Friday, January 20, 2006

Heb. 7:1-17

In yesterday’s (Thursday’s) devotional the concept of Christ as an anchor was discussed. In this seventh chapter of Hebrews, Paul goes on to show his care for the church by explaining further how Jesus is all the anchor they will need.
Paul carefully explains to his readers in terms they will understand and in terms of something they hold dear; the priesthood. For generations the Jews had worshipped God, following priests. So Paul discusses Melchizedek.
Paul uses the example of the priest and king Melchizedek, who appears in Genesis 14, to explain to the Jews some things about Jesus. First, Jesus has always existed. In a similar manner, Melchizedek’s genealogy is not mentioned in Scripture and even so, Abraham gave him a tithe like a lesser person would a greater person, Paul points out (v4). Like Jesus, Melchizedek is both a king and priest. At the end of this passage, Paul says, if perfection could have come through the Levitical priesthood, there would not be a need for another kind of priest to come, one like Melchizek. In Psalm 110, Paul points out in v. 17, it is prophesied that the Messiah would be a priest forever, like Melchizedek.
Paul uses these examples, which would make sense to a Jew. I have been thinking of an example from our times; the way things wear out and need to be replaced; cars, computers, our bodies, even sometimes our friendships or the people we look up to. But Christ, Paul would say, will never wear out. His priesthood and His throne will continue always. He will always be our anchor, priest and king.

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