Summary: Divine Ordination of Christ
March 21, 2018
Reading: Hebrews 5:5-10
Jesus the High Priest
Admittedly, this week’s New Testament reading lends more to a bible study than a message with life applications. We will employ some extrapolations and historical references to aid us in understanding what the author is trying to convey here.
In doing so, let’s understand that there is no absolute certainty as to who did write this epistle to the Hebrews. It is most commonly accepted as being Paul. Some historical scholars have suggested that the author may have been Barnabas, Luke, Apollos and others. When there is no absolute certainty of facts in biblical readings and studies, I like to throw that out there from the get go and not do too much speculating.
As we begin the reading, isn’t it calming and assuring to read of Jesus’ humility?
“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You,’” v 5
Well here’s an application for us. If Jesus, God the Son seeks no glory for Himself, is there a lesson for us here about self-glorification. When we strut about wanting to impress others with our “Christianity, our biblical knowledge, and even our teaching or preaching abilities, we are essentially seeking the glory that should be directed heavenward. Can you agree with that?
And then we encounter Melchizedek, as we read on. Who is Melchizedek? We must go all the way back to the Book of Genesis.
“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.” Genesis 14:18
We won’t go into great detail here, but as reference, Melchizedek greeted Abraham with a gift of bread and wine upon his victory over Chedorlaomer.
Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness”. When mentioned as King of Salem, that is King of Peace. When we dig deep, we find not only is Melchizedek a king but also a priest. Does that parallel the Christ, or what?
The best that my research reveals is that Melchizedek is referred to as an angel in the Dead Sea Scrolls. This makes the best sense to me because there is no genealogy of him mentioned in the bible.
“without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.” Hebrews 7:3
Therefore, it makes sense to me that Melchizedek is best believed to be an angel.
The priesthood of Jesus is clearly described in verse 6:
“As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’” Hebrews 5:6
These are the words of God the Father. Jesus is a priest, ordained by God. Whether we find a direct noting of the ordination of Melchizedek or not, within that same reading God refers to the “Order of Melchizedek” That says to be that we can accept his ordination, as well.
Interesting, but what do we have to take with us from here?
If we understand what a priest does, we can bring out a couple of points.
Cleansing – In the Old Testament, the priests were the source of physical and spiritual cleansing. Sacrifices were delivered to the priests as a means of cleansing oneself from sin. Our Priest, Jesus is now the source of our spiritual cleansing. We do not bring sacrifices to the temple because Jesus has already become the sacrifice for our sin.
Worship and access to God the Father – In the Old Testament, access to God was only available by way of the high priest. The high priest was the go between. When Jesus became our high priest, the separation between man and God was eliminated. Is there a distinction that needs to be made here?
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6
The distinction to be made here is that one must first believe that Jesus is the Son of God and His sacrifice opens our means of communicating with the Father. Isn’t that why it is common to end prayer with: “in Jesus’ name I/we pray”?
Let us pray -