Bristol, Virginia

The Order of Melchizedek

The Order of Grace, access to the Holy of Holies, Peace.

We first meet Melchizedek in the fourteenth chapter of Genesis. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, had been taken captive in a war between kings. Lot gets rescued when Abraham won the battle even though it appeared he was greatly outnumbered. 

“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:

Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand
.’” (Gen 14:18-20)

The first act of Melchizedek was to bring “bread and wine.” This was clearly a prophetic act, pointing toward what Jesus, the High Priest, would do, giving us His body (bread) and blood (wine). 

We take note that Melchizedek operated as both a king and a priest. He was king of Salem, which means peace. He then was the “king of Peace.” Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He was also “priest of the Most High.” This operation as both king and priest foreshadowed Jesus as King (Luke 1:31-33) and Priest (Hebrews 4:14). We as the church are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus by being kings and priests. “And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:6) What an amazing honor we have been given!

The next time we see Melchizedek it is in the powerful Messianic Psalm 110. 

The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
‘You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek
.’” (v.4)

This was an oath from God the Father to His Son Jesus. And it is a very important oath at that. Up until that time the only priests came from the Levites. You could only be chosen as a priest if you came from the tribe of Levi. So what is going on here? Well, the Messianic Psalm was telling of a time that would come when we would be under gracer and not the law. 

The Need for a New Priesthood

Chapters 5, 6 and 7 in the book of Hebrews talks much of Melchizedek. The most important thing for us to understand is that Jesus came “According to the order of Melchizedek.” There was a need for a new priesthood that was not according to the order of Aaron (Levites). Let’s see what Paul has to say. 

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?” (Hebrews 7:11)

The law was never meant to bring salvation. Being saved can only come by what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus came, not according to the law, but according to the new order of grace. 

Under Levitical law the high priest could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year. Even then he had to have a rope tied around his ankle in case he sinned and died on the spot. But Jesus entered the Holy of Holies as the perfect Lamb of God and made the way so we could follow Him. 

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 7:19-20)

In case there is any remaining doubt: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) We must not take this truth lightly. We have access to the holiest place, behind the veil, because of what Jesus did for us. This is of enormous importance. 

One of the most comforting things to me is that Jesus, as High Priest, lives to make intercession for me. 

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25) The high priest as a Levite could do no such thing! 

We have much to be thankful for. We have a High Priest who has sacrificed His very own body so that we might be saved and come into the presence behind the veil. We can live in peace because we have the Prince of Peace. We are so thankful that we are no longer under the law but grace. 

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