Summary: The Hebrew Christians 2000 years ago beleived in the High Priest Melchizedek who was not part of Israel and so they were encouraged to believe in the New High Priest Forever, the Guarantor of Perfection, Jesus Christ!
Let us start by reading Genesis 14:11-24; page……
Now please turn to the Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 7…..
That story in Genesis 14 is the background of Hebrews 7. Remember that the Letter was originally written to Hebrews about 2000 years ago who became Believers of Jesus Christ. The Letter was to encourage them to grow in their faith by the power of Jesus Christ even over all the things they learned from their past faith of Judaism from the Old Testament. Read along with me now Hebrews 7:1-22….
v1: Melchizedek was a real person but also a priest of God (mediator between man and God). Let us quickly note here that a stranger blessed someone and a blessing was returned. I experienced this waiting at fort Lauderdale Airport over the weekend but the opposite happened before we were blessed by meeting a couple from Lancaster, Wisconsin….
Let us note that Melchizedek, out of nowhere, came by surprise!
v2: Melchizedek blessed Abraham who gave him an offering.
v2-3: Melchizedek was a man sent by God (like Jesus Christ) and remains priest forever!
v4-10: brings important truths for the Hebrew Christians…
- patriarch of the Hebrew faith was Abraham (those Christian Hebrews of old knew that)!
- what was the law for the Hebrews regarding priests??
a. priests must be from Tribe of Levi
b. priests collect offerings from their fellow Israelites
c. Melchizedek was not part of Abraham! – Melchizedek was not of Israel but yet God called him a High Priest!
d. there was a greater priest even before the Hebrew Laws (v10)! The Law was good for the people for that period of time (that “dispensation”)
v11: A rhetorical question why Jesus Christ was still needed and not a Levite!
v12-14: when God changed the priesthood, the law was also changed! Jesus was from Tribe of Judah!
v15-16: Jesus became priest not by ancestry BUT by the power of indestructible life!
And the Hebrew Christians were reminded….
v17-21: God through the Book of Psalm spoke of Messiah in the order of Melchizedek to replace the Law which could not save anyone from their sins!
v22…….. God gave his word, both written and verbal, that Jesus Christ is the Only Guarantor of a perfect and eternal relationship with God!
The message is clear: All heroes in the Old Covenant directs us to Jesus Christ, the Only Guarantor of perfection forever!
And so, the bottom line question for all people today is: With all the revelations of God through Scriptures, testimonies, and Creation directing us to Jesus Christ as the Only Guarantor of eternal life with God, have we truly believed and received Jesus Christ in our lives and living a life for Him alone? Remember the challenge from last week? Try just turning off your cellphone for one day in a month (consider the first Sunday) and focus on Jesus Christ!
Take a quiet moment to ponder and pray about these things as we prepare our hearts for Communion…..