This week’s Parsha addresses the commandments of YHVH Elohim as pertains to the Levitical priesthood. Since the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, and the Temple sacrifices ceased it behooves us to take a closer look at our High Priest, Yahshua HaMashiach. We need to understand that His Priesthood is after a different order than the Levitical Priesthood; instead, it is of the order of Melchizedek.
The genesis of this order of the Melchizedek Priesthood begins with Abraham’s encounter with Melchizedek as found in Gen. 14: 13-24 and I would encourage you to read it for yourself, but for the purpose of this message we will turn to the Book of Hebrews in the B’rit Chadasha.
In Hebrews 7:2-3 concerning Melchizedek it reads:
Hebrews Heb 7:2 To whom (this being Melchizedek) also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of G-d; abideth a priest continually.
In 1664, Rembrandt the Master Dutch Artist painted Lucrece, a Roman matron. Illustrious for her virtue. Years later Rembrandt painted a second portrait of Lucrece in a different pose. Private collectors traded the paintings among themselves for several hundred years, and the two were not seen together until 1991. As a result the paintings were unknown to the general public. They came from the same Dutch master and portrayed the same woman, but people only seeing these painting separately did not realize their connection.
2. In the days of Abraham, the man called the “Friend of G-d” encountered a mysterious Priest called Melchizedek. His place in history is a G-d’s masterpiece. In Judaism Melchizedek is identified as Noah’s son Shem, but century’s later believers connected this same Melchizedek with the Messiah as evidenced in the 110th Psalm. Like Rembrandt, there is now revealed another masterpiece from G-d’s handiwork, because in Hebrews 7, these two are brought together.
This study will examine the proposition that MELCHIZEDEK priest of the most High G-d in a forerunner and type of Yahshua our Cohen Gadol.
First, let us compare the portrait of Melchizedek as a shadow to Yahshua our Cohen Gadol.
A. A priest serves as our mediator between man and G-d, and long before there was an Aaronic priesthood Melchizedek was the priest of El Elyon, the Most High G-d. He represented the G-d of G-d’s, the ultimate G-d. Melchizedek served the creator who was and is sovereign and owner of heaven and earth.
B. This priest blessed Abraham (Genesis 14:17-20). In Abraham, all nations may be blessed. Melchizedek blessed the one in whom all nations shall be blessed. (Genesis 18:18).
C. This priest received tithes from Abraham. His position allowed him to receive from this great man Abraham offerings for the G-d they both served. This act is very important in Judaism because it demonstrates the superiority of Melchizedek’s priesthood over the Levitical priesthood. Let me read from Hebrews:
Heb 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
Heb 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
Heb 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
Heb 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
Heb 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham.
Heb 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.
D. Summing it up, Yahshua is our High Priest, the priest of Elyon. He is our mediator between G-d and man. He blesses us. He receives sacrifice from true worshipers.
II. MELCHIZEDEK PORTRAYS YAHSHUA AS RULER (Hebrews 7:2).
A. Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness.” The Hebrew word Tzedakah means both righteousness and salvation. Melchizedeks’s very name points to righteousness and to salvation. In Yahshua, we learn that there is not other name under heaven whereby righteousness-salvation is obtained.
B. Melchizedek was the King of the City of Salem. King of Salem means King of Peace. Two kings met Abraham, the King of Salem and the King of Sodom. Abraham lifted his hand to G-d and did not hold out his hand to Sodom. Melchizedek was the prince over the city of peace.
C. Yahshua is the Prince of Peace and the King of Righteousness as our Savior. In Rom 5:1 we read: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with G-d through our Lord Yahshua HaMashiach. Through Yahshua, we are reconciled to YHVH Elohim and forgiven of all past sins (Romans 3:25 and 2 Peter 1:9)
III. MELCHIZEDEK PORTRAYS YAHSHUA AS ETERNAL (Hebrews 7:3).
A. Melchizedek, being “without father and mother,” has no antecedents that empowered him for his position of authority. Nowhere, are his parents recorded and yet his authority was recognizable and respectable.
B. Melchizedek was without descent. There was no record of ancestors or descendants for him. Moreover, there was no designated successor to his unique position except that of Yahshua as recorded in Psalm 110:4.
C. The author of Hebrews points out that Melchizedek’s office was meant to be perpetual and Melchizedek’s beginning and end was left unrecorded as Is Yahshua’s beginning and end.
D. Melchizedek was a type of the Son of G-d. He was painted to appear like Yahshua because he was represented that way by G-d.
E. Melchizedek was a continual priest in that he occupied a continual office.
F. Yahshua is eternal as well. He succeeded Melchizedek who portrayed Him. Yahshua did not achieve His position by the authority of earthly parents. He had no descendants to take His position. He too is a continual priest and He is the very Son of G-d.
There are several points we must examine and ask ourselves what may we draw from them?
1. Yahshua is our High Priest. He is our ruler in Peace and Righteousness. He is eternal G-d.
To draw upon the illustration with which this message was opened: the account of two paintings by the Dutch master, Rembrandt. We can understand that great works of art are to be appreciated, but they cannot compare to the great works of G-d. Melchizedek was a great man whose greatness may be undervalued easily. His matching counterpart, Yahshua HaMashiach is greater still and is all too easily under appreciated by believers and unbelievers alike.
2. John 3:16 says Yahshua is “Only Begotten” or unique, or, one of a kind.
3. And the Temporary and the Eternal
There are three huge gates that lead into the Cathedral of Milan. Over one gate there is an inscription in marble under a beautiful flower bouquet that says, “The things that please are temporary.”
Over the second gate, there is a cross with this inscription: “The things that disturb us are temporary.”
However, over the central gate, there is a big inscription saying, “Eternal are the important ones.”
To live life fully we must recognize the difference between the temporary and eternal.
Unlike the fore type, Melchizedek, Yahshua is eternal, and we must spend time with Him if we are to live life fully.
4. There is one other point that we must consider to anticipate any questions that might arise from those that read this section of the Book of Hebrews and that is verses 11-22. Let me read:
Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Heb 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
Heb 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
Heb 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
Heb 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
Heb 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto G-d.
Heb 7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
Heb 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek:)
Heb 7:22 By so much was Yahshua made a surety of a better testament. (KJV)
Many antinomians use these verses and chapter 8 to support their belief that G-d’s Torah or Law is dead or invalid. Unfortunately, they ignore all other scripture to the contrary. I intend to address these verses so that we have a complete understanding of what is being said here. For now, I will leave you with the questions these verses raise. The subject is to complex to expound on here tonight and requires a longer format, but I want you to anticipate my next message when I will address them.
[Go to Teachings and see article there on Melchizedek]