Thursday, December 17, 2009

Who was Melchizedek?

Question from Becca:

Hey Brother Bob. A friend and I were talking today about [Melchizedek] in Hebrews 7. I looked up a little about him and read the comments in my Bible but we're still a little confused. Is he supposed to symbolize Christ -- like a representation of what is to come? And why is he mentioned here? Just wondering if you could clear that up. Thanks so much!

Answer from Pastor Bob:

Yes, Melchizedek was a "type," or foreshadowing, of Christ.

It refers back to an event in the life of Abraham, recorded Genesis 14:18-19, when Abraham and his band of men rescued his nephew Lot when he was a prisoner of a small-scale war. Not only did Abraham rescue Lot, but he also rescued everything taken in the raid. So Melchizedek, king of Salem was a priest of the Most High God, who came out and blessed Abraham for it.

Who was this priest, Melchizedek? The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament dedicates an entire chapter to answering this question: Hebrews 7. He explains that Melchizedek blessed Abraham long before the time of Moses and Aaron and the Levite priests, thus Melchizedek is a greater priest. Then he points out that Jesus is a greater priest than the Levites, for Jesus is a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7:26-27 says, “Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners… He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”

Jesus is that perfect priest, the sacrifice for our sins. He is not like the Jewish Levitical priests who had to offer sacrifices for sin again and again. Jesus was like Melchizedek, a priest forever, because Jesus offered his sacrifice one time for all time on the cross.


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