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Paul J. Bucknell
Melchizedek is an intriguing Bible character, largely because he is only mentioned in three sections of the Bible. Each time this High Priest takes a significant role. We will briefly discuss the later two places Melchizedek is mentioned so that we can begin to understand what God is trying to teach us through this high priest king, Psalm 110 and Hebrews 5-8.
Whether we know Melchizedek had his own army or God’s spiritual army of angels, we just do not know. Nor are we sure that Abram understood these things. He did, however, and this is important, recognize the importance God had in this victory to rescue Lot. This is our first introduction to the important place of Melchizedek in the scheme of things.
Our understanding of Melchizedek has to partly come from our understanding of Jesus Christ, of whom Melchizedek was a type. There are only two other sections of the scriptures where he is mentioned, one in the Old and one in the New Testament.
The Psalmist writes of the Christ the Messiah, “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, “Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4).
In verse 5 it says, very relevant to Abram’s experience, “The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.”
The Book of Hebrews picks up on Melchizedek and says much about him. Starting at the end of chapter 4 where the author is speaking of Jesus both as a great high priest and as king–the Son of God,
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16 NASB).
Hebrews chapter 5 to 7 give great significance to Melchizedek and to Psalm 110. Melchizedek is not only a type of the coming priest–king, Jesus the Messiah, but this new priest–king represents a new covenant. Because Psalm 110 was written after the Law (Exodus-Deuteronomy), then the Old Testament itself stated that a greater priest, king and law then the Mosaic one would be coming.
All of this was found in Jesus Christ who established the New Covenant. Jesus is both our priest and our king to whom we are fully obligated as servants. We give gifts to God through the way we give gifts to the local church with a purpose similar to Abram to show our appreciation.
Jesus told us to pray to the Father in His own Name. Jesus is the mediator. He has all authority in heaven and earth. When God puts something on our hearts, then we are to go to the Father in prayer, asking Jesus the High priest to bring it before the Mighty God, possessor of heaven and earth. In this way our prayers will be answered.
In response, touched in our hearts by God’s intervening grace, we further devote ourselves to this almighty God. So what are we to understand from all this?
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988