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Northport, AL 35473
Watering the Tulips
February 10, 2016
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.’” – Psalms 110:4
The Old Testament has exactly 4 verses that pertain to Melchizedek. Only here in Psalms do we read of this “order” of priest. Yet, in these few verses, we find a wonderful picture of the superiority of the priesthood of Jesus over the priesthood under the old covenant.
The Jews seemed to have the idea that the Levitical priesthood was a permanent establishment despite the clear declaration by the Psalmist that the Messiah would be a priest from a different order. Certainly, the writer of Hebrews knew this. He spends the entire 7th chapter explaining the superiority of the order of Melchizedek over the Aaronic order and how this related to Jesus.
It seems the writer reminds his Jewish readers immediately that Melchizedek was both king and priest (Hebrews 7:1). This point alone makes this order superior to that of Aaron. Aaron was never a king. In fact, the priesthood was subject to the king (at least in a civil sense). Even the name of this Melchizedek, when translated, means “king of righteousness” (Hebrews 7:2). He was king of Salem, which means “peace”. So, this “priest of the Most High God” was both king of righteousness and king of peace. These are two qualities that the Aaronic priesthood never had. Never once did the old covenant bring righteousness or peace. Certainly, it pointed forth to it. But it wasn’t until Jesus came that these were made a reality.
The writer of Hebrews continues to show the superiority of this order to that of the old covenant by reminding his Jewish readers that Abraham paid tithes to this man and was even blessed by him. “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior” (Hebrews 7:7). If Melchizedek was superior to Abraham, then he was superior to Abraham’s entire posterity.
Perhaps the most critical point relative to our understanding of this subject is that the Levitical priests were unable to perfect their work (Hebrews 7:11). Though the Levitical priesthood was established by God so that men could approach Him, it was never made possible under the old system. The presence of God was blocked off by a veil in the Tabernacle (and later the Temple). Only the priest was allowed to go behind the veil and then only once a year. He was not allowed to take anybody with him – not his family members or even his best friend. As long as the old system was in place, complete fellowship with God was cut off. So the old priesthood was “set aside because of its weakness and uselessness” (Hebrews 7:18). It was replaced (by design) by a priest from the order of Melchizedek – Jesus. This was always God’s purpose as our text verse clearly shows.
Dear reader, Jesus is the only Way to God (John 14:6). He alone stands between men and God. Only is Jesus is the veil removed and access to God opened up (Mark 15:38). Do you know Him? Is He alone your confidence and hope?
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!