Rudy Ross has an excellent video about Melchizedek on today’s YouTube video. I’ll not try to capture his words, but provide background to the discussion of this unique individual in Hebrews.
Psalm 110 forms the basis of the author’s words about Jesus.
We’ve seen how he used Psalm 110.1 in the early chapters of the book.
The Lord says to my lord,
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalm 110.1)
Jesus is seated at the Majesty on high and is declared to be God’s Son (Hebrews 1.3-5).
Chapter 6 transitioned to another picture of the greatness of our Savior. “Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6.20).
Chapter 7 begins a lengthy discussion of the King of righteousness and peace.
This “Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him,”
And to him Abraham apportioned “one-tenth of everything.” His name, in the first place, means “king of righteousness”; next, he is also king of Salem, that is, “king of peace.”
Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever (Hebrews 7.1-3).
Who is Melchizedek and why is he important?
Genesis 14 introduces Melchizedek to God’s drama of redemption.
The scene involves a Middle Eastern war between various city-states. Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was captured by warring parties. With 318 soldiers Abraham defeated the armies of four city-states.
After the battle, Melchizedek appeared. What may have been an incidental fact of Hebrew history became a prophecy in Psalm 110.4 and was fulfilled by Jesus.
Melchizedek and Genesis 14
This is how Genesis 14 describes the king of righteousness and peace.
And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth,
And blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” (Genesis 14.18-20)
You would think that was the way Genesis tied the whole affair up with a bow. Abraham was victorious and a priest blessed him for his work.
Genesis added a twist that will be fully developed in Hebrews 7.
Melchizedek blessed Abraham “and Abram [Abraham] gave him one-tenth of everything” (Genesis 14.20).
Melchizedek and Hebrews
The author of Hebrews connects the dots between Genesis, Psalm 110, and Jesus.
Jesus is the unique High Priest of history because he is a priest who is pictured by Melchizedek.
We will see as we study Hebrews that because Jesus is a new High Priest, there is also a new covenant. There will be more about that in later articles.
For today, let’s take a deep look into Melchizedek, the high priest who foreshadowed Jesus, our Savior.
— Melchizedek means king of righteousness and king of peace.
Jesus the supremely Righteous One is the path to peace with God and others.
— Melchizedek was without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
The key word in this description is “life.” Jesus is the ultimate High Priest because he has “the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7.16).
A great way to meditate on God’s love and grace for us is to turn Hebrews 6.19-20 into a prayer of praise and trust.
We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,
Where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6.19-20).
Rudy Ross and I talk about Hebrews today on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
I am indebted to Gareth Lee Cockerill’s commentary on Hebrews for the information contained in this blog.
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