Genesis 14; Hebrews 5.5-9; 7.1-8.2
Melchizedek has a special place in my heart for a number of reasons and I’m looking forward to meeting him someday. But we’ll talk about that some other time. The reason I mention it is because for someone who hardly appears at all in the Bible, he has a quite a lot of significance.
He pops us briefly in Genesis and then goes silent (apart from a brief and slightly bizarre reference in Psalm 110) until this fascinating discussion on priesthood in Hebrews.
There are a few unusual things that can be said about him:
- He had no family: normally people are introduced as someone’s son or grandson, father or nephew but not Melchizedek. He comes from nowhere.
- He is a priest and a king: normally you were a prophet or a priest or a king, rarely ever a combination.
- He blesses Abraham: The greater always blesses the lesser, showing him to be greater than Abraham or even the priesthood that would come from Abraham.
Melchizedek is a foreshadowing of Jesus. He had no earthly father, he was a priest and a king, and he was greater even than Abraham.
Going back to Adam on day one, the Fall caused all of humanity to be separated from God. God is angry and we are guilty.
In situations like this, a mediator is required to reconcile the two parties. There was the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament but it was so effective that the priests were sacrificing animal after animal for centuries and the guilt of sin still remained.
We needed a better mediator than anyone descended from Abraham could ever be. Only God taking on humanity would do so that’s exactly what he did. When Jesus came, he was being the peacemaker, the go-between between us and God. In laying down his life as he came to do, he brought a sacrifice that was pleasing to God and provided what we needed to be forgiven and reconciled to God.
Only Christ can mediate sufficiently between us and God.
Melchizedek, the priest and king with no earthly father, the man greater than Abraham, is a picture of our priest and king.
Why is Jesus coming? Because we need a high priest who can mediate between us and God.
Today’s Song: Before the Throne of God Above