7.1-3 the introduction of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. The author introduces again the priesthood of Melchizedek. Caution must be observed to not be distracted by Melchizedek, because the emphasis is on the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Melchizedek is but a shadow and a type of the great ministry of Jesus Christ. The author illustrates Jesus’ conspicuity similar to Melchizedek. Jesus is first of all unlike any other priest ever before. Jesus, like Melchizedek was apator-without father. The meaning is literally one who has no father or whose father has died or who was born after his father died or no recorded paternity. To some Melchizedek was a theophany, a temporary manifestation of God. To others he was a man, the King of Salem (Jerusalem). To the Jews historically he was Shem, the son of Noah who had lived until this time. The opinion given by Josephus, is that he was a pious Canaanitish prince, a person eminently endowed by God, and who acted as the priest of his people. All of this is of interest, but the author is establishing the ministry of Jesus Christ. To lose sight of the author’s goal is to be avoided. This is about Jesus Christ, not Melchizedek. Melchizedek is a type of Christ because he unites righteousness and peace. Melchizedek is a type of Christ because he unites Jew and Gentile. This is the purpose for his typology. Judaism has no monopoly on eternal truths.

7.4-17 Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation, and the ancestor of the Levitical priesthood. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, therefore the High Priesthood of Jesus is better that the High Priesthood of Levi. Levi, the ancestor of the whole Levitical priesthood, might be said to have paid tithes in Abraham, and thus to have acknowledged his inferiority to Melchizedek, and consequently to the Son of God, who was of the order of Melchizedek. The author shows that perfection could not arise out of the Levitical priesthood, and that a priesthood that introduced a perfect state must be superior. In the prosecution of this argument, he states that perfection could not be arrived at under the Hebrew economy, and that there was need that a priesthood of another order should be formed. A change of the priesthood involved of necessity a change in the law or administration. The necessity of change of the law also followed from the fact that the great high priest was now of another tribe than that of Levi. Jesus Christ is of the tribe of Judah. The Christian High Priest was constituted not after a commandment pertaining to the flesh and liable to change, but after the power of an endless life and adapted to a life that was never to change or to end. Jesus is after the Homoiotes-resemblance, of Melchizedek. There is a subtle yearning for a better priesthood throughout the history of Judaism. This caused the Jewish people at times to stray to other Gods and religions. Now that is no longer true. The emphasis is again on better. Jesus is a better priest. The priesthood of Jesus is not temporary, but eternal. It is forever, aion-perpetuity, specifically the (Jewish) messianic period, present or future. 

7.18 this verse is interesting. There is a disannulling (athetesis: cancellation). Many times we attempt to fulfill all Old Testament types and shadows. Looking for their completion in the New Testament. In this case the author says it was cancelled, set aside. The new commandment is better.

7.19-21 the oath. The oath begins with a sacerdotal phrase: by the which we draw nigh unto God. This emphasis on the priest drawing nigh to God is presenting Jesus Christ as the ultimate High Priest. To this God gives His oath. This is the strongest affirmation possible. The immutable God who cannot lie is giving absolute endorsement of himself as our great High Priest. From the beginning any oath given by God was unchangeable. Oaths were given to Abraham, Moses, and David, and all were unchanging. This oath given here is from that same unchanging God. The priests of Judaism were made without an oath, but not so with our High Priest. Why? Because theirs was a changing, temporary priesthood. Jesus Christ is forever our High Priest. The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever. The author again shows Jesus Christ is a better High Priest.

7.22-28 Jesus was made a surety. To guarantee a better testament, Jesus pledges himself as surety. No longer will there be a new High Priest when the former dies. Our High Priest will continue forever as He has an unchangeable priesthood. Our High Priest is able to save to the uttermost because he ever liveth to make intercession. Our High Priest of Christianity is holy, undefiled, and made higher than the heavens. Our High Priest has no need to daily offer up sacrifices as those priests did. The former high priests had to offer up for their own sins as well as the sins of the people. Our High Priest offered himself once for the sins of all mankind. The law made men high priests that had astheneia: feebleness, weakness. But now, by the word of the oath, Our High Priest is forever, throughout all eternity. Therefore, Christianity has a better high priest than Judaism. The High Priesthood of Jesus Christ has an endless duration, it is eternal, and therefore better.

Thanks for reading today…

Advertisements