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Breaking with the Old

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Part 5: Priest after the order of Melchizedek

(Content of this section: Christ's priesthood is according to the order of Melchizedek)


We have just seen how the Lord God assigned the position of High Priest to His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Now we need to turn our attention to how this position of High Priest was according to a specific order of priest. Here are the words - as recorded in Psalm 110 - that the Lord God used, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

The Letter to the Hebrews has much to say about this record. It is a major topic of the letter and, in covering that topic, it makes a point of highlighting a contrast between the priesthood in which Jesus Christ is found to be High Priest and the priesthood within which the Levites held office. Christ’s priesthood is “according to the order of Melchizedek” while the Levitical priesthood was “according to the order of Aaron”. The Letter to the Hebrews calls for our particular attention to this. We read, “For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.” Heb.7:14.


Please recognise how this deviates from what people might have been expecting. This strange condition, therefore, has to be somehow reconciled. There has to be a precedent established for it, namely, another priesthood in which one can come to the rank of High Priest in another tribe other than the one spoken of by Moses. In way of establishing this precedent, the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews declares,

14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7:14-17 - NIV

(Content of this section: The matter of a man of the tribe of Judah being made high priest)


Thus the anomaly is reconciled in a very simple way. The priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek is named. Our Lord Jesus is made a priest after the order of Melchizedek.

The Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, has come to reign on the throne of David and to be a priest on His throne. He is priest there according to the order of Melchizedek. This change is rated as so profound in the Letter to the Hebrews as to mean the dismantling of the priesthood according to the order of Aaron. It is this that we are going to look at in the next section. Zec.6:12-13.

Preview of content in next part:

  • The impact on our daily religious life of having a high priest who is not of the Levitical priesthood.

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