So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:5-10
The Bible does not have a lot to say about Melchizedek. The name translates as righteous king. He is first mentioned in Genesis chapter 14 verse 18 as the king of Salem and the priest of the Most High God, El Elyon. Melchizedek blesses Abram after he defeated Chedorlaomer the king of Elam and the other kings aligned with him and gives Abram wine and bread to refresh him after the battle as well as blessing the Most High God. Abram did this to free his nephew Lot who had been captured when Chedorlaomer and his allies defeated the king of Sodom.
The next time Melchizedek is mentioned is in Psalms 110:4 which the writer of Hebrews quotes in today’s verses. Melchizedek is not mentioned again until Hebrews where he is mentioned in seven verses. In fact this is the only mention of Melchizedek in the New Testament. Even though we are not told much about Melchizedek we do know that he was the first priest mentioned in the Bible and that God though so much of him that he bestows the same priesthood on Christ.
One thought I have is that Melchizedek was a priest of God before the Levitical priesthood of Israel was establish. Abram had not yet had his name changed to Abraham and we are centuries away from God giving Moses the Law. Melchizedek was unencumbered by the religious traditions and dogma that evolved over the centuries. So Jesus did away with the trappings of religion to bring us back to a one to one relationship with God. Melchizedek is a foreshadowing of Jesus and Jesus’ relationship between us and God.
Unfortunately we humans have over the years once again put man made barriers between us and God. We take things that we should do and turn them into things we must do. We take traditions and turn them into doctrine. We take the simple relationship that Jesus provides us and make it into a complicated religion where you have to sing certain songs or go to a certain building on a certain day in order to be a Christian. We put road blocks in front of others because we do not like their lifestyles, their dress, the way they speak or the color of their skin. We do all that in the name of Christ. We cannot resist taking the simple plan God has for us and making it into something complex and at times unrecognizable.
Have a blessed day,