"The King of Righteousness"
We talked briefly about Melchizedek a few weeks ago. Now we will look into that story more deeply and then see the priest-king who becomes our guarantor of a better covenant.
King of Righteousness
A. Jesus asked some Pharisees a question during that last week. “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They answered “the son of David.” Jesus then takes them to a Psalm and asks, “How can it be true?” Here is the Psalm (Ps. 110:1).
B. How can the “son of David” also be the Lord of David? What the religious leaders could not admit was the David’s Lord was both divine and human. David’s Lord sat by YHWH (divine) and yet was a “son” decedent of David (human). Based upon that, listen to Psalm 110:1-4.
C. The LORD, YHWH, Jehovah, makes David’s Lord both a king and priest. Jesus claims to be that Lord of David and the Hebrew writer comes back to his topic of the priesthood in which Jesus serves between man and God.
D. Now, all of that Jewish legal argument, still lives us with the question, who is Melchizedek and why do we care?
I. Melchizedek – King of Righteousness
A. Read Heb. 7:1-3. His story is short, but the implications are profound. When Abram lived in Canaan, and after Lot left Abraham, Lot was captured along with several kings. When Abram hears what happens he takes 318 trained men and rescues his nephew Lot and the kings bringing back all the possessions along with the women and the people. It is after his return that Abram meets up with Melchizedek. (Read Gen. 14:18-20)
B. What you have just heard is the basis for all of chapter 7 of Hebrews. It is for us the why and how Jesus could be our High Priest. But before the Hebrew writer can talk about Jesus as our high priest, he has to deal with the issue of the priesthood coming through Aaron. He does this by two thoughts. First, the priesthood of Melchizedek precedes the priesthood of Aaron. Second, as stated in vs 7, the greater blesses the lesser.
C. As great as Abraham was, he was blessed by Melchizedek and he gave a tithe to Melchizedek. The bottom line, Melchizedek is greater than Abraham which makes his priesthood greater that a decedent of Abraham’s.
D. If all of that is boring, or too much Jewish theological rambling, let me bring it home to you about Jesus. As I stated in chapter 5, a priest stands between God and man. So why don’t we keep the Old Law? Here is your answer (READ Heb. 7:12, 15-17, 22)
E. But let me tell you more about this Jesus and what he does for me.
II. Saves To the Uttermost
A. The book of Revelation is a great book. The depiction it gives us of Jesus is powerful. When John sees and hears about this great scroll he is excited to know the prophecy, but there is no one who is worthy to open the scroll and John begins to weep. An elder tells John not to weep (Rev. 5:5-6). The Lion (king) was also the Lamb that had been slain but yet lived (the offering of the Priest). Jesus is our king and priestly offering, he alone is worthy, he alone has the power and might.
B. Listen to Heb. 7:23-25. Throughout the timeline of the OT, we see many high priests. While it started with Aaron, Aaron died. In fact, every high priest after Aaron died. But Jesus is different. He is the lamb that was slain that still lives, he is the priest that lives forever. Because of the fact that Jesus is alive right now, he is able to save “to the uttermost” those who draw near to God through him.
C. I love that phrase. The NIV says, “He is able to save completely,” NASB “save forever.” Our Prince of Peace , our King of Righteousness, is able to save now and always – hence “completely,” “forever,” “to the uttermost.”
D. We can stop right here, pack up our stuff and go home! You can leave now and get in line at the buffet!! Honestly, I don’t need to say more . . . but you know I will.
E. The ending of vs 25 says why he saves completely; it is “because he lives to make intercession for us.” It is one thing to ask a righteous person to pray for you, but Jesus lives to make intercession to the Father for YOU (“Those who draw near to God through him”). Every moment of every day, Jesus pleads for us and can do so because the price for our sin was paid through him. His death, burial and resurrection was the price, the sacrifice that was paid – not for himself, like a normal high priest who was also sinful, but for you. He can do that because of his physical perfection and spiritual perfection. (READ verse 28)
A. The story of Melchizedek, and the Psalm of David that speaks of it, helps us to see the Messiah would be a king that would bring righteousness and peace. The story of Abraham is that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Jesus gets wrapped into both of them as the Messiah and comes as king to bring righteousness and peace with God to all mankind.
B. The reason I don’t have to be a Jew in order to be saved is I follow a different high priest who gives a new covenant. That new covenant is what we will talk about next week – why the NT instead of the OT?
C. Today, we, the saved on earth, are saved because our high priest made the sacrifice and now intercedes for us. It is great to be a Christian. It is great to know that my Jesus prays for me, pleads for me, and has paid the price so that in him I can live forever. If we can help you draw closer to Jesus, then come as we stand and sing.
Because of Jesus,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister