A Higher Order
I am enjoying some Bible assignments put out by our ladies ministry group. I particularly love piecing together the mysteries of God’s Word. This assignment lent itself to just such study. I hope you not only enjoying reading but may be inspired to do some searching yourself. My next one will be on the mercy seat. Our assignment was to find 5 places in the Old Testament which point to Christ, so this is my second attempt. The story begins with Abram’s nephew Lot and his city which were taken captive by neighboring kingdoms. When Abram got the news he put together an army and was victorious over the enemy rescuing Lot and his belongings.
After the battle, Melchizedec, referred to as the king of Salem and the priest of the Most High God came to Abram. Interestingly he came with bread and wine to strengthen Abram. The words bread and wine reminds us of Christ words, This is my body-This is my blood.. . ”
Melchizedec’s name means king of Righteousness and Salem is another name for Jerusalem. This referred to Melchizedec as the righteous king of Jerusalem, which was called Salem at that time. Another reminder of Jesus the Righteous King. He was also a high priest. It was not allowed for a person to be king and high priest. But Melchizedec was both.
The scripture further tells us Melchizedec was without mother, without father and without genealogy having neither beginning of days nor ending of life. This probably referred to his priesthood not his physical being. The focus throughout the passages about him point out his priesthood.
Two other relatable thoughts came from Melchizedec’s meeting with Abram. Melchizedec blessed Abram and Abram gave Melchizedec a tithe of all his captured prizes from battle after he blessed him. First the greater always blesses the lesser and second the lesser always paid tithes to the greater. Melchizedec blessed and Abram tithed. Melchizedec was of a higher order of high priests than Abram.
Now Abram was the great-grandfather of Levi and according to Jewish law the only people who could be a high priest was members of the family of Aaron which became known as the tribe of Levi. That placed Abram in the family of Levi yet he was the lesser when it came to the priesthood of Melchizedec.
Melchizedec’s and Jesus’ priesthood was appointed by God. Melchizedec and Jesus were not of the tribe of Levi. Jesus and Melchizedec’s priesthood had no beginning and no end. Melchizedec certainly gave a picture of the kingship and priesthood of Jesus, but only Jesus could perfectly fill the position. For centuries battles have raged over separation of church and state. That is because a mere human cannot fill both positions. No man or woman can righteously rule over others.
Jesus is Holy, undefiled, sinless and perfect. He is the only one who can reign as a righteous holy king and high priest. He performed the greatest priestly act of all when he offered Himself as a sacrifice at Calvary for all our sins.
There is so much more to glean from this very little known character in the Old Testament. The most important is that he pointed us to the new High Priest, a new covenant in Jesus Christ. Jesus put our sins away as far as east is from the west forever! He made a way for all who trust in him. He opened the door for us to step into the presence of God! Amazing Grace!! May anyone reading this today who has not open their hearts and give their life to Jesus as their Savior and Reedemer, do it now. You will find true freedom and peace in Him.
A footnote I found that is very interesting. Some feel that Shem, Noah’s son may have been Melchizedec. Shem inherited the land of Salem and Melchizedec is king of Salem. He reigned in righteousness. Melchizedec’s name means righteousness. Some believe that Shem lived in the time of Abram. However Shem is connected in genealogy to Abram. Therefore he would have been in the lineage of Aaron’s priesthood, which was of a lesser order than Melchizedec and Christ. Interesting stuff. Again the Old Testament perfectly revealed Christ.