Hebrews 7: Melchizedek

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Understanding Melchizedek helps us understand the greatness of Jesus Christ as our Great High Priest.


1 Star is Not Good Enough!

I have become a master of filtering my searches for anything. Need a new vacuum? Let’s see…5-Star’s? Probably more than I want to spend. 3-Star’s? Probably sketchy on the quality. How about a place to stay on vacation? 1-Star…..3 -Star…..5 -Star’s? A new place to eat? ……
Who wants a 1-Star experience or product? We all want 5-Star experiences and products!

Jesus is 5 Star Plus!

So far, the book of Hebrews has pointed out that Jesus is better angels, Moses, and the Jewish High Priests. Remember that the message was being spoken to converted Jewish people who had become weary in the Christian way. It was an encouragement and an intellectual defense of the faith to these Christian leaders.
Basically, these Christian leaders are being told that Jesus Christ is 5Star’s in every category. He meets the requirements of quality, performance, power, and reputation. The following verses are the summary of what is being said:
Hebrews 7:26–28 NIV
Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
How does this matter to us? Henry Bosch was the editor for the long time running Our Daily Bread devotional. I think he explains very well why this is important to us today:
We often hear of the salvation Christ provided at Calvary when He died for our sins. But little is said of His continuing ministry of prayer for our spiritual growth. Just as Jesus prayed for Peter in a time of severe temptation (Luke 22:31-32), so also He intercedes before the Father's throne on our behalf. This vital work of the Savior will go on as long as we are in need of His help, comfort, and blessing.
Robert Murray McCheyne, the beloved Scottish minister of the 19th century, wrote, "If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference. He is praying for me!"
During a deep personal crisis, I realized the truth of Hebrews 7 in a new and wonderful way. Satan seemed to be attacking me on every side. So I asked the Lord to plead for me. The next day the problem was solved, and I knew it was the Lord's special intervention. Never before had I been so conscious of the Savior's high-priestly ministry (Heb 8:1).
If you are having great difficulty, tell Jesus about it. He will present your needs to the Father. Through His intercessory work, you'll experience the remarkable results that only His prayers can accomplish.—Henry G. Bosch
I’m glad that we have a Great High Priest in Heaven!

Using Melchizedek as a Type of Jesus Christ to Know How Great Jesus Is

Meet Melchizedek

If we are handing out stars, we’d have to rank Melchizedek at 4 ½ stars – arguably 5 stars if we believed that he was an early incarnation of Jesus (but we can’t prove it). But, everyone agrees that he was powerful, peace loving, and righteous. The 1st 10 verses of chapter 8 introduce Melchizedek to us:
Hebrews 7:1–10 NIV
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
These verses provide reasons that Melchizedek was awesome:
1. King of righteousness
2. King of peace
3. He was great!
4. His lineage was outside of the flawed Levitical laws and priesthood
Remember, this is all to point out that Jesus was 5Star’s. These folks who were coming out of the old covenant were having doubts. The writer of Hebrews uses Melchizedek as a defense against Judaizers who apparently were thinking that the Levitical line was 5Star. If that were the case, then why Melchizedek? Afterall, Abraham bowed to him and gave tithe. He must be greater. On top of that, the Psalmist places Melchizedek above the priests as well in Psalm 110. This is called a Messianic psalm because it points to Jesus:
Psalm 110 NIV
Of David. A psalm. The Lord says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning’s womb. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. He will drink from a brook along the way, and so he will lift his head high.
Isn’t it amazing what the heroes of the OT understood? David was able to see it and understand the greatness of Christ.

