Melchizedek....king, or The King?
by Jean Marlow
Keter...The Crown by Jean Marlow
Some theologians have pondered the identity of Melchizedek for as long as 'a time, not remembered by man'. The Biblical facts pertaining to his life are rather sparse. Most of what we know about him has been related to us by the apostle Paul, in his book written to the Hebrews. Paul was a gifted man....a learned rabbi, educated in the old school of Jewish learning. That meant sitting with old Torah 'learners' for long hours, committing Scripture to memory, and dissecting every little nuance of The Word. He was a Pharisee....that is, a believer that strictly adheres to the written and oral Mosaic Law. Pharisees believe in the Resurrection, as opposed to the Sadducees, who do not.
After Paul experienced conversion, he spent three years learning about the Messiah, Jesus. Orthodox Jewish education, combined with his education, via the Spirit of Jesus, gave Paul all of the background necessary to be a great teacher.
The essence of Melchizedek requires detail oriented thinking. I will try to get into these details as I think of them. Most of them lie beneath the surface of the words written.
Let's start with his name:
Melchi-(Royalty) zedek(Righteous). Pronounced: Mel-KEE-tze-dek. He is King of Righteousness.
The first time we meet Melchizedek, is in the 14th chapter of the book of Genesis. Abraham rescues his nephew Lot, after a battle between regional kings in which Lot had been taken prisoner. Abraham was a very wealthy man, and had a large force of men at his disposal. They retrieved Lot, and were on their way home, when, seemingly out of nowhere, Melchizedek appears. He greets Abraham with bread and wine. The Bible tells us he is a Priest, of God, Most High....."Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High"....Genesis 14:17-19. The job of a priest involves mediation between God and man. A priest 'speaks' for God, which is why he could absolve a person of sin. A priest also 'feeds' God to the people with the spoken word. That's why they preach.
The time of Abraham goes back about five thousand years. We have no exact way of knowing this time line. There were no earthly priests of our God, appointed until the time of Moses, about three thousand, five hundred years ago, when Aaron became the first priest for Israel. The Aaronic Priesthood was a temporary measure. The priest continually made sacrifices and did ritual cleansing of people and things....over, and over, and over. Since people sinned continually, they needed to be forgiven....continually. During the Temple Periods, there was a constant stream of animal blood flowing. The sacrificial blood of Jesus was shed in order to change all of that. It is the New Covenant, given to us....and Melchizedek foretold of it five thousand years ago. The New Covenant told us there would never be a required sacrifice again. Since sin is paid for by the sacrifice of Jesus, there is no need for a priest. Jesus, like Melchizedek, is a Priest Forever.
Melchizedek came with bread and wine....The Body and The Blood of Jesus. In Bible Speak, bread is the Communion Vehicle between God and Israel....His Church. Matzo is made with only flour and water. If the bread contains yeast as an ingredient, it is adulterated, and not acceptable food for Passover, or the Christian Communion. Risen bread contains sin, and is not good food for believers. Before the Passover, all risen bread is removed from the home of Jews for this reason. The Passover Lamb, (Christ, the Lamb of God) and Matzo (The Body of Christ) was eaten by the Israelites. The blood of the Lamb (the Wine) was placed on the doorpost to protect the people from death. In Bible Speak, 'blood' means 'life'. It is represented by Wine. The wine must be unadulterated grape wine. This sacramental wine is used in the Christian Communion, and at the Jewish Passover. Remember when Cain slew Abel? Abel's blood....his life....was spilled upon the earth. Blood has been important from the beginning. People ate the Matzo while on their trek in the wilderness. In Bible Speak, eating the bread, or drinking wine is synonymous with learning or absorbing God.
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed, the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?....Hebrews 7:10-12. Now, this passage, written by Paul, is important. Melchizedek is a Priest. He is declared 'Priest' before the priesthood was established on Earth, by God. That didn't happen until Moses' time, at least 1,500 years later.
A description of Melchizedek:
Hebrews 7:3 - "Without father, without mother and without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, he abideth a priest continually."
Let's look at some Biblical facts.... providing you believe the Bible is in-errant. I do.
Jesus can't be a Priest 'after the order of Melchizedek' unless Melchizedek is perfect. Since Jesus is perfect, He can't be fashioned after someone imperfect. So, Melchizedek must be perfect.
Melchizedek has no lineage, no father or mother, no place of birth, no beginning and no ending. The only Being that I know of that falls into that category is God.
Melchizedek is a Priest Forever.... just like Jesus.
The Jewish Priests were a temporary fixture....only valid until Jesus walked among us; Immanuel, God, with us. Yet, Melchizedek was named a 'Priest Forever'....just as Jesus is a 'Priest Forever'.
One more important fact: Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek. Until the time of the Jewish Priests, there was no tithe law. After The Law was given, tithes were made to God alone, and He decided its use. Levitical Priests were given money and sacrificial food and drink, by God, because they owned no property, and had no monetary income. It was against the Law for them to own anything.
Doesn't it seem accurate to say that Melchizedek has to be Jesus.... shown to us in the Old Testament?
Don't come to any hasty opinions on this subject until you do your own research.