Hebrews Chapter 7.
Today we will be talking about this mysterious person named Melchizedek.
And the Apostle Paul will now finally elaborate in detail how Jesus is a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
It took Paul 24 verses, from the time he first mentioned Jesus and Melchizedek, to now finally expounding on this important teaching.
The Apostle Paul will make three major comparisons based upon the characteristics of this Melchizedek.
What I find amazing, and even a little surprising, is that Paul is going to devote a whole chapter on this very important comparison, between Jesus and Melchizedec.
And Melchizedec is only mentioned in two Old Testament passages.
In 4 versus total.
It seems like a lot of extrapolating coming from a person that we know so little about.
But we need to remember that Paul was a very intelligent individual. In fact, Paul had the ultimate education.
He had the best Roman education.
He had the best Jewish education.
And then he was personally taught be Jesus Christ, probably during those three years while he was in the deserts of Arabia, after his conversion.
[Gal 1:11-12 NASB95] 11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.
12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but [I received it] through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
So Paul is really going to give us a special teaching here.
And Paul says what he is about to teach us is considered advanced doctrine.
So we really need to have ears that can hear in order for us to understand this important doctrine.
So without further ado, let’s begin.
I’m going to begin with the last two verses of chapter 6, since it connects to Chapter 7.
[Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV] 19 This hope [speaking of Jesus] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
The word Presence refers to God the Father.
So Jesus, right now, at this very moment, is in the real Holy of Holies, in the Heavenly Tabernacle, in the very presence of God the Father, being seated at His Right Hand.
20 where the forerunner has entered for us,
So Jesus is the forerunner, or the first of many that will enter God’s Presence.
20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Let’s continue to Chapter 7, verse 1:
[Hebrews 7:1-3 KJV] 1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; remains a priest continually.
Paul is referencing the account in Genesis 14, which is an interesting chapter about the War of the Kings.
Also known as The Battle of the Vale of Siddim, also the War of Nine Kings, and also known as the Slaughter of Chedorlaomer.
We will need to understand the context of the War of the Kings in order for us to understand how Melchizedek fits in to this history:
Abraham’s father, Terah, left Ur of the Chaldeans and traveled west to Haran with Abraham; his wife, Sarah; and his nephew Lot.
In Genesis 12:1-3, Abraham received a calling from the Lord to: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”
This promise included a land, a nation, and a people. Abraham obeyed, taking Sarah and Lot with him, along with their servants and possessions, and settled at Shechem.
After a brief time in Egypt during a famine in Genesis chapter 12, they returned to Canaan.
Both Abraham and Lot had a huge caravan of people, livestock, and possessions.
During this return, the servants of Abraham and Lot were involved in arguments over grazing areas for their large herds.
Abraham and Lot agreed to part ways, with Abraham giving Lot first choice of land in front of them.
Lot chose the land of the plain of Jordan, near Sodom and Gomorrah, because of the rich pasture land there. Abraham settled near Hebron, which consisted more of rocky hills.
So Lot had chosen the best site to feed his flocks and herds.
Lot, however, was not the only one who had noticed great wealth to be found in that area of the world.
Several years earlier, Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, had succeeded in establishing lordship over several western regions, including the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Bela.
Much like the Romans in the period of the Gospels, King Chedorlaomer held undisputed control over the princes who ruled the nations in the Jordan valley.
For twelve years, these city-states paid tribute to King Chedorlaomer.
In the thirteenth year they rebelled, refusing to meet the demands of their oppressor. The sudden loss of tribute no doubt infuriated the king.
So taking a year to plan his strategy, King Chedorlaomer gathered his allies and together they unleashed their fury over the entire region from southern Syria to Sinai, brutally annihilating and plundering all cities in their path.
This was no small battle or squabble between local chiefs; it was a major invasion of one area of the world by invading soldiers from another area of the world.
King Chedorlaomer demanded that his sovereignty over the land be reinstated and recognized by all.
Now, less than twenty miles away was Abraham, the man of God.
Unlike Lot, who had allied himself with the notorious Sodomites, Abraham lived in peace in Mamre where he had built an altar to God.
The allies of King Chedorlaomer either did not know Abraham existed or did not believe attacking him in the hills was worth their effort.
