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Summary: Jesus Greater than Melchizedek. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Hebrews chapter 7 verses 1-28:

• If you were asked to name the 10 most important people in the Old Testament:

• I doubt that Melchizedek's name would be on your list.

• For many Christians he wouldn’t even make the top 50 list;

• And many Christians would not have a clue who he actually was.

He is only mentioned twice in the Old Testament;

• Once, in Genesis chapter 14;

• And in one single verse in Psalm 110 verse 4.

• A total of 5 verses in all;

• Blink and you would miss him!

• Yet the writer of this letter to the Hebrews:

• Was led by the Holy Spirit to reach back into the Old Testament;

• To this unusual character called Melchizedek;

• And to use these two Bible passages to present to us some important truths:

Note: the writer of this letter to the Hebrews:

• Now unlike us Gentiles, these readers who were Jewish converts to Christ;

• Had grown up understanding the priesthood and sacrificial system:

• They know the Old Testament scriptures concerning the priesthood;

• Or they may even have seen it in practice.

• This priesthood of Aaron in the O.T. was still functioning at the time of Jesus;

• And it was still functioning at the time this letter was being read.

Ill:

It was around up until A.D. 70 when the Roman emperor Vespasian (Ves-pas-I-an):

• Sent his son Titus to crush a Jewish rebellion and destroy Jerusalem.

• He besieged the city for five months,

• Eventually, the Roman army breached the walls, slaughtered men, women, and children,

• Demolished the city, and destroyed the temple.

• Ever since the year A.D. 70

• The Jews have not had a temple or a priesthood to serve them since.

But the writer of this letter makes it very clear:

• That this priesthood of Aaron in the Old Testament had been made redundant;

• Long before Titus and his Roman armies destroyed the temple.

• It ended as far as God was concerned one Friday afternoon.

• When Jesus Christ, the Son of God cried from the cross “It is finished”.

• And the curtain in the temple was torn in two;

• From the ‘top to the bottom’ (note: ‘top’ all of God’s doing).

Ever since that moment:

• That the whole Jewish ecclesiastical and sacrificial system:

• Was all completed and fulfilled in Jesus Christ!

• Again and again in this letter;

• The writer explains to these Hebrew Christians how Jesus has done all this.

In teaching his readers the writer of this letter:

• Contrasts the priesthood of Aaron (Old Testament priesthood);

• With the priesthood of Melchizedek.

• And he goes on to show us the superiority of Jesus Christ over Melchizedek;

• He teaches them by presenting various typological ideas:

• Typology is a form, a style, a method of teaching.

Question: What is a ‘type’ or ‘typology’?

Answer:

• A type in the Old Testament was a person, practice or ceremony;

• That has a New Testament counterpart.

Example 1:

• In Numbers chapter 21 The children of Israel were bitten by poisonous snakes;

• God told Moses to set a bronze serpent high on a pole;

• And if those who have been bitten;

• Looked at the serpent they would be healed and live.

• In John chapter 3 verse 14. Jesus said that this incident was a picture (a type) of himself;

• He would be lifted up on a cross; and people who looked to him would be healed of sin.

Example 1:

• Throughout the Old Testament an innocent lamb was sacrificed for guilty people.

• John the Baptist said in John chapter 1 verse 29;

• That this was a picture of Jesus.

• He was the innocent lamb being sacrificed for the sins of the world

Note: Two things to remember concerning types:

(1).

• The type is always imperfect and temporarily;

• Compared to the antitype, which is perfect and eternal.

• e.g. The bronze serpent is no longer set on the pole;

• e.g. Lambs are no longer sacrificed in the temple.

• Now the type may have physically disappeared.

• But the analogy still holds strong;

• The truth still remains:

• e.g. Christ was lifted up and by looking to him we find deliverance.

• So remember the type is always imperfect and temporarily;

• Compared to the antitype, which is perfect and eternal.

(2).

• The type is always limited, it is a frail illustration at best.

• It is only a type of Christ in certain limited aspects.

• e.g. The bronze serpent on the pole;

• The type is only making one basic point.

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