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Presentation 10. Introduction For the Jews at this time it would have been axiomatic that there was no priesthood other than the Aaronic. We are now.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation 10. Introduction For the Jews at this time it would have been axiomatic that there was no priesthood other than the Aaronic. We are now."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Introduction For the Jews at this time it would have been axiomatic that there was no priesthood other than the Aaronic. We are now shown that the Law itself proves that there is a higher priesthood than that. Beginning in Ch.7 we find the longest single expository passage in the epistle. Clearly its length suggests its importance. Its theme is the core theme of Hebrews. In Heb.7, the writer argued that Christ's priesthood, like Melchizedek's, is superior in its order. In Heb. 8, the emphasis is on Christ's better covenant; in Heb.9, it is his better sanctuary; and Heb.10 concludes the section by arguing for Christ's better sacrifice. Presentation 10

4 Introduction The great resource of Christians, when tempted to apostatize, is our high priest, Jesus Christ. The writer therefore spends considerable time and space expounding and unpacking Jesus’ high priestly office. He wants to enable his readers to benefit from their most valuable and significant resource. And so this section of the epistle continues to glorify Jesus Christ. As the readers truly come to appreciate him in his high priestly role and grasp the sufficiently of his work they would be less likely to turn from him. Presentation 10

5 The priesthood of Melchizedek provides an analogy, of Jesus' priesthood and this is how the high priestly office of Jesus is introduced. A great deal of speculation surrounds the identity of Melchizedek. One of the most commonly mistaken views is that Melchizedek was a theophany, a pre- incarnational appearance of Jesus. However, from scripture it is clear that Melchizedek and the Son of God are two different persons; for Jesus is said to have been made ‘after the order of’ or, ‘like’ Melchizedek. Melchizedek is said to be ‘like’ or ‘resemble’ the Son of God in certain respects v3. If someone is like someone else then you have two different people in view. Presentation 10 Significance Establishing Melchizedek's Significance

6 Melchizedek is identified as king of Salem. It would appear that in Abraham’s day Salem was the name used for Jerusalem. [Ps. 76v2] Melchizedek, like Abraham, was a worshipper of the one true God. The inference of v4 ff in which Abraham received Melchizedek’s benediction and in turn gave a tithe to Melchizedek is that Melchizedek was Abraham’s superior. According to Moffatt, the Jews under the Mosaic Covenant did not pay tithes from the spoils of war. This was a pagan custom. These verses point out four important facts about Melchizedek: (1) he was a king-priest, (2) he was a blesser, (3) he received tithes, and (4) he had a significant name. Presentation 10 Establishing Melchizedek's Significance

7 Melchizedek is given typological significance. The writer draws attention to the Messianic significance of the Hebrew names, Melchizedek and Salem. The former means ‘king of righteousness’ and the latter ‘peace.’ And so as king of righteousness and king of peace Melchizedek is presented as a type of the Messianic priest-king. cf. Isa [12:10-11; Ps. 85:10; Isa. 32:17; Rom. 5:1; James 3:17-18] The typological significance of Melchizedek as a type of Christ also comes from what is not said about him. Presentation 10 Establishing Melchizedek's Significance

8 The Genesis [14v7-20] account tells us nothing of Melchizedek’s parental origins, when he was born or when he died. This does not imply that Melchizedek was superhuman - i.e. that he had no parents and possessed eternal life - rather he is the only person among the worshippers of the one true God in the O.T. whose ancestors and descendants receive no mention. In order to serve as a priest in the temple a man had to be able to prove that he had descended from Levi [Ezra 2v61-63; Neh. 7v63-65]. It is the silence of scripture concerning Melchizedek’ s life and family history which equips him to serve as a type of Christ. Presentation 10 Establishing Melchizedek's Significance

9 Significance Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance In v4-7 the argument is developed and is fairly straightforward. Its aim is to show that Melchizedek is superior to Abraham. In matters of blessing it is the superior who blesses the inferior. The readers would also be aware that the custom of tithing was one which God commanded through Moses. Every Jew with the exception of the Levites were required to tithe the crops which they grew and the livestock which they bred. These tithes were assigned to the Levites Num. 18v21ff. Presentation 10

10 Significance Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance You will remember that the Levites had no territorial inheritance in the land of promise because of their special religious function in the Israelite community. The Levites in turn set apart a tenth of what they received from the nation’s tithing and gave this to the descendants of Aaron who held priestly office in the tabernacle/temple. cf Num. 18v But the writer presses his argument still further. He draws attention now to the Hebrew and indeed Middle Eastern concept of family solidarity. And argues that since Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek even though Levi was at that time unborn because Levi was still in the body of his ancestor. Presentation 10

11 So that Levi, the tribe whom God set apart in Israel to be involved in the ceremonial and sacrificial worship and to receive tithes in recognition of that service, had in turn actually paid tithes via Abraham to Melchizedek. What is the significance of this action? It acknowledged Melchizedek’s priestly office to be greater than Levi’s. Melchizedek is superior to Levi and therefore Christ who is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek has surpassed and superseded the Levitical priesthood. Presentation 10 Significance Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

