Hope from Hebrews #13 - The Order of Melchizedek
Text: Hebrews 7:1-19
Thesis: To note the better hope we have as a result of Jesus’ priesthood.
(1) If Jesus was going to be a priest under the OT, then He would have to be from the tribe of Levi.
(2) However, Jesus was from the tribe of Judah and could not be a priest under the OT.
(3) Nevertheless, Jesus would be a priest, but according to the “order of Melchizedek.”
(4) Let us examine the “order of Melchizedek” and note the “better hope” we have in Jesus.
I. Who was Melchizedek (vv. 1-10)?
A. He was both king and priest.
1. ‘King of Salem’
a. Many commentators believe that ‘Salem’ refers to Jerusalem (cf. Psa. 76:2).
b. ‘Salem’ means “peace.”
c. His name means “king of righteousness.”
d. Thus, he was king of both peace and righteousness.
2. ‘Priest of the Most High God’
a. His priesthood was based upon God’s call, not heredity.
(1) ‘Without father, without mother’ (i.e., “with respect to his priesthood” [Lightfoot 138]).
(2) ‘Without genealogy’ (v. 6 implies that he had one, but that it was not one traced through Levi)
b. His priesthood was not limited in any respect.
(1) OT priests, at the most, could serve only 30 years.
(2) However, Melchizedek could serve the entirety of his lifetime.
B. He was superior to Abraham and Levi.
1. Abraham gave him a tenth of the spoil of war (cf. Gen. 14:17-24).
a. OT priests only received a tenth because of the Law.
b. However, Abraham gave a tenth to Melchizedek because of Melchizedek’s superiority.
2. Melchizedek blessed Abraham, which demonstrates who is the superior and who is the inferior.
3. Through Abraham, Levi gave a tenth to Melchizedek, which argues for Melchizedek’s superiority over Levi and the Levitical priesthood.
II. What does this mean?
A. The OT priesthood could not bring about perfection.
1. It was “perfect” for its intended purpose.
2. However, it could not truly forgive sins (cf. Heb. 10:1ff.).
B. Therefore, the priesthood had to be changed.
1. Since the OT priesthood and the Mosaic Law were interrelated, the Law would have to be changed as well.
2. With the Law being changed, then a priest could arise from the “order of Melchizedek.”
C. Thus, with a new high priest, we have a “better hope.”
1. Jesus is both king and priest (cf. Zech. 6:13).
2. Jesus brings both peace and righteousness.
3. Jesus’ priesthood is eternal.
4. Jesus’ priesthood brings about “perfection.”
(1) Jesus has made salvation possible for all.
(2) Have you accepted His sacrifice for you?