How often do we here a “Preacher or Teacher” tell us, the Old Testament points us forward to a coming Messiah….this coming Messiah is the “Greater Adam” or the better “Moses”. This same promised Messiah is also the “Supreme High Priest”…..of the order of Melchizedek (Gen.14:18-20).
(Hebrews 7:3) says that Melchizedek was “without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”
There is the ongoing question of whether the author of Hebrews means this actually or figuratively.
Some propose that Melchizedek was actually a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ, or a what is called a Christophany.
So let’s briefly look at Christ as the “Supreme High Priest”….what do we know?
Well, Hebrews tells us that the high priests of old offered shadows of the reality to come. The sacrifices of old were offered regularly — YET, Christ offers the true sacrifice, once for all. The old priests offered objects different from themselves. The Supreme High Priest (Jesus) offers Himself — a perfect sacrifice. Christ is both, the subject and object of the supreme atoning sacrifice.
We also know from Hebrews that Christ’s priesthood differs from the old in that Christ serves both as High Priest and as King.
Remember, in the Old Covenant, the “king” was ultimately to come from the tribe of Judah and the “priests” were to be consecrated from the tribe of Levi (following Aaron). Yet, Jesus was not a Levite.
Jesus’s priesthood was a different priesthood from a different order — the order of Melchizedek…..you recall from Genesis 13, the Holy Priest “Melchizedek” appears before Abraham as both king and priest to which Abraham pays his respects too.
The book of Hebrews tells us that just as Abraham is greater than Levi, and Melchizedek is greater than Abraham, then clearly Melchizedek is greater than Levi.
Jesus, as the “Supreme High Priest” and the promised Davidic King is the fulfillment of Psalm 110.
The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” 2 The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of Your enemies.” 3 Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew. 4 The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” 5 The Lord is at Your right hand; He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath. 6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country. 7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside; therefore, He will lift up His head.
Think about this truth….Levitical priests became priests simply because of their lineage—they were born into the priestly line. Jesus, on the other hand, was chosen by God to be a priest because of His personal qualifications (Hebrews 7:11–22).
Remember, the Levitical priests where finite, they died and had to be replaced. Jesus, however, lives forever and will continue to serve as priest forever, never being replaced (Hebrews 7:23–25).
The Levitical priests had to first offer sacrifices for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. Jesus had no sin and did not need to offer a sacrifice for Himself (Hebrews 7:26–27).
The Levitical priests ministered under the Old Covenant, whereas Jesus ministers under a New Covenant. The fact that God replaced the Old with the New is evidence that the New is better and that the Old must have had some deficiencies (Hebrews 8:6–13).
The Levitical priests entered the earthly Most Holy Place only once per year with the blood of an animal sacrifice. Jesus entered the heavenly Most Holy Place with the sacrifice of His own blood, and He is still there ministering on our behalf (Hebrews 9:11–24).
Jesus is the Supreme High Priest.