Genesis 14:13 tells us that “one who had escaped from battle came and reported how the war went to Abraham.”
Abraham was living peacefully in the mountains. None of his possessions were lost during the invasions, nor did he appear to have any interest in its outcome.
However, along with the report of the great invasion came the news that his nephew Lot had been taken captive.
Living with the Sodomites, Lot faced the same fate they did. So Abraham set off to battle for the sake of saving Lot and his family.
What I find impressive is that Abraham does not appear to hesitate in pursuing the kings of the East, who had just won a major victory and were obviously very powerful. But Abraham trusted in the Lord God as his Shield.
So with three hundred and eighteen trained men, Abraham set out to liberate his nephew Lot.
And like all of Israel’s future battle victories, it was a battle fought by faith in part of Abraham.
Abraham, with his 318 trained men, and with God’s help, defeated King Chedorlaomer and his army that had gone undefeated for more than a decade.
And then we read that two kings approached Abraham to acknowledge him as the great victor in the battle against King Chedorlaomer.
And this is where Melchizedek comes in:
[Gen 14:17-20 KJV] 17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s valley.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which has delivered your enemies into your hand. And [Abraham] gave [Melchizedek] tithes of all.
And that’s all the history we have on Melchizedek!
He suddenly appears on the scene and quickly disappears from the scene. There is no record of his origin, birth, life, death, or anything else.
So the great question that first presents itself is, who is this Melchizedek?
We are left much in the dark about him.
Most of the Jewish writers and sages think him to be Shem, the son of Noah.
But it doesn’t seem probable that Shem would change his name like that.
Also, we know who Shem’s father is. And Paul said that Melchizedek is without Father, without Mother, and without genealogy.
But that’s the Jewish opinion.
The next two opinions come from if one reads the text more figuratively or literally.
The most general opinion among theologians, and this requires a figurative reading of the text, is that Melchizedek was a Canaanite king who reigned in Salem and worshiped the true God.
And that he was raised up by God to be a type of Christ.
Now, If you read the text more literally, many Christians writers have thought him to be Jesus Christ himself, in his pre-incarnate form.
Several times in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ appeared in human form to certain people.
We read in Genesis 16:7-10
[Genesis 16:7-10 NKJV] 7 Now the Angel of the LORD found [Hagar] by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.
8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”
10 Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”
So this Angel of the Lord had the power to multiply her descendants, which is a power no angel can have, but God only.
And sure enough, Hagar did give birth to Ishamael, and her descendants have multiplied greatly.
And then in verse 13, we read:
[Genesis 16:13 NKJV] 13 Then [Hagar] called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”
So Hagar saw God in his physical form. She saw the pre-incarnate Christ.
In Genesis 18, we read of three men who visited Abraham, and one of them was God Himself.
And we know he was God because the text says, “and the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre.” The other two men were angels.
Remember, the Bible says that some people have entertained angels unawares.
Angels can take on human appearance.
In Daniel, the angel was able to make only his hand visible when writing on the wall in the presence of Prince Beltshazzar.
In Genesis 32, we read:
[Genesis 32:24-30 NKJV] 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day.
25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him.
26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But [Jacob] said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”
27 So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.”
28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
That phrase is a direct reference to Exodus 33:20, where God told Moses: “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”
Another very interesting account of God appearing is with Joshua.
[Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV] 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or against us?”
14 So He said, “No [neither], but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped…
15 Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
We can contrast this action with how an angel responded to John in Revelation when Jonn tried worshiping an angel:
[Revelation 22:8-9 NKJV] 8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
Based on these examples, and there are others, God does appear in human form in the Bible.
And so a compelling case can be made that Melchizedek was another example of the pre-incarnate Christ, appearing to Abraham in the flesh.
This would agree very well with what Jesus said in John 8:56, That Abraham saw my day, and rejoiced.
Jesus’ Day would be, that when Abraham saw Melchizedek, He saw the Pre-incarnate Christ, as King and Priest of Salem, or Jerusalem.
And it was for this day and purpose why Jesus Christ came into the world:
to die on the cross, and to formally become both King and Priest of Jerusalem, and also for the whole world.
