O come, O come, Emmanuel
Lamentations 1 [Read]
Lamentations 2 [Read]
Hebrews 7 [Read]
Melchizedek is an intriguing figure of the Bible. When he first appeared on the historical stage of the Bible, he was just a mysterious participant of the battle Abraham fought and won in Canaan (Gen 14). He came out of nowhere to meet with Abraham, the ancestor of the nation of Israel, as he came back triumphantly. The Bible did not give any background about him, yet Abraham gladly accepted his blessing and willingly offered one tenth of his plunder to this “priest of God most high” (Gen 14:18). Then, Melchizedek simply disappeared from the biblical stage and was never mentioned again until 1000 years later.
David was the chosen king of Israel, but he was also a prophet in writing many of the Messianic Psalms in the Bible. The one that is most often quoted by NT people, including Jesus himself, is Psalm 110. The anointed king of the LORD, the Messiah, is prophesized to rule in the midst of his enemies (Ps 110:2). His people will be arrayed in holy majesty (110:3). This Messianic King will be appointed to be a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek, as sworn by the LORD (110:4). It’s rather enigmatic to mention Melchizedek again after 1000 years of silence, and such mystery continued until another 1000 years came to pass.
Finally, God reveals the meaning of this mystery through the author of Hebrews. Melchizedek foreshadows our Lord Jesus Christ not only by his name (Heb 7:2) and his background (7:3), but also by what he did to Abraham (7:6-7). His order is higher than the Leviticus priesthood (7:11), for he is sinless and needs only offer himself once to cover the sins (7:27). His sacrifice lives on forever, because he himself lives on forever as a fully human priest (7:28).
You may ask: “so what?” All these theological explanations seem irrelevant to how we live as a Christian today, but the truth is that such understanding actually solidifies the foundation of our faith. Jesus is indeed our closest friend and dearest counselor, but none of those matters in eternity if he is not first our Savior. And he can be our savior simply because he is a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. This is not just knowledge but is the foundation of our faith.
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