Note: Today’s New Testament reading is Hebrews 7.
The theme of Hebrews could be summed up by saying: “Jesus is the better fulfillment of everything we see in the Old Testament.” Today’s chapter, Hebrews 7, can feel confusing the first time you read it. I’m not going to try to give a commentary on the whole chapter, but I do want to help you benefit from this chapter and not just glaze over.
When we read our Old Testament, time after time we find it pointing towards a future Savior who would come. One way this happens is through what we call a “type.” Don’t just check out here, this isn’t complicated and it’s really cool! A type is when someone acts in a certain way that represents Jesus. This gave God’s people little tastes of Jesus before he came, and it gives us ways to see the depth of all the ways Jesus loves and redeems us. Hebrews 7 talks about a King and Priest named Melchizedek who was a type of Christ.
Melchizadek’s name does sound funny, I won’t judge you if you just say Mel from here on out. But his name is important. In Hebrew, it means “King of Righteousness.” Hmmm who does that sound like? In Genesis 14 Abraham meets this man named “King of Righteousness” who is the king of Jerusalem. Now remember, we’re talking Abraham. This is the man who God made his original promise to his people Israel through. So this is before Daniel and the Lions and den, before David and Goliath, even before Moe and the Big Exit (Moses and leaving Egypt, not my fault you aren’t up on your Veggie Tales). The Bible tells us that Abraham met with king of righteousness Melchizedek who was also a priest and offered sacrifices then gave him a tithe. Now this is really different than the way it worked once Moses and the law came along. In fact, this is the only time we see someone who is both priest and king.
So let’s recap, a guy named King of Righteousness is the king of what would someday be the capital city of Israel’s kingdom and he’s not just a king, he’s also a priest. In other words, he doesn’t just have authority, he also can make sacrifices to make peace between God and man. Hebrews 7 is saying, “Hey, see how awesome Mel was? Jesus is better.” Jesus is the ultimate King of Righteousness who provides the final sacrifice for his people to make peace between them and God. Jesus is the redeemer that Abraham needed and that we need. The redeemer who can provide the security and protection of a King, and also the grace and redemption of a priest.
Hebrews 7 says it like this:
“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. “
– Hebrews 7:23–28
Jesus makes the way for us to have peace with God. And there is nothing and there is no one who could do this like Jesus can. He is eternal, so he is the last priest we need. He is all powerful, so he is the only King we need. He is perfect, so he has no need for a sacrifice for his own sins. Instead, he is the perfect sacrifice for our sin. If you have received Jesus’ gift of salvation through faith in him, then today you live as a child of God through the powerful work of King and Priest Jesus. The Bible is deep and rich and it always takes us deeper into the gospel. I pray that seeing a little more of who Jesus is and how great he is can help you as you live to bring glory to his great name.