Summary: Jesus is our High Priest!
November 11, 2012
Who was Melchisedec?
He was the King and Priest who met Abraham after the slaughter of the five kings. (:1)
What did he do?
He blessed Abraham and received a tithe from him. (:1-2)
Why is he important?
He points us to Christ (:3) who was the Priest promised to come after his order. (:15)
How does he point us to Christ and how is his order better than the Levitical order?
1. His name means righteousness. (:2)
2. He was king over a place called Peace. (:2)
3. His priesthood lasts forever. (:3, 8)
4. He collected tithes from both Abraham and Levi. (:4-6, 9-10)
5. He blessed Abraham (which is something a greater man does to a lesser man). (:7)
What does this mean for the priesthood of Aaron?
The old law is gone for us because we have a new priest. (:11-12)
How does Jesus have the authority to do this?
His priesthood isn’t based on genealogy, but rather after the power of an endless life and the oath made by God (:13-24)
17For he testifieth,
Here’s the oath. God gives a testimony that,
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Think back to when Aaron was made a priest: “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons” (Ex. 28:1). Notice that Aaron and his sons were made priests. Why is this? If Aaron alone had been made priest, the people would have been without an intercessor as soon as Aaron died! Therefore, both he and his sons were made priests, but Christ, who always lives, was made a Priest forever!
18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19For the law made nothing perfect,
It was never set up to be the final solution to sin. That’s made very clear by the fact that it was weak and unprofitable not making anything perfect. It’s necessary that we have more than a shadow:
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
Christ has authority to change out the old law because His Priesthood is so much better. His blood actually purifies, and His intercession never stops for any reason!
by the which we draw nigh unto God.
No one in the old way could draw near to God, but in Christ we come with confidence knowing we’ll find mercy and help simply because of our Advocate!
20And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
Now, here we’re coming back to the oath, and remember, God’s oath is immutable (6:17-18):
21(For those priests were made without an oath;
It was all according to ceremony and genealogy,
but this with an oath by him that said unto him,
Here’s Psalm 110:4 again,
The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
Aaron and his sons were priests for such a short time. Even if they lived to be a hundred years old, they eventually stopped being priests and could do nothing for the people. But God swears it, and He will not change it, that Christ is a Priest forever!
22By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
“Surety” means “security.” It’s something that’s stable and certain.
“Testament” is also translated as “covenant.”
Christ is the security of the covenant! How is it that we know we’ll be saved and that we won’t face the wrath of God? Christ is our surety. He’s the Priest who always stands on our behalf truly interceding for us!
23And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Christ has authority to disannul Aaron’s priesthood and its law because His priesthood is so much better. They were only priests by birth and they eventually died, but Jesus is Priest by the oath of God, and He will never die!
What is the benefit for those who believe in Him?
We have a priest who lives forever and who does His job perfectly. (:25-28)
25Wherefore 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 is able to save the perfectly. Aaron’s priesthood couldn’t save anyone perfectly because of its weakness.
26For such an high priest became us, who is holy,
The general meaning of ὅσιος (osios) is something approved by the law of God or sacred to Him. It’s the same word used in Acts 2:27 where it says that God won’t allow His “Holy One” to see corruption. This is a holy priest.