Saturday, 24 November 2018
And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest… Hebrews 7:15
For the past two verses, the author has discussed the replacement of the Old Covenant with the New. This is obvious from the words, “for the priesthood being changed.” Because of this, “there is also a change of the law.” With this understanding, he then said that the One spoken of in this change “belongs to another tribe.” Understanding this, he continues with the words, “And it is yet far more evident.”
Here, the author uses a word unique in Scripture, katadélos. It is a more forceful word than that used in verse 7:14. It was “evident” that Jesus descended from Judah. However, it is “far more evident” that when another priest comes according to the order of Melchizedek, that the wholly inadequate nature of the Levitical priesthood is realized. And so, what is proposed in the previous verses is to be considered more fully here. There was a defect in the previous priesthood which required its replacement.
This is necessarily true because there is a change in priesthood, not only in a minor sense but in the complete sense. This new High Priest, selected by God, descended from the tribe of Judah in the flesh, but in his deity is “like Melchizedek” in the sense that He is also without genealogy – having no beginning or end of days.
It would be unheard of for a descendant of Judah to minister in the temple because it would violate the law which Moses received directly from God. But even if a descendant of Judah were to somehow work his way into this position, it wouldn’t be nearly as difficult to imagine as it would for one on the order of Melchizedek. Why? As previously stated, because Melchizedek was before the time of Levi.
Being before Levi means that the Levitical priesthood actually would have superseded the priesthood of Melchizedek unless by one thing – that it was eternal; without beginning or end. If this is the case, and Genesis clearly records that it is, then the Levitical priesthood cannot supersede it. Rather, the Law was introduced “so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful” (Romans 7:13).
The Law of Moses with the temple worship could in no way save, but it could only point us to our desperate need for an even greater covenant with a greater and more complete sacrifice. And that priest “in the likeness of Melchizedek” did appear! As the author states, “there arises another priest.” He has arisen, and He is, even now, interceding on our behalf to the Father. Jesus is a “priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Life application: When you sin or err as a Christian, you already know how utterly sinful sin is… it necessitated the death of our Lord Jesus. Think on this always and remember that our actions required a most precious and eternal payment.
Lord God, what You have done for us through Jesus is greater than we can imagine. It is the marvelously splendid work of an infinitely wise and loving Creator. To You we bow, to You we confess, to You we sing our praises, O mighty and glorious God! Amen.