Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hebrews, Chapter 7

Yesterday was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had when it comes to writing about Scripture, and it is my hope and prayer that today is just as enlightening and that the Spirit will work through me again. Today we move on to the seventh chapter of Hebrews and more into the comparison between Jesus and Melchizedek. Melchizedek became a priest of God back in Abraham's time, which was long before Moses and the High priesthood was established. When looking at his history in the beginning of chapter 7 we must remember that Abraham was one of the most faithful men who ever lived. This is why God made His promise to Abraham and his descendents. If Melchizedek was blessed by Abraham then I would say he was pretty important at the time!

There isn't a ton that we know about Melchizedek. Pretty much all we know is what is listed here in the beginning of chapter seven, but he was clearly someone special that was called by God to perform a very special role in Abraham's time. We also see that he did not come from the traditional order of priests in Jewish culture because that order was still long from being established in the future.

"2and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." 3Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever." – Hebrews 7:2-3

This is very vague, but we can see the parallels that Melchizedek's life and Christ's life draw here. Both are called to be the high priest forever and both served as a mediator between man and God. Melchizedek served by blessing and serving Abraham, to whom the promise was given. It is eluded here that Melchizedek was the perfect priest because we see later in the chapter that perfection could not be attained through Levi and the current priesthood, but it could be attained through Jesus who was in the order of Melchizedek.

"11If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar." – Hebrews 7:11-13

Is there a better description of the sweeping changes that Christ enacted than right here? Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi, but he is still a high priest. He therefore was not from the line of Aaron and served from a tribe that had never served before (one of His names is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah). Jesus certainly changed the law through His sacrifice and because of His sacrifice we perfection is attained.

"18The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God." – Hebrews 7:18-19

Jesus is certainly a better hope because he attains what we cannot. As it says later though, because He lives forever He can continue to mediate on our behalf even now, millennia after He walked the earth. Jesus even broke down the law by taking the oath before God as we see at the end of the chapter. Also keep in mind that this is all part of a promise made centuries before Christ between God and Abraham. This proves that God keeps His promises throughout time and he never forgets His people. The promise ranges from Melchizedek in Abraham's day to the present day through Jesus. I don't know if Melchizedek was divinely appointed or not, but he was clearly set apart from other high priests if he is compared to Christ. Both He and Christ are special and we can thank them for breaking down the law and setting up a new one that benefits us instead of condemning us, since the old law was not perfect but Christ's law is.


  1. Go back and read Genesis. What was the promise that God made to Abraham?
  2. How does that promise carry over to today?
  3. Does the old law still have any meaning today?

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