But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
OUR HIGH PRIEST
“The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4) (Emphasis mine)
“...And he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)
The Bible teaches that a “priest” is one who is authorized to represent men before the throne of God. Sinful, fallen man is in rebellion against God. Natural man has no right (nor desire) to come into God's presence.
A “priest” acts on man's behalf. He works to restore good relations between God and man. The priest publicly admits man's sin and offers sacrifice to God to atone for that sin. Then, having gained access to God, the priest intercedes on man's behalf.
David, King of Israel, prophesied in Tehilim (Psalm 110) that his Lord (Messiah) would sit at the right hand of God (verse 1). Messiah would be a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (verse 4). From this we can learn several things.
In Hebrew, “Melchizedek” means “King of Righteousness”. Genesis 14 also calls him King of Salem (Peace) and Priest of the Most High God. Abram, ancestor of Israel, gave Melchizedek tithes (10%) of the spoils he had taken in a just war (Genesis 14:20).
So did Levi, for he was still in the loins of his (great-grand) father Abraham. Abram was acting as representative for Levi, who was as yet unborn, in Genesis 14.
Melchizedek blessed Abraham, and the less is blessed of the greater. Thus the Levitical priesthood (descended from Levi through Aaron) is here giving tithes to a GREATER HIGH PRIEST.
Under the Law, they received tithes, but here, they GIVE tithes to Melchizedek. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the Patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
Melchizedek, as far as we know, was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. He abides as a Priest continually.
The Hebrew Prophet Isaiah foretold that Messiah would “bare the sin of many, and make intercession for the transgressors.” Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) did this. He offered up Himself as the Sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God.
He was at one and the same time both the Sacrifice and the Priest who offered it. Raised from the dead, He now sits at the right hand of God. There He makes continual intercession for us.
Thus he fulfills both aspects of the High Priesthood -- sacrifice for sin and intercessory prayer. He has an unchanging priesthood, since he will never again die.
Contrast this with the Levitical priesthood. Aaron and all his descendants were not allowed to continue as priests forever, by reason of death. Yeshua is a Priest FOREVER, after the order of Melchizedek.
Why then did God institute the Levitical priesthood? It was a promise that pointed forward to the Greater High Priest. Messiah offered on Calvary's Cross the only Sacrifice that can take away the sins of men. He did this for God's chosen (elect) people.
“And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:23-27)
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at email@example.com
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss