“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Genesis 14:18-20
Just who IS this Melchizedek? In Hebrews 4:14-8:13 we read that Jesus is a high priest in Melchizedek’s order and further more, that unlike the Levitical priesthood, Melchizedek’s order is eternal. According to Hebrews 7:22, this foreverness, “makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.” In fact, in chapters 5,6, and 7 the eternality of this priestly order is mentioned 9 times! It’s the power of Christ’s “indestructible life” that makes Him the perfect High Priest.
While on earth, Jesus was “in every respect tempted as we are, yet without sin,” “beset with weakness,” and He suffered “with loud cries and tears.” But now He has been “exalted above the heavens” and from there He makes intercession on our behalf! Hebrews reminds us that the priesthood, the covenants, the tabernacle, the temple, all “serve as a copy and a shadow of the heavenly things.” So when we’re reading the Old Testament and we come across these strange accounts of priests, and kings, and bread and wine, and tithes etc… it’s so important that we look deeply into them in order to get a clearer picture of who Christ is.
Now when I asked the smarter people in my life about who was this Melchizedek, I got several answers. One dear, respected, learned man said emphatically that he was just a man. One well-known Bible scholar said this was a Christophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. And one beloved friend said it was neither. I tend to lean toward the last option given the evidence presented in Hebrews 4-10 but that’s not the topic of this post.
Here’s the point that I think ALL of this week’s passages (Genesis 14, Psalms 121, 124, 146, Matthew 11:25-30) are driving at: GOD MADE EVERYTHING! The heavens. The earth. The sun. The moon. The seas and all that is in them. He made Abraham. He made you. He made a host of angelic beings, including Satan. He can make any kind of priest and priesthood He desires, Levitical or otherwise. And the purpose of ALL these things is singular: TO BRING GLORY TO GOD MOST HIGH.
Think of it friends. Jesus is our Great High Priest FOREVER. According to Matthew 11:27, God the Father has given EVERYTHING over to Him, including the revelation of Himself. And it isn’t the ones who think they can figure everything out on their own who get it. It’s little children. It’s those beset by weakness. It’s foolish old moon worshippers like Abraham. It’s the laboring and heavy laden to whom our High Priest offers His rest. So come to Christ, the Priest of a new and better covenant. Take up His easy yoke. “And you will find rest for your souls.”