
7. A priest of a better way to approach God (Heb.7:19; 10:19-23)
8. A priest by God's oath (Heb.7:21; Ps.110:4)
9. A priest with a better covenant based on better promises (Heb.7:22; 8:6)
10. Unchangeable (Heb.7:23-25,28; 10:12-14)
11. Able to save (Heb.7:25; 10:1-18).
12. An eternal intercessor (Heb.7:25)
13. Holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners (Heb.7:25-27)
14. Exalted to heaven (Heb.7:26; 1:3; 8:1; 12:1-2)
15. No daily sacrifices (Heb.7:27; 10:10-14)
16. An all-sufficient sacrifice (Heb.7:27; 10:10-14)
17. A once for all sacrifice (Heb.10:10
18. No weakness (Heb.7:28; Mat.8:17)
19. Consecrated forever (Heb.7:28)
20. Minister of the true and the heavenly temple (Heb.8:1-2; 9:11)
21. A more excellent ministry (Heb.8:6)
22. Mediator of a better covenant based upon better promises (Heb.8:6)
Hebrews 7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (KJV)
And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest . . . this is another proof of the superiority of Christ's priesthood; a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (Ps.110:4). When God the Father appointed Christ as High Priest, He confirmed it with an oath! God does NOT have to swear by an oath, because God NEVER lies (Tit.1:2), BUT, any time that God does confirm something with an oath, rest assured it is extremely important!
Hebrews 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) (KJV)
For these priests were made without an oath. . . the priests from the tribe of Levi, and of the order of Aaron, were installed into their office without an oath. No mention of an oath is made of any priests when Aaron and his sons were put into the priesthood in Moses's time; nor was any used afterwards.
But this with an oath . . . meaning that Christ was made a high priest with an oath, with the oath of Almighty God; which gives Jesus’ Priesthood superiority over the Levitical priesthood, which was without an oath. This oath was made,
By him that said unto him: the Lord sware and will not repent, thou art a priest for ever after
the order of Melchisedec . . . which proves that Almighty God the Father, swore that Christ should be a Priest, and continue so for ever. Swearing an oath, when done by God, is always by Himself, for there is NONE greater than God! A man swearing an oath always swears on something greater than himself.
Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (KJV)
By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament . . . what is intended may be called both a testament and a covenant; a testament, because it is founded in the good will and pleasure of God, and respects an inheritance bestowed by God the Father to His children, which was confirmed and comes to them by the death of Christ, and a covenant (Promise), it being an agreement made by the Father with Christ, represents all the elect; in which promises and blessings of all kinds are provided and secured for them in Christ.
Christ in His Person Is
The Perpetual and Perfect Priest (Hebrews 7:23-28)
Hebrews 7:23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: (KJV)
And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death . . . another proof of superiority, was that the Levitical priests were many, for death caused the need of the continual appointment of new priests being installed. BUT, Christ does NOT die, so has a priesthood which does NOT pass on from one to another. The Lord Jesus will NOT be dying anymore. He died once for our sins, but He will NEVER die again. He is there in all eternity for us.
Hebrews 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (KJV)
But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood . . . although Jesus died, the grave could not hold Him (Ps.16:10; 49:9; Acts 2:27,31; 13:35-37). His resurrection was foretold, and He fulfilled those prophecies. The Priesthood of Christ will never be obsolete, never give place to another; neither will it ever pass from Him to another. He has it for ever! This is a matter of comfort to the saints, that He sits a Priest upon His throne, and that His Priesthood always continues.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (KJV)
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them . . . He can do this because He continues for ever, and has an unchangeable priesthood. This does not mean temporal salvation, nor divine favors, but spiritual and eternal salvation. It includes deliverance from all evil, here and in the hereafter, and an enjoyment of all good in this world, and in the world to come. Christ was called to this work by His Father. He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him. He is able to keep on saving you, to the uttermost, means all the way through. He is able to save us completely and perfectly. He is the Great Shepherd who has never lost a sheep.
Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (KJV)
For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens . . . He "became us" means Christ is just what we need. We could not have anyone better than He is, for NONE exists who is better than JESUS! Holy . . . meaning in relationship to God. Christ is the Holy One. Harmless means that He is free from any malice, deceit or shrewdness. When He pardons you when you sin, it is because He is the one who paid the penalty of sin for you, and the penalty absolutely has been paid in full. Undefiled . . . means He is free from any moral impurity. Have you ever considered the blasphemous movies, songs, and literature of our day? The world in which we live is exceedingly vile and wicked! The Bible tells us clearly that the Lord Jesus was absolutely free from ALL moral impurity.
He is also separate from sinners. He is like us, but, He is not like us. He could mix and mingle with sinners while He was on Earth, and they did not feel uncomfortable in His Presence, BUT He was NOT one of them. His enemies accused Him of associating with publicans and sinners. This He did, yet He was NOT one of them. He was separate from sinners. Jesus was sinless: (Isa.53:9; Mat.27:4,19,23-24; Jn.8:46; Lk.23:41,47; 2 Cor.5:21;Heb.4:15; 7:26-27; 1 Pet.2;22; 1 Jn.2:1; 3:5). We are not sinless!
Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. (KJV)
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself . . . the Lord Jesus did NOT need to offer any sacrifice for His own sin, for He had none. In Old Testament times when animals were sacrificed, they were cut into pieces, the parts were washed, the fat was burned, the blood was sprinkled, and the meat was boiled. Blood was demanded as atonement for sin, and God accepted the innocent animal’s blood to cover the people's sin (Lev,17:11). Because of this sacrificial system, the Israelites were aware that sin costs someone something and that they themselves were sinful. So many today people take Christ's work on the cross for granted. They do not take the time to realize how much it cost Him. To secure our forgiveness, it cost Him His life and the painful, temporary separation from His Father (Mat.27:46).
Because Jesus died once for all, He brought the Old Testament sacrificial system to an end. He forgave sins, past, present and future. The Jews did not need to go back to the old system because Christ, the Perfect Sacrifice, had completed the work of redemption for us. There is no need to look for another way to have your sins forgiven . . . Christ Jesus was the final Sacrifice for us.
Jesus offered His Body, and since it was His body that died for sin, it was necessary for that same Body to be resurrected and ascend into Heaven to represent mankind. This is what is stated in verse 25, "He ever liveth." He is for ever to live in the same body that lived and died here on Earth (Zec.13:6; Lk.24:39; Acts 1:11). So, by His eternal intercession and presentation of His resurrected Body before God, He represents man in Heaven and makes it possible for God to justify anyone who meets His terms (Jn.3:16,36; 5:24; 8:24; Rom.3:21,24,28;26; 5:1,9).
Hebrews 7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. (KJV)
For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity . . . this shows the difference between Christ and these priests. Men are weak, frail, sinful and dying. Such were all who were appointed to the office of priest under the Jewish law.
But the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore . . . which one was appointed after the order of Melchizedek (verse 21). Maketh the Son . . . the appointment of the Son of God to the priesthood has resulted in His being set apart to this work, and Who is consecrated for evermore. Perfected . . .the idea is, that His appointment is complete and permanent (Heb.2:10). His Priesthood does not pass from one to the other. It is perfect and permanent in all the arrangements, and will remain so for ever. Christ Jesus is perfect in His obedience and sufferings, in His Sacrifice, and since He is now in Heaven, in complete glory. Christ is a Priest for evermore, and He is absolutely perfect.
Melchizedek, whose name means “king of righteousness,” was a king of Salem. Some say Salem is Jerusalem, but others say Salem means peace, hence Melchizedek was king of peace. This Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God (Gen.14:18-20; Ps.110:4; Heb.5:6-11; 6:20-7:28). Melchizedek’s sudden appearance and disappearance in the book of Genesis is mysterious, to say the least. Melchizedek and Abraham first met after Abraham’s victory over Chedorlaomer and his three allies. Melchizedek presented bread and wine to Abraham and his weary men, demonstrating friendship. He bestowed a blessing on Abraham in the name of El Elyon (“God Most High”) and praised God for giving Abraham a victory in battle.
Abraham presented Melchizedek with a tithe (a tenth) of all the items he had gathered. By doing this, Abraham indicated that he recognized Melchizedek as a priest, who ranked spiritually higher than he.
In Psalm 110:4, a Messianic Psalm written by David, Melchizedek is presented as a type of Christ. This theme is repeated over and over again in the book of Hebrews, where both Melchizedek and Christ are considered kings of righteousness and peace. By saying that Melchizedek and his unique priesthood is a type, the writer of Hebrews shows that Christ’s Priesthood is far superior to the old Levitical order and the priesthood of Aaron (Heb.7:1-10).
There are some who think that Melchizedek was actually a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ, or a Theophany. I think that this certainly is a possibility, because Abraham had received such a visit before. See Genesis 17, where Abraham saw and spoke with the Lord Jesus, in the form of a man.
Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (KJV) . . . The term order would normally indicate a succession of priests holding the office. But, NONE are ever mentioned, in the long time period from Melchizedek to Christ, an irregularity that can be solved by assuming that Melchizedek and Christ are really the same person. Thus the “order” is eternally vested in Him and Him alone.
Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. (KJV) . . . This says that Melchizedek was without father or mother, without any recorded genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. But, does the writer of Hebrews mean this actually or symbolically?
IF the description in this Hebrews Passage is literal, then it is really hard to see how it could be properly applied to ANYONE except the Lord Jesus Christ. NO mere earthly king “remains a priest forever,” and no mere human is “without father or mother.” But if Genesis 14 describes a theophany, then God the Son came to give Abraham His blessing (Gen.14:17-19), appearing as the King of Righteousness (Rev.19:11,16), the King of Peace (Isa.9:6), and the Mediator between God and Man (1 Tim.2:5).
IF the description of Melchizedek is symbolic, then the details of having no genealogy, no beginning or ending, and a ceaseless ministry are simply statements which emphasize the mysterious nature of the person who met Abraham. In this case, the silence in the Genesis account concerning these details is purposeful and better serves to link Melchizedek with Christ.
Are Melchizedek and Jesus the same person? A case can be made either way. At the very least, Melchizedek is a type of Christ, predicting the Lord’s ministry. But it is also possible that Abraham, after his weary battle, met and gave honor to the Lord Jesus Himself. There are pros and cons for both these interpretations. What do you think?
Book of Hebrews
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch. 11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13. . Special Comments