Saturday, April 4, 2015

Melchizedek the Priest

4.4.2014 Holy Saturday                                  Hebrews 7:1-22 Melchizedek the Priest

Melchizedek both priest and king, showed the true nature of his authority by receiving tithes from the patriarch Abraham and blessing him. As both king of righteousness and king of peace, Melchizedek foreshadowed Christ’s work of justification. As Abraham gave offering and respect to Melchizedek, greater respect is due to our High Priest, Christ. He serves without end to lead us into His kingdom.[2]

Today is Holy Saturday. The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It’s a day when we remember that Jesus rested in the tomb before His gloriously rose from the day. In our reading through the book of Hebrews, the author compares Jesus to Melchizedek the King of Salem and a priest of the one true God. Melchizedek blessed Abraham. Nothing is said about his father or mother. There is no record of his earlier or later family members. Nothing is said about when he was born or when he died. Since he is like God’s Son, he remains a priest forever.

With the coming of Jesus, the priestly family has been changed. A different kind of priest has appeared. Jesus is like Melchizedek but so much better. Jesus didn’t become a priest because He met the physical requirements of some law. He became a priest because He is filled with the power which comes from a life which can’t be destroyed. What the devil tried to do on Friday blew up in his face. He thought that by eliminating Jesus he could destroy the human race. Yet Jesus has a life which can’t be destroyed. The Law has never made anything perfect. God has given us something better to hope for. When Jesus became a priest, it was done with an oath, spoken by the God of heaven.

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen[3]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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