And when you read verse 3 literally, that Melchizedek was:
[Hebrews 7:3 NKJV] 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
It would be hard to apply that to anyone but Jesus Christ himself. Even the angels have beginning of days.
And the phrase, “made like the Son of God”, is similar to how Nebhachadnezzar describes the fourth man in the fiery furnace, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown in.
[Daniel 3:25 KJV] 25 [Nebuchadnezzar] answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
In this Daniel account, this most likely is the pre-incarnate Christ, saving Daniel’s three friends from the fiery furnace.
And so in the same way, Paul is describing Melchizedek as also being made like unto the Son of God, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, and no genealogy.
It is also interesting to note that in the Dead Sea Scrolls, there is a fragment of text found that we have labeled 11Q13, or (11QMelch).
It is a fragment of a text, dated around the 2nd century B.C., about Melchizedek.
This document was found in Cave 11 at Qumran in the West Bank.
In this document, this certain sect of Jewish authors wrote of Melchizedek as being God himself.
In the text Melchizedek is referred to as “El” or “Elohim”, titles usually reserved for God.
Also, According to the text, Melchizedek will proclaim the “Day of Atonement” and he will atone for the people who are predestined to him. This Melchizedek will also judge all peoples.
These details, plus more, can be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, in the document labeled 11Q13.
Now, more can be said supporting who we might think this Melchizedek is.
But for now we will need to leave these conjectures and try to understand how Christ is represented by this king-priest Melchizedek.
In Hebrews, Chapter 7, verses 1-3 that we just read, Paul makes his first of 3 major comparisons.
The first comparison is between Melchizedek and Jesus.
And we see 6 similarities between the two.
The first similarity is that Melchizedek was a priest-king. He was both Priest and a King.
He was the king of Salem, also known as Jerusalem.
And his name and title characterize two things about his reign. He ruled in righteousness, which is what his name means; and he ruled in peace, which is what Salem means.
These two characteristics are also mentioned of the future reign of the Messiah:
[Isaiah 9:6-7 NASB95] 6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
So the first similarity is that Melchizedek was both king and priest as is Jesus the Messiah.
The second similarity is that both are a source of blessings.
As Melchizedek blessed Abraham, Jesus Christ also blesses his own children. He blesses us.
The third similarity concerns the giving and receiving of tithes. The point here is that the giving of tithes was a recognition of superiority.
Abraham by tithing to Melchizedek was recognizing Melchizedek’s positional superiority.
And the fact that Jesus functions as a Melchizedekian priest shows his superiority over any other priesthood.
The fourth similarity is that Melchizedek was an independent high priest as is Jesus.
In the Levictal Order, unless a person could prove he was a descendant of Aaron, he was disqualified from the priesthood.
When the Jews returned from the Babylonian Captivity, many claimed the office of the priesthood.
But some could not prove they were direct descendants of Aaron and so these people were disqualified.
For the Levitical Priesthood, genealogy was very important.
But it is not important for the Melchizedekian Priesthood.
And even though Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, and not from the tribe of Levi, God made an oath, that the Messiah would be a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
[Psalm 110:4 ESV] 4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Jesus didn’t need to come from the line of Levi to become High Priest because his priesthood didn’t come from the order of Aaron, but a superior Priesthood order, the order of Melchizedek.
The fifth similarity is that the Melchizedekian Priesthood was timeless.
There is no record or indication of Melchizedek’s priesthood ever changing.
But that is not true for Levitical Priests.
According to Numbers 8:24-25, the Levitcal priest could only serve from age 25 to age 50.
But there are no such limitations for a Melchizedekian Priest. It has no end.
And so in the same way Jesus is a high priest, forever. He has an unchangeable Priesthood.
The sixth similarity is that the Melchizedekian Priesthood was outside the lineage of Abraham, outside the lineage of the Levites, and so this priesthood could minister to all people. It was all inclusive.
The Levitical Priesthood had a limited ministry, only to the nation of Israel.
And so in the same way, Jesus also has a Universal Priesthood. He can be a Priest for all people.
Let’s keep reading:
[Hebrews 7:4-10 NKJV] 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
That is, a tenth of the spoils of war, from his victory over King Chedorlaomer
5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;
6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.
