Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jesus revealed as King and Priest

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Hebrews 6:13-7:14

TO CHEW ON: "For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law." Hebrews 7:12

Have you ever read the Old Testament laws and sacrifices and imagined living under that system? It was a system that was detailed, complicated, and time-consuming for both the priests who carried out the sacrifices and rituals, and the people who brought the animals, grain, meal, oil and commemorated the feasts etc.

In our reading in Hebrews the writer is building a case to prove that that system has been changed by Christ. He uses the mysterious Old Testament character Melchizedek in his proof.

Melchizedek lived during Abraham's time. When Abraham met him he called him "priest of God most high." Melchizedek blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tithe of his possessions (Genesis 14:18-20).

Melchizedek appears again in Psalm 110 where David, addressing Messiah, said,  
"You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek" - Psalm 110:4.

Here in Hebrews 7, the writer draws our attention to many facts about Melchizedek. Those of us familiar with Jesus and what the Bible says about Him recognize Jesus in these details:
* He was a king as well as a priest - Hebrews 7:1.
* His name meant "king of righteousness" - Hebrews 7:2.
* He appeared without ancestors or descendants - Hebrews 7:3.
* He resembled the Son of God - Hebrews 7:3.
* He was superior to Abraham in that he blessed Abraham and Abraham gave tithes to him (Hebrews 7:7,9).
*He lives on—doesn't die like mortal men - Hebrews 7:8.
* Levi, the father of the tribe of priests, acknowledged Melchizedek as his superior through Abraham (in that Levi "was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him") - Hebrews 7:10.
* This new priest was from the tribe of Judah, not a member of the priestly tribe of Levi at all - Hebrews 7:14.

The writer of today's portion promises that this new new priestly order (Melchizedek / Christ) will impact the system of laws and sacrifices that God dictated to Moses (Hebrews 7:12, our focus verse). Tomorrow we'll see how.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for pictures of Jesus woven through the Old and New Testaments.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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