In Perfection

Amazon had their Prime day back in June. Cindy and I had been interested in those robotic vacuum cleaners. I had researched the vacuums and wanted to find the best value at the best price. So, the one that I wanted went on sale on Prime Day. We snatched it and put it to work. It has been a game changer! It may not be perfect, but it sure makes housecleaning much easier. Now, if only robotic lawn mowers were affordable!
(Paul) begins to explain that the priests from the tribe of Levi were not perfect, and there needed to be perfection:
Hebrews 7:11–15 NIV
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,
Let’s stop there for a moment. Why would these Hebrews want to go back to the inferior priesthood of the old covenant? Cindy and I are not interested in going back to the old Oreck or, even older, the old Rainbow (remember those days?). Paul is not only making the point that Jesus is 5Star, he is also setting them up to explain how much better the new covenant is to the old covenant (coming up in chapter 8).
A product is perfect if it accomplishes the purpose for which it is created. Our little robot, Rosie, shows me what she accomplishes in a map of the house. It is pretty amazing. “The purpose of the priesthood was to reconcile men to God through sacrificing for their sins. But this priesthood could only picture the actual reconciliation, because it could only typify cleansing of sin. The OT system was not able to take away sin. It was therefore imperfect. The Levitical priesthood failed to give men a perfectly adequate relation to God and failed to give men access to God, which is the goal for men who are created in God's image.”[1]


Another of the traits that makes our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, 5Star is the fact that He is indestructible.
Hebrews 7:16–25 NIV
one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
For many years Craftsman considered their tools so indestructible, you could take a tool with the Craftsman name on it back for a replacement or refund with no questions asked. It made Craftsman really popular among DIYers and professionals. You owned a working tool for life. That put Craftsman in 5-star territory.
Jesus should have our confidence and loyalty. He is not whimsical. He is not a good priest for a lifetime like we have a good president for 4 or 8 years and then he’s gone. He is eternal. Through Him we can draw near to God. He is “able to save completely those who come to God through him”. He lives to intercede for us!
Hebrews 8 lays out some powerful arguments to continue in the faith for those weary Hebrews in the 1st century. Clearly, these are all things that we should understand as well. I also think that there are some questions that these thoughts provoke.

Do You Realize that You Serve a 5 Star Savior?

Melchizedek provides Christians with a template for understanding the heavenly priesthood of Christ. This challenges our attempts to substitute human mediators for the divine, revealing a high priest whose saving work cannot be confined to any one culture or bloodline (Thompson, Hebrews, 164).[1] The Hebrews were being influenced away from their Savior, it is possible that we are influenced as well. There are schools of thought out there that are destructive: 1. Progressive Christianity - Essentially, it is uber-liberal Christianity. By progressive, we don’t mean politically progressive, though the two views often go hand-in-hand. Progressive Christianity doesn’t necessarily view the Bible as God’s Word and bases their theology on 1) personal conscience or experience and 2) cultural norms. But they still like to use a lot of the same words like inspired, so, well-meaning Christians like you and me are easily sucked into the progressive abyss. It’s a combination of agnostic beliefs with all the warm fuzzies of Christian-ish traditions, and far too many naive Christians are falling prey to it.[2] 2. CRT – Critical Race Theory. Voddie Baucham is a black pastor, theologian, and Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Zambia. "This is a religious movement," Baucham said of CRT. "It has all the trappings of a religion. It has its own cosmology, it has its own saints, it has its own liturgy, its own law. It has all of those elements. And a lot of those things are very subtle, which makes them rather attractive to religious people." I could go on to give some more 1-Star counterfeits. My point is that this stuff isn’t trapped in the 1st century. The devil is active today trying to provide counterfeits to the truth. We need to be a people of the Word of God. A young Jewish student challenged Evangelist Alfred Ackley with this question, “Why should I worship a dead Jew?” His response was the catalyst for the hymn, “He Lives”:
I serve a risen Saviour, He's in the world today I know that He is living, whatever men may say I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer And just the time I need Him He's always near
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today He walks with me and talks with me Along life's narrow way He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart
In all the world around me I see His loving care And though my heart grows weary I never will despair I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast The day of His appearing will come at last
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today He walks with me and talks with me Along life's narrow way He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian Lift up your voice and sing Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King The Hope of all who seek Him, the Help of all who find None other is so loving, so good and kind
He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today He walks with me and talks with me Along life's narrow way He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart
[1] Friberg. Preceptaustin.com. https://www.preceptaustin.org/hebrews_711-12 [2]Brockway, D. (2016). Melchizedek. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[3] Medenwaldt, Lindsey. Mamabearapologetics.com. Accessed July 24, 2021.
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