Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:18-20
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The appearance of Melchizedek is mysterious. He is not an angel but a king or leader of Jerusalem. He is “king of righteousness” (=Melchizedek) and “king of peace” (=salem). Psalm 110 is an important prophetic poem about the Messiah. In it we read of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Psalms 110:4
This statement is taken up in the letter to the Hebrews chapters 5, 6 and 7.
Putting everything together, we have a doctrine about Jesus and priesthood. Jesus is our Great High Priest. He ministers before God for us. He is both the offering and the offerer. He is our Lawyer (intercessor) and our Mediator. He is our medicine and our Healer. These are the roles of the High Priest.
The doctrine is that the Priesthood of Melchizedek is eternal. He had no beginning or end, no earthly connection. The Priesthood of Jesus connects with him not with Aaron and an earthly religion.
The fact that Melchizedek administered bread and wine strengthens the spiritual mystery of the encounter with Abraham and the statement of Jesus:
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” John 8:56
The work of priests and especially the High Priest. Try to see how these earthly works translate to spiritual actions for us. Really, you need to read a lot of Exodus and Leviticus to get an idea of priestly life. And Numbers – and Deuteronomy. Still, we all have time on our hands!!!
Selection – only Aaron’s family could be priests and minister in the holy place
Sacrifice – they oversaw the offerings and sacrifices and presented the burnt offerings to God
Service – their service included health and safety, law enforcement and teaching as well as overseeing the care of the Tabernacle
Sanctification – they were separated by application of blood and they had to wash in running water, keep garments clean and keep away from death!