Hebrews 7:3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever.7:4 See how great he is! Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe of the spoils. 7:6 But this man who has not their genealogy received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7:7 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.
Why is the priesthood perishing? Nothing good passes away without accomplishing its purpose. So the Temple and the priesthood of Levi are passing away, because it has served its purpose, and something greater is taking its place. A Highpriest after the order of Melchizedek is greater, for it came first, and it follows after. It needs no temple, it is already righteous and at peace with God, something the Levitical priesthood never was.
How do we know that the priesthood of Melchizedek is greater? 3 points Because Abraham recognized it. Because Abraham was subject to it. He paid his tithe. Because it was able to bless Abraham.
Now Abraham was the man who held the promise of God that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed,Ö. Abraham is blessed to be a blessing to others. How is it then that Blessed Abraham is blessed by Melchizedek? Our text answers this, the greater blesses the lesser, saying Melchizedek is greater than Abraham.
But we know nothing about this person, and much about Abraham, we know Abrahamís genealogy, we donít even know Melchizedekís parents. How can this be; that Melchizedek is greater? Abraham worshipped God most high, and Melchizedek was his priest. But something even greater than this is at work, and this is what the scriptures point to:
Psalm 110:1-4The LORD says to my lord: "Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool." The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."
To understand who would be the highpriest after the order of Melchizedek, you need also to consider who it is that God would invite to sit at his right hand. Who would God appoint to rule his people? If it was not David, then it must be Davidís greater Son, the Savior, Messiah, who as King rules over all the people of God, but as priest, has offered the perfect sacrifice that fulfills the law.
I guess that is one of the most important things we need to understand, the Old Testament laws were not abolished or forgotten, instead, it is important for us to know that they were kept and fulfilled. It is not a case of it no longer being important, but rather, they continue to be important, but the emphasis is not on the need to do them, but is instead on that fact that it has already been done, perfectly on our behalf. So the law does not pass away until it has accomplished all it was given to do, and if it is accomplished we rightly focus on what was done, rather than on a need to do something, since in Christ it is already completed.
So Melchizedek was a sign, for those who had eyes to see, that the Levitical priesthood was transitory, as was the temple in Jerusalem, and the need for sacrifice -- for now that the perfect has come, the old, having been fulfilled, passes away.
Indeed, this is again what the scriptures plainly tell us, that there is no need for a temple in the new heavenly Jerusalem, for the lamb is in the midst of his people. For the temple was not for the sake of God, but for the sake of man. Man, who because of sin, has been afraid to come into the presence of God, who has not been holy as the Lord God is holy. And because man was afraid, and rightly so considering our sins, there was a place set apart as holy, and as the house of God, so by grace and through sacrifice, man could approach.
But now in Christ we have been justified, in Christ we have been sanctified, in Christ we are forgiven, and the dwelling with God is with us. And all this has been accomplished because of the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek, part of what God has done to bring us salvation, in Christ.