Friday, March 04, 2016

The Vision (3.4.16): Christ and Melchizedek

Image:  A copy of the Geneva Bible, open to the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1, on display at the Biblical Heritage Gallery, Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio.

Note:  Here are some notes from the close of last Sunday’s sermon on Hebrews 7:1-4, reflecting on how Melchizedek is a type of Christ:

“Now consider how great this man was….” (Hebrews 7:4).

How is Melchizedek a type of Christ?

1.  Melchizedek was a priest and king.  Jesus is our Prophet, Priest, and King.

2.  Melchizedek’s name meant “My king is righteous.” Jesus is the true King of righteousness.

The word righteousness can also be rendered as justification.  Jesus is the King of justification.  Jeremiah prophesied of him:  “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (Jer 23:5).

How did he exercise his kingship?  As a servant.  His coronation was in humiliation on the cross.  His crown was one of twisted thorn, his scepter a reed, his raiment a purple rag.  But by his death he justified many.

Consider Paul’s reflection in Romans 3:21-25 in which in he declares that in Christ “the righteousness of God without law is manifested.”

Indeed, he is the King of justification.

3.  Melchizedek was the King of Salem, the king of peace.  Jesus is the true King of Salem, the Prince of Peace.

He is this in two ways:

First, in the ultimate sense he gives us peace with God:

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Second, he also gives us peace within ourselves and with others:

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The old adage is:  No Jesus, no peace; Know Jesus, know peace.

As one cheesy church sign which I recently saw on the roadside put it: “If your life is in pieces, look to Jesus for peace.”

4.  Melchizedek met with Abraham.  Jesus meets with us.  He does so often unexpectedly, surprisingly, seeming to appear out of nowhere.

5.  Melchizedek was without known origins (Heb 7:3).  One might say that this is not paralleled in Jesus.  Yes, he had no human father, but he had a mother.  We have his genealogy (Matthew 1; Luke 3).  But, his point is to offer an elevated Christology.  With regard to his essence, Jesus is God.  He is the eternal second person of the God (cf. Heb 13:8).  From everlasting to everlasting he is God.

6.  Melchizedek was made like unto a Son of God.  Jesus is the Son of God.

7.  Melchizedek represented a continuing priesthood, unlike that of Levi and Aaron.  Jesus is the eternal priest who “ever liveth to make intercession” for the saints (cf. Heb 7:22-25).

8.  Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek.  We give our lives to Christ as living sacrifices (cf. Rom 12:1-2).

Now consider how great this man is!  Jesus our King of righteousness.  Jesus our King of peace.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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