A Unique and Superior PriesthoodDecember 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Hebrews | 4 Comments
Tags: Aaron, commentary on Hebrews, Hebrews 7, Levitical priesthood, Melchizedek, Priesthood of Christ, Sunday School lessons on Hebrews, The Great High Priest, tithing
Jesus is The Great High Priest, superior to Aaron in His ministry, in His position, and in the way He was ordained. He’s “after the order of” Melchizedek, and the priesthood of Melchizedek is superior to the priesthood of Aaron, or, in other words, the Levitical priesthood. Melchizedek was both a priest AND a king
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Aaron was a priest only. Kings were forbidden from tampering with the Levitical priesthood. Melchizedek was the king of righteousness and the king of peace – together in one person. The ministry of the Law did not bring peace and righteousness together, but both of these qualities met together in the person of Christ.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Without righteousness (justification; right-standing with God) there can be no peace. The superiority of Melchizedek’s priesthood over Aaron’s priesthood is shown by the meeting of righteousness and peace in one person, and by the fact that Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek.
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
This was done by Abraham before the Law of Moses. Melchizedek was not an angel. He was not a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ (although he was a type and foreshadowing of Christ). He was a real man, who was really a priest and a king in a real city, but there are no Scriptural records of his ancestors or descendants, the way there are for the tribe of Levi (and for Aaron).
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
His priesthood is a picture of Christ’s priesthood.
And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
Jesus, the Son of God, is eternal. He has always existed, and He always will exist. He is immutable – the same, yesterday, today, and forever. As one songwriter said,
“He’s not the God who one time did,
He’s the God who does.
That’s why they call Him the Great I Am
And not the Great I Was.”
So, Melchizedek is greater than Aaron in that he combined righteousness and peace, and in that he is a picture of an unchanging eternal priest. He is also greater in that he received a tithe even of Abraham. The logic goes like this: (1) the Jewish people gave tithes to the priests (the sons of Levi); (2) Abraham was the father of the Jews (including the sons of Levi); (3) they were, in a sense, “in him” before they were born; (4) so, when Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, it was like all his descendants, including Levi and Aaron, were doing it too; (5) Christ created Abraham, so we see that Christ is superior to Abraham. (Obviously, He is greater than Melchizedek, too.) Both Abraham and Melchizedek, in giving and receiving tithes, in giving and receiving blessings, were participating in something ordained by God, and Christ is God.