8 Here men that die receive tithes, but there he receives them (Melchizedek receives them), of whom it is witnessed that he lives.
Just as a note here in verse 8, this is another verse giving weight to Melchizedek being the pre-incarnate Christ.
The Levites, who received tithes, they eventually died. But Paul says, that it is witnessed, that this Melchizedek lives.
If you read this verse plainly for what it is, it would be hard to apply this to a mortal man without doing some figurative stretching.
That’s just a side note. Let’s keep reading:
9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak,
10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Paul’s point here is that the Priesthood of Jesus is after the order of Melchizedek, which is superior to the Order of Aaron, or the Levitcal Order.
Paul tells us, consider how great this man was.
Melchizedek accepted tithes from Abraham. And Abraham paid the best tithes.
Abraham, as the Patriarch, already had a position of superiority.
Yet, even as a Patriarch, Abraham recognized the superiority of Melchizedek, and therefore paid him a tenth of the spoils of war.
The Levitical Priesthood collected tithes from their brothers, from the other tribes of Israel. But Melchizedek collected tithes from Father Abraham.
And Paul makes the point, that because the Levites were in the loins of Abraham, and though they were not living at the time, Levi also paid tithes to Melchizedek, through Abraham.
You might think of it in this way:
The same way Adam’s sin is imputed to us, so also was Abraham’s tithing imputed on the tribe of Levi.
And if Abraham was obliged to recognize the superiority of the Melchizedekian Priesthood, Abraham’s sons should also recognize this superiority as well.
Ok, let’s keep reading:
[Hebrews 7:11-25 NKJV] 11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest
16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.
17 For He testifies: (God testifies:) “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath
21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He [Jesus] with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The LORD has sworn And will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever After to the order of Melchizedek’ “),
22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
24 But He [Jesus], because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
So the third comparison is between the Levitcal Priesthood and the Priesthood of Jesus.
The writer’s point is to explain why the Levitical Priesthood (the Old Priesthood) could not perfect the worshiper and therefore had to be superseded by something else, which is this New Priesthood.
The first thing Paul says about the Old Priesthood was that it was a changeable priesthood.
In verse 13, Paul reminds his readers that Psalm 110:4 spoke of a priest coming from the line of David.
This infers that the coming priest will not be coming from the Order of Aaron (or the Levitical Order).
13 For he of whom these things are said [meaning Jesus] belongs to another tribe [meaning the tribe of Judah].
According to the Mosaic Law, only a member of the tribe of Levi could handle the functions of the Altar. No one from the tribe of Judah could qualify under the Law.
For that reason, in verse 14, the Messiah had to be of a different order than the Levitical Order.
And Jesus did not become a priest because of a fleshly commandment. That is to say, Jesus did not become a priest because of his human birthright and descent.
In the Mosaic Law, one was a priest only because his father was a priest.
This resulted in some very unholy priests in Jewish history.
But Jesus became a priest according to the power of an endless life, after His Resurrection, which He obtained because He lived a perfectly righteous and holy life.
And because of his Resurrection, Jesus now lives forever, and therefore is a high priest forever, never needing anyone to succeed him or replace him.
Now in versus 11-12, Paul makes the statement that for the Priesthood to change, the Law had to change.
And then in verse 18, Paul says there was an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness.
To annul means to abolish, to make void. To nullify.
It is the very same greek word used in Hebrews 9:26, where Paul talks about putting away sin.
God has abolished our sin. God has nullified our sin.
So just as Jesus’ death has put away sin, in the same way, Jesus’ death has also put away the Law.
And when I say the Law has been put away, I’m saying we are no longer under jurisdiction of the Law.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:8, That the Law is good.
Paul again says in Romans, Chapter 7, that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
But using Paul’s language, the Law was set aside for two reasons.
First, because of weakness. It was weak in that it could not give strength to the man to fulfill its commands.
Also, it could not produce justification.
And second, because of unprofitableness. Because the Law could not give life.
Verse 19 says the Law never brought perfection. Never brought spiritual maturity. That is why there was a need for a New Priesthood with a new priest.