12 Melchizedek, the priest who has no connection at all with the tribe of Levi received a tithe from Abraham! He accepts it as his due as the priest of the most high God. And under the Levitical system those who collect tithes are described as ‘dying men’. In contrast Melchizedek collects his tithes as one who lives. Gen. 14 says nothing about his death and so the author indicates that in this respect he serves as a figure or type of Christ whose priesthood is permanent because he continues forever cf v24. The inference of Ps. 110v4 is that he who is a priest after the order of Melchizedek is a priest forever. Presentation 10 Significance Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

13 In v11ff the argument is advanced one stage further. Nothing is said in Gen. 14 about an order of Melchizedekian priests. This appears first in Ps. 110 roughly halfway through the Israel’s O.T. historical record. This Psalm which speaks of the priestly role of the coming Messiah was written hundreds of years after the establishment of the Levitical order. If the Levitical order was a permanent and perfect system there would have been no need to mention a different order of priesthood. The keywords "perfection" v11 and "perfect" v19, 28, begin and end the argument of this section. Perfection did not come through the Old Covenant priests but through the Son the New Covenant Priest. Presentation 10 The Superiority of Jesus Priesthood

14 Only one conclusion can be drawn. The Psalmist, under the inspiration of the Spirit, was saying that the Levitical order was inadequate and imperfect, and therefore was waiting to be replaced by something superior. Why would God replace the Levitical priesthood? Four reasons follow. 1. The imperfection of the Levitical priesthood and the Mosaic Law 7v The need for a better replacement 7v The inviolability of God's oath 7v The mortality of the Levitical priests 7v23-25 Presentation 10 Priesthood The Superiority of Jesus Priesthood

15 Read v12... Now the Mosaic law was inseparable from the priestly system. And so introducing a different order of priesthood meant setting aside the prescriptions of the ceremonial law which regulated the priesthood and its ministry. The problem with the old system was twofold: First, the Levitical priests were themselves lawbreakers hence incapable of offering a perfect sacrifice- they had to make sacrifice for their own sins. Secondly, no unwilling dumb animal was competent to serve as a satisfactory substitute for a human sinner. Hence under the Levitical system there was an endless repetition of sacrifices- the system was imperfect. Presentation 10 Significance Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

16 So by his own independent line of argument our author reaches the same conclusion as Paul: the law was a temporary provision, “our tutor to bring us to Christ... but now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor‘’. Gal. 3v24ff. The writer alludes to the fact that further confirmation of this change is the prophecy that Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah, not from the priestly tribe of Levi [Gen.49v10; Mic. 5v2; Isa. 11v1]. The implication drawn from the Messianic Ps. 110 is that the promised priestly Messiah would not belong to the tribe of Levi. But does it provide any clue about the tribe the Messiah would come from? Presentation 10 Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

17 The very fact that Ps.110 begins with the kingly character of the Messiah presupposes his connection with the tribe of Judah and with the family of David in particular cf. 2 Sam. 7v12 ff. Up until the time of Christ no one from the tribe of Judah had ever served at the altar. Mosaic legislation forbade them from doing so. Now however, on the basis of Ps. 110 Jesus can indeed hold the office of priest, not the Levitical priesthood but one superior to it, after the order of Melchizedek. The whole issue of priestly succession does not arise since his is an everlasting priesthood on the basis of his indestructible life. Presentation 10 Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

18 The legislation mentioned in v18 is Mosaic ceremonial law which regulated the succession of priests. This is to be laid aside. This law was weak and inadequate in the absolute sense that it could not alter the standing of sinful man before God. It could not offer up a perfect sacrifice for sin, it could not reconcile him forever with God. What man needed was a perfect sacrifice for sin, a secure standing in God’s sight, a knowledge that he was now reconciled with God and this is the better hope which Jesus our high priest extends to us. Presentation 10 s Significance Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

19 Little wonder the author describes this as a ‘better hope’ v19 by which we draw near to God. Our author is pleading with his readers not to go back to an inferior and inadequate system of worship in the light of the better hope which has been introduced by the Lord Jesus Christ. What advantage is there is exchanging what is better for what is worse? Why live in the shadow when you can live in the brilliant light of the gospel. Presentation 10 'sSignificance Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

20 The superiority of the priesthood of Christ after the order of Melchizedek is further contrasted with the Levitical priesthood in v20 where we are told that God established Christ’s priesthood with an oath. This is an issue on which God will not change his mind. We have already been introduced to the idea of an oath in relation to God in 6v17. The ceremonial law was something that God was happy to lay aside, there was never any intention on his part to associate any degree of permanence with it. But the priesthood of Christ is a wholly different matter. God says with respect to it, ‘It shall never change’. You do not change what is complete and perfect! Hence God’s new covenant made with Christ and his people is a better covenant - an everlasting covenant. Presentation 10 Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance

21 In Ch.7 the writer has shown that the Melchizadekian priesthood is superior to the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood in the following ways: Jesus did not need to make sacrifice for himself- he was sinless v26ff Jesus made a perfect sacrifice for sin- theirs were repetitive because imperfect v27 Jesus ministers in God’s presence perpetually- not just one day in the year. Jesus’ priesthood is eternal - in contrast with a priestly succession. Jesus covenant is an eternal unchangeable covenant – in contrast with failure of the Old Covenant. Jesus’ covenant is superior because it is sealed by God’s oath - God won’t change his mind Jesus’ priesthood is founded on personal greatness and not on legal appointment Jesus ministers a complete salvation: death cannot terminate his priesthood v25 Presentation 10 Exposition Of Melchizedek's Significance


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