Advent: December 8, 2022

Hebrews 7 (ESV) For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. 4 See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! 5 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham. 6 But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8 In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. 9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him. 11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” 18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever.’” 22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant. 23 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.

You really need to read all of Hebrews 7.

Jesus has come. In his coming Jesus fulfills all that God gave his prophets to tell the people that would prepare, predict, reflect and result from Jesus’ person and work. 

Melchizedek. This guy somehow is a priest of the Lord, and as Abraham was coming back from rescuing his folks, he meets this priest to the Lord and gives a tenth to him as a sacrifice. He did this before the law told him to do it. Before Levi who would be the recipient of the tenth.

The mystery of how this priest knew the Lord, where he comes from, and who his family happens to be is never solved in the bible. But the writer of Hebrews picks up on this story from Genesis and draws a divinely inspired parallel for us to see the superiority of Jesus.

For this Advent thought, just note the highlighted section above. Jesus is superior to all the priests because he, like Melchizedek, does not merely descend from man (Melchizedek is human and the text is clear, he just shows up in the narrative without genealogy and suddenly, and he receives tithes and represents Yhwh, thus he is tagged as being a priest outside of the Levitical standard)

Since Jesus is not descended from Levi. This is a big deal. Jesus is descended from Judah, but he has the priesthood over Levi. Why? Because he is like Melchizedek, but superior. 

Jesus is a priest of a superior covenant. That covenant is the new covenant. What covenant is that? It’s the covenant the “good news” preaches.

That good news is that Jesus is a priest of better descent, and he remains a priest to represent his people because he remains forever, AND he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him because he lives, even now, to make intercession for those people who come to God through him.

Jesus, Yhwh saves, has come, and in his coming, he replaces the old covenant with the new covenant in which he saves completely anyone who will come to him in faith. Unlike Levi, who was a sinner and would have to die, Jesus lives forever with an indestructible life.

Advent. Jesus has come, and he is the forever priest for those who come to him.

Would you come to Jesus in faith today? If you are already following after Jesus, keep living by faith in him, draw near to him in that same faith that saved you, and enjoy the peaceful truth that he has come, won, and lives to save you and keep you saved.

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