When we were in the book of Hebrews last time, I told you that I’d talk more about Melchizedek. There is actually a lot to say about him and and his significance, and our time here is short, so here is a link to a really good article in the show notes at 346.lifespringmedia.com if you’d like to learn more about him.
But in our limited time I’ll say that Melchizedek is a bit of a mystery man. As it said in chapter 7, we don’t know anything about his genealogy. Verse three tells us “There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life.” Well that’s kind of strange, especially for those times when genealogies were kept in great detail, because it was important to know what tribe of Israel a person was from.
We are told that his name means “king of righteousness” and “king of peace.” Now we’re beginning to see that Melchizedek prefigured, or foreshadowed Jesus, because these are titles that He holds.
We are told that the priesthood of Melchizedek was perpetual, it never ended.
Also, the author goes into great detail as to why he (Melchizedek) was greater than Abraham, and therefore greater than Levi. This is important when we remember who the primary audience of this book is…the Hebrew people, or Jews. To them, the Law was paramount. Establishing that the priesthood of Melchizedek was superior to the Levitical priesthood was key, since the object of this book is to help the Jews to understand that the priesthood of Jesus supersedes the old Law, or old covenant.
Why is this important? Because the old Law was not able to bring man into perfection, or righteousness before God. The old Law could only put a band-aid on the wounds caused by sin. Only the new covenant, with Jesus as our Great High Priest can do that.
By the way, it might be helpful to give a brief definition of the word “priest”. A priest is a person who intercedes for man to God. Being sinful, we are unable to approach a perfect and holy God. We must have, as it were, a representative who takes our case to God. Jesus, having been a man and having lived a sinless life, is qualified to do just that. And if we are His, when we are in relationship with Jesus, we approach God the Father through Jesus. He is our mediator. He is our representative. He is our Priest. Without Him, we have no standing before God.
Now, I quickly want to mention what God said near the end of chapter eight. He said,”The day is coming when I will make a new covenant…” And then at the end of his statement He said, “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
What a marvelous promise! “I will never again remember their sins.” When we are in a relationship with Jesus, when He is our Great High Priest, God forgives our sins, and they are never again remembered! Once we ask for forgiveness, God forgets that we ever sinned! If we go back to him again because we remember them and ask for forgiveness again for the same sin, God says, “What are you talking about?”
The enemy likes to bring up our past to us all the time. “Remember that time you did this?” “What about the time you did that?” “You can’t serve God. You stole. You committed adultery. You lied. You cheated.” And on and on and on. If you’ve confessed your sins to God and asked forgiveness, all of that stuff is gone. Done away with. Jesus paid the price for those sins on the cross. And God has forgotten them.
If you think you can’t come to God because you’re not good enough, you’re right. But you can come to God through Jesus, and when you do that, God sees you as perfect and righteous and holy. You can come to God just as you are, and He will make you a new person, a bit at a time, in His time.