God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1-4)
Hebrews 1: 1-4 (Part 4)
Christ was and is and always will be my Prophet, Priest, and King. Today’s verse focuses me on His Holy Priesthood. All Priests from Aaron to Caiaphas were foreshadowing the priestly work of Jesus. God transcends time, so He knew the fullness of the work of the cross when He instructed Moses as to the duties of the priest. Aaron and many priests faithfully carried out the work as best they could in human form.
I often think of Aaron as God’s original High Priest, but this is wrong. In Genesis 14, I find a story with many mysteries. As Abram sojourned, suddenly, (vs 18) — Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. In Hebrew thought, genealogy is paramount. Two of the Gospel writers list extensive Messianic genealogies. Melchizedek is a genealogical mystery. He is God’s priest without explanation or history or genealogy. What Moses recorded about him left the door open for speculation and there have been centuries of it.
What the Old Testament lacked regarding Melchizedek, the New Testament has provided. In a few chapters we’ll read (7:1-3 redacted) — For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God…………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. God confirms again the priesthood of Melchizedek, but flatly omits any details as to where he came from or where he went.
I do know exactly where Jesus came from (John 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and He was God…. And I know exactly where He went (vs 3) — sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…. While the Aaronic priesthood worked daily slaughtering, praying, carrying and sprinkling blood, they were a shadow of today’s verse. They interceded on a short path between the altar of sacrifice and the most holy place. When Jesus arrived for me His path went from Bethlehem to Egypt to Galilee. In His last week before Golgotha He walked from Bethany, to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane, to the Sanhedrin, to Pilate, to Herod, and to the pillory post. He walked to the cross to offer one holy sacrifice, when He had by Himself purged our sins, then to the grave and resurrection from it, and until His next appointed time of return to the right hand of the Majesty on high….
Melchizedek was the first priest and Jesus is the last. As my High Priest, His sacrifice for me was perfect and continuous, still sufficient when I sin, and His intercession at the throne of God is perfect and continuous, always there at the right hand of the Father mediating for me. I cannot add anything to Him. I don’t need any sacrifice but Him and I don’t require any priest but Him.
The LORD has sworn And will not relent, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)