Our Splendid, Transcendent King-Priest
The book of Hebrews tells us some Jewish believers had difficulty believing Jesus was their great high priest. Hebrews 5:5 suggests some thought Jesus was possibly a grandstander, self-appointed, glorifying himself so that he would be made a high priest.
The high priest had to be male and from the tribe of Levi but specifically a direct descendant of Aaron (Exodus 28:1, 43). Once a year, on the day of atonement (Yom Kippur) the high priest had to go alone, past the very thick, very heavy curtain, into the most holy place, to make atonement for the sins of Israel (Hebrews 5:1).
Jews knew Jesus wasn’t a direct descendant of Aaron nor was He from the tribe of Levi. (Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, Luke 3:33). So, some were puzzled as to how He could even be a priest let alone a high priest!
From our 21st century viewpoint it may be hard for us to fathom why they had those mistaken thoughts. However, we must remember they only had what we refer to as the Old Testament, writings copied onto large scrolls and stored in the Temple and in local synagogues where they were brought out on the Sabbath and other High Holy Days. The New Testament, as we know it, would not come together for another 400 or so years.
But God had established His highest, grandest, perfect plan of salvation in the book of Genesis. His perfect plan of salvation included the whole world. This transcendent covenant was initiated in Genesis 14:18 when the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to Abraham as Melchizedek, King-Priest of God Most High, creator and possessor of heaven and earth (v19). Abraham was blessed with this extraordinary encounter with the Lord Jesus while he was childless. No Isaac, no Jacob, no Jewish priesthood, no Jewish high priest for another few hundred years.
The Lord Jesus Himself was and is Jewish believers’ Melchizedek (righteous King of Peace). Some two thousand years later, when the extremely high, thick, and heavy curtain that hung in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, Jesus’ body was torn open at the cross to give all believers, Jew and non-Jew, free and fresh access to Him. He is our magnificent High Priest and King-Priest, all-in-One! And He has made us part of His King-Priest ministry. You are God’s chosen treasure – priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience His marvellous light, and now He claims you as His very own. He did this so that you would broadcast His glorious wonders throughout the world. 1 Peter 2:9. We are anointed for the purpose of sharing Jesus to anyone!
With all our hearts we echo the words of John, on the island of Patmos, ‘Now to the One who constantly loves us and has loosed us from our sins by His own blood, and to the One who has appointed us as a kingdom of priests to serve His God and Father – to Him be glory and dominion throughout the eternity of eternities! Amen! Revelation 1:6. The Lord Jesus Christ is our Magnificent Melchizedek, the Perfect Son of God, our Splendid, Transcendent King-Priest.