Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hebrews 7: the great High Priest Melchizedek, King of Peace and Righteousness

I will say this for the Moreh: he can extract Big Truth from a little story.

Do you recall the story of Melchizedek? No? Do not be surprised. Like the little village down the road, blink and you will miss it. On your slowest donkey.

So pay attention now: in Genesis 14, Abram defeats wicked kings and rescues his idiot nephew Lot. Melchizedek, king and priest of Salem (called Jerusalem now), greets Abram with bread, wine and a blessing. In return Abram gives Melchizedek a tenth of the battle’s plunder.

That’s it. A jot and tittle is all Moses gives Melchizedek. The Moreh sees deeper. To him, Melchizedek is like Jesus the high priest of the new, stronger covenant, and Abraham is like the old, weaker covenant of his great-grandson, Levi the priest.

The Moreh tells us in many ways how the new is greater than the old:

As a father blesses and son and not vice-versa, so the greater always blesses the lesser (Melchizedek blessed Abraham).

However the lesser tithes to the greater (Levi – through ancestor Abraham – to Mechizedek).

Melchizedek was both priest and king – a king of Peace (Salem) and Righteousness (the name means King of Righteousness)! He was a king/priest combo. Neither Levi nor his great-grandfather can boast this.   

There is no record of Melchizedek dying. Jesus is a high priest of Indestructible Life. He always lives to intercede. The Levite, he lives he serves he dies. Another takes his place and so on and so on.

God swore no oath to Levi, but he swore one for the Messiah: “The Lord has sworn, and will not change his mind. You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” And so he is, this son of Judah of the Kings and not Levi of the priests. Both a king who delivers, and a priest who sacrifices and intercedes, the Prince of Peace shall reign forever and ever -   Jesus!

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