INTRODUCTION: In 6:20, the writer of Hebrews reminds us that we have a better High Priest, namely Jesus, ''having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.''
Priests play an important role, even in our own day. However, in the O.T., the 12 sons of Jacob served as the leaders of 12 tribes of Israel. One of Jacob's sons, Levi, was dedicated by God for religious services. All priests, in fact, not only had to be descended from Levi, but also from Aaron, Moses' brother. Therefore, all priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests. The non-priestly Levites served as helpers to the priests, and probably as singers, instrumentalists, etc. The priesthood was strictly national, strictly Jewish. They were set aside as a first fruit to God. (Num. 8:14-16)
SPECIAL NOTE: The Levitical priesthood was hereditary. He had to be born into the right family. Also, his time of priestly service was temporary. A priest served from age 25 until the age of 50, after which his ministry was over (Num. 8:24-25)
Man has always had a deep longing in his heart for an audience with God.
Job 9:32-33, ''For he is not a man, as I am that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman between us, that might lay his hand upon us both.''
A priest is one who mediates between God and man. Hebrews 7 is magnifying the reality of Jesus Christ as our High Priest that is superior to any other priest, and he illustrates this graphic truth in Melchizedek.
Note what can be learned from:
I. HIS PERSON. 1-2 A. MEANING OF NAMES
1. Priest of the Most High God
El Elyon - universal name for God; it represents God as possessor of heaven and earth.
Israel knew God as Adonai; this name was uniquely related to God's covenant with Israel. It was His covenant name.
The significance is this: Jesus is not just Messiah of Israel, but of the world. His priesthood is univer ...
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