Thursday, December 12, 2013
Psalm 110, Genesis 14:18-20, Hebrews 7:23-28
Most of us today are far removed from some of the roles given to the Messiah. Less than ten countries in the world have an absolute monarchy with a king. We have many pastores & teachers of God's word, but don't see prophets like those in Biblical times. The priests of today are also very different from the Levitical priesthood of Israel & certainly do not make sacrifices for our sin. Because of this, sometimes I think we don't have as rich an understanding of what it means that Jesus filled the roles that we have seen of king, prophet, & now priest. Mechizedek is also a strange character, considering he appears for only two verses in Genesis, one in Psalms, and then is given a lot of weight in Hebrews. So how does this figure broaden our understanding of Jesus' work & character?
Melchiezedek was the king of righteousness (the meaning of his name) & the king of peace (the meaning of Salem, the future Jerusalem). With no genealogy, he is in a symbolic sense, a priest forever and outside of the Levitical order God later set up through Aaron. The writer of Hebrews identifies Jesus with Melchizedek in that Jesus is also king, comes from outside the Levitical priesthood, & continues forever - able to fully save because the offering He made was not an animal substitute, but Himself.
In the same way that Abram received a blessing from Melchizedek, we also are blessed through Jesus. And having received the blesssing, we can then give back tithes & offerings as Abram did. The blessing of redemption comes not because of anything we have done, & our giving back to God has nothing to do with earning something. Instead, we can give back to God as a response of gratitude that we have such a king, such a prophet, such a great high priest. He is willing & able to save us perfectly, offering Himself as the sacrifice in our place.
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