Grace For Your Day September 19

Melchizedek is a very interesting figure in the Bible. He is only mentioned twice in the Old Testament (Genesis 14; Psalm 110). However, he would later have a major impact on the Book of Hebrews as the Holy Spirit would inspire the writer to spend an entire chapter talking about him (chapter 7). In order to provide some insight into this chapter, it would help to quote one of the Old Testament passages that refer to him at length. Genesis 14:17-20 says:  
 
[After Abram won a battle against four kings,] Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,  
 
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”  

He gave him a tenth of all [the plunder from the victory].  
 
While that passage is brief, it does tell us a few things about Melchizedek. For example, it shows us that Melchizedek served as a priest of Yahweh before the priesthood was established in Israel. We do not know how that worked but, apparently, there were men who served the Lord in this office prior to the creation of the Old Covenant Law.  
 
It also shows us that Abram recognized the authority of Melchizedek’s priesthood because he gave him a tenth of his spoils and he allowed Melchizedek to bless him. Abram had just fought a major battle against several kings and yet, when this king offered to give him a benediction, he accepted it with gratitude because he understood that Melchizedek was a spiritual leader over him.   
 
Another thing this passage reveals is that Melchizedek was a priest and a king. He ruled over the city of “Salem” which many people have taken to be an early reference to Jerusalem. All of this is important because Hebrews 6:19-20 says:  
 
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.  
 
In other words, the author of Hebrews says that Melchizedek is a perfect example of the type of priest that Jesus would be because Jesus would serve Yahweh as well. He would also be greater than Abram and He would be a priest and a king. In fact, this passage says that Jesus would “become a high priest forever.” In other words, He would serve in this office for all eternity which should be an encouragement to us because it means that He will always be there for us when we need Him.  
 
We do not think about the priesthood much today because that office has been closed with the arrival of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13). However, the Jews understood that, when you sinned, you could not just come into the presence of God in order to make it right. You needed someone to approach God on your behalf and bring an offering which is what Jesus did except that He did not do it in the ordinary way. His priesthood was different from all who came before Him which is why He had to come from a different order that was represented in the life of Melchizedek and that is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.   
 
This Sunday, we are going to talk about “The Priesthood of Melchizedek.” As we continue our studies in the Book of Hebrews, we will answer a question that has plagued the minds of the Jews for centuries. Ever since Christianity first started, they have wondered: “If the Gospel is true, then who is your high priest now?” The answer is: “Jesus.” He did everything that was necessary to enable us approach God.   
 
The magnitude of that should never cease to amaze us. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and deserve to be punished for it. Yet God has not left us to suffer His wrath alone because He has provided someone to make a perfect offering for our sin and that is His Son.  
 
Please join us as we talk about that in detail this Sunday. The service beings at 9:30.

– Jeremy Cagle
 

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