The Order of Melchizedek

by Wes Bridel on August 14, 2009

in Calling

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin."

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin."

In the Book of Hebrews, chapter 7, the author begins to expound upon the order of Melchizedek, of which Jesus Christ was forever established as the High Priest.  While this topic warrants much discussion, we’ll only touch on some basics here.

Who is Melchizedek?

Genesis 14 mentions a certain person with the name Melchizedek.  After Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from the northern kings, he restored everything for his relative but also for the southern kings. He plundered the enemy as well.

Gen 14:18-20 [NIV]

18Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

The author of Hebrews explains it well.

Heb 7:1-4 [NIV]
1This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 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.
4Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!

Jesus as High Priest under the Order of Melchizedek

Hebrews 7 continues by explaining that Jesus, like Melchizedek, belongs to a priesthood better than the Levitical priesthood  based on the law God gave to the Israelites through Moses.

In the latter part of Hebrews 7, the author explains another Old Testament prophecy by King David:

Ps 110 [NIV]

1Of David. A psalm.

The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”
2The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion;
you will rule in the midst of your enemies.
3Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy majesty,
from the womb of the dawn
you will receive the dew of your youth.
4The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

5The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7He will drink from a brook beside the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.

Now, let turn back to Hebrews 7:

Heb 7:15-25 [NIV]
15And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
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.
20And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23There have been many priests like the ones mentioned, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

This is post is _Part 1_ in the series The Order of Melchizedek.  To continue with this series, click on Pt 2.  To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series.

Photo credit: alban_acim

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Previous post: Retirement Plan Benefits (401k’s, IRA’s, etc.)

Next post: Disadvantages of Government Retirement Plans (401k’s, IRA’s, etc.)