Humor me just for a second. In your mind, silently, list some of the important people from the Old Testament.
Thank you for doing that. How many of you had Melchizedek on your list? I may be way off base but I would bet very few of us had him on our lists. I know I did not have him on mine. Who is Melchizedek?
Melchizedek appears once in Genesis 14 and is referred to in Psalm 110 and that is it. This is hardly top billing is it? However, as today's reading corroborates, Melchizedek is paramount to an important truth: the priesthood of Jesus Christ is superior to that of Aaron because the order of Melchizedek is superior to the order of Levi.
Why is this? Well let's remember that the letter of Hebrews was written to the Jewish nation, and at the time it was written the Jewish nation was accustomed to the priesthood of the tribe of Levi. Remember, from Exodus, that the tribe of Levi was chosen by God to serve in the tabernacle and Aaron was the first high priest. The priests from the tribe of Levi had been serving for many centuries when Hebrews was written, but now Paul is proclaiming in his letter, and backing-up his proclamation with evidence (which is listed in today's reading), that their priesthood has ended and replaced by the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
In today's reading, once again, Paul makes the argument that in Jesus, God has provided struggling sinners better access to him than the Old Testament believers ever had. Instead of going through a priest to access God, Jesus Christ is a priest who gives us constant access to God. Instead of animal sacrifices to remove past sin, Jesus Christ has freed us from all our sins, past, present, and future. Instead of a system that was insufficient to save us, Jesus is a Savior that has guaranteed our salvation. What an awesome God!!!