The Law could not bring anyone to spiritual maturity. What the Law could do is convict us of sin, and also point to the One who could fulfill the Law. Which was Jesus Christ.
Paul says in Galatians:
[Galatians 3:23-25 KJV] 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (No longer under jurisdiction of the Law)
The purpose of the Law was to be a tutor; to lead people to the Messiah.
The Law could only point to the One who could live perfectly under the Law. No one else is able.
And it is this same person who could also bring us a better hope, which is our new High Priest.
Through whom, we can now draw near to God.
So the final result of the New Priesthood, is access to God, through Jesus.
Paul encouraged his readers in chapter 4:14-16, to draw near and approach the throne of grace boldly.
The reason we can do this is because of this new Priesthood that Jesus Christ has.
The Old Priesthood could never give us this kind of access to God. That is why it was changeable and temporary.
But Paul talks about this New Priesthood, how it is unchangeable and uninterrupted.
In the Levitical Priesthood, death prevented the priest from continuing. That is why there were many priests in the Levitical system.
But Jesus abides forever, Jesus lives forever. And the new priesthood remain uninterrupted.
And Paul also says that Jesus has become the surety of a better covenant. Which is the New Covenant.
Which is the promise that God has made with humanity, that He will forgive sin and restore fellowship, with those whose hearts are turned towards Him, in Faith.
He will remove from you this heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh. And give you the free gift, of the Holy Spirit.
And with the Holy Spirit, God will cause you to walk according to His commandments.
And through Faith, in God’s eyes, you will have true holiness.
It requires no work on your end. You don’t have to become a certain kind of person to approach Him and to be accepted by Him.
You simply come to Him as you are, in Faith, believing on Jesus as His Son. And God will accept you and adopt you as a child of God.
Let’s finish our reading:
[Hebrews 7:26-28 NKJV] 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.
Humanity needed a spotless High priest. And Jesus became that spotless high priest.
Humanity needed a sufficient sacrifice to make atonement for all sin. And Jesus’ own death became that sufficient sacrifice.
The Leviticus Priests were weak in the sense they had physical and moral infirmities. They had physical and moral uncleanness.
That is why God gave them strict rules about being clean before entering the Holy of Holies. And also strict rules about offering sacrifices for their own sins.
They had to be both physically and morally clean, to enter God’s presence.
Now the Priesthood of Jesus came by an oath. It was promised to happen, and it did.
God swore, speaking of the Son, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
And so the point of these comparisons is to show how Jesus’ Priesthood is much greater than the Levitical Priesthood.
And for these Jewish Christians who were contemplating going back into Judaism, this would have been something very encouraging to hear.
For a Jew, there was not a more important position in their nation than the role of a High Priest.
And Paul is teaching them that they have a great High Priest in Jesus Christ.
A High Priest that is greater than any, and all, of their High Priests from the Levitical Order.
This same Jesus, Paul tells us, is a High Priest forever!
Who has an unchangeable priesthood.
Paul teaches us, that Jesus’ Priesthood is a profitable priesthood, where one can grow and mature spiritually through the giving of the Holy Spirit. This was not possible under the Old Priesthood.
That is why Paul labels the Old Priesthood as being weak and unprofitable.
But now, with this new Priesthood, Paul encourages us:
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
He is trying to encourage his readers, hold fast, hold firm, your Christian faith. Don’t waver. Don’t backslide.
But be fervent in spirit. Serving the Lord.
And Lastly, this Priesthood is for all peoples, nations, tribes, and tongues.
It is not just for the children of Israel.
So if you want to be in right relationship with the Creator of the Universe.
If you want to be in fellowship with God, and be adopted as a child of God, grafted into the family of Abraham, you have to go to a priest.
And there are many religions, and groups, and people, who claim they have a priesthood.
But none of them can truly intercede for you on behalf of God.
None of these priests are pure enough, holy enough, righteous enough, to even be in God’s presence.
But there is One, who is pure, sinless, spotless. And that is Jesus Christ. Our compassionate High Priest. Who is right now in the very Presence of God, sitting at His Right Hand.
And if you approach Him in faith, with meekness and humility, confessing your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
Let me close in prayer.