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Thursday: Eternal Priest in the Order of Melchizedek — 10 Comments

  1. There is a general acceptance among Christians that Psalm 110 is messianic. Jewish Rabbinical literature however, offer three interpretations:
    1. Abraham
    2. David, and
    3. The Jewish Messiah

    Certainly, if you read the whole Psalm through you will see the idea that the nation of Israel will come out on top and defeat their enemies.

    The New Testament refers to Psalm 110 several times. Allusions are found in Mark 12:36, 14:62, Luke 20 41–44, 1 Corinthians 15:25, Hebrews 5:1–6, 6:20, 7:4–7, 7:17–24. Most of these references essentially support the Christian messianic interpretation.

    We sometimes spend a lot of time trying to sort out the detail of type and antitype but it is quite possible to miss the big picture. Throughout history, we have been confronted with the battle between good and evil, often in difficult ways to rationalise. Perhaps the lesson that we need to learn is that this salvation thing has a timeless quality about it. It is not Plan B, thought up on the spur of the moment but is built into the fabric of creation. The reference to Melchizedek is not simply a reference to a previous priesthood but to the timelessness of God's love for us.

    I have an observation though. Most of us read the first 4 verses of Psalm 110 and make the connection with the Messiah but the rest of the Psalm makes for some pretty tough reading. I am not sure how to connect the dots between the two parts in a meaningful way. There is room for someone to expand on that issue.

    • Yes, Ps.110:5-7 KJV are pretty violent. How I see the connection with Messiah is the poetic picture of a victorious king in battle in the future.

      Vs. 6 tells us that earthly rulers will not be successful in opposing the Lord's work. Jesus and all He stands for triumphs. Messiah leads the final charge against the enemy in person. In v. 5, it's His own right hand that strikes in His final day of wrath (Rev.19:15). The kingdom of heaven overcomes the kingdoms of earth.

      Vs. 7... I think of Gideon's men at the brook drinking before battle, though here it says "in the way" which sounds like in the middle of battle or in the midst of a very strenuous task, stopping for a quick drink. I picture Jesus leading a weary army....and He's the Living Water so it's like Sabbath or a time when we're all pausing to replenish ourselves in worship.

      And then "lift up the head" (v.7) is showing that all weariness is gone and the leader and His army are ready to go on with renewed vigor to bring the Great Controversy to a close, faces not downcast but lifted up high in victory (Luke 21:28). The "man of sorrows" no more, at His Second Coming Jesus will be seen fully for who He really is (Rev.1:7).

    • It's difficult for those who grew up with the picture of Jesus/God never punishing. For some, including me, we grew up late 70's, 80’s and 90’s with less of the fire and brimstone message. Lately, some could argue God is taught as quite passive when it comes to sin or punishment.

      We were taught that people do these sinful things to themselves; and God validates their decisions. I actually somewhat agree with that, however, as King, they do execute judgements.

      As a member of the Kings family and redeemed by our Elder brother Jesus; we don’t have to worry or be afraid. We do need to respect that as Priest and King He has done all the work possible. Hopefully, that work changes our heart into a heart of love for Him and others.

      • James, it seems that the path of error usually lies close to the path of truth. The trouble is that we humans like to explore on one side of the path of truth or the other rather than staying on the "boring" path of truth.

        I believe it is totally true that sin harms people. That's why God hates sin. He wants His children to be happy, healthy and holy. Sin does the opposite to people: It tends to make them unhappy, unhealthy and unholy.

        The natural "wage" of sin is eternal death, but Jesus came to deliver us from this natural consequence. This truth seems to have led some to now advocate that God *never* punishes. But it is difficult to reconcile that view with a natural reading of Scripture. It is also difficult to reconcile that view with the sense of justice God has built into every human being.

        So how do we reconcile these different facets of God's dealing with us - of His continuing mercy and the threatenings of retributive judgment?

        I believe that God is always sovereign, and while sin naturally destroys, God, in mercy continues to grant probationary life to allow sinners to turn to Him for mercy. But there are times, when God intervenes by punishing and/or destroying some in order to save the rest of humanity.

        Compare it to how a surgeon deals with patients. He wants to patient to be well, but sometimes he has to excise a tumor to prevent the patient from dying. Sometimes he even has to cut off a gangrenous leg - not because he wants to punish the patient, but because he wants to save the patient. Young patients do not always understand the surgeon's intentions.

        In the faith sphere, we are all children. And the psalm writers write from a very human perspective, seeing God as punishing whenever something bad happens to them, etc., even though God may not be actively "punishing" them.

        And while God continues to grant probationary life, there will come a time when every person on this planet has decided for God or against Him. (Deciding to live separately from God is deciding to cut oneself off from the Giver and Sustainer of life, and the natural result is death.) It is then that He will "rise up" in executive judgment and cut short the lives of the rebels against His government. I believe that some of the psalms call for this to happen -- soon!

        The result of this executive judgment will be a planet cleansed from sin, where love reigns supreme, and all humanity and nature will be in full harmony with the loving heart of our Creator.

        Does that make sense to you?

  2. Jesus can be many things for us - friend, brother, priest, king. Who is Jesus for you? Is He just a love story of a God Who sent His Son to die for His decadent creatures? The more real He becomes in our lives, the less critical everything else turns.

  3. Ps.110:4 is such a promise to us!

    Jesus told us how foolish we humans are to make oaths because we are so weak and not in control of circumstantial events (Matt. 5:34-37). So for God to make us an oath, and add for emphasis "and will not repent" (because if God promises something He never does change His mind)...to me this is God telling us how very solemn and sure and fixed and settled and important and "take-it-to-the-bank, done-forever" this is. Spurgeon says it this way:

    Jesus is sworn in to be the priest of his people, and he must abide so even to the end, because his commission is sealed by the unchanging oath of the immutable Jehovah. If his priesthood could be revoked, and his authority removed, it would be the end of all hope and life for the people whom he loves; but this sure rock is the basis of our security — the oath of God establishes our glorious Lord both in his priesthood and in his throne. It is the Lord who has constituted him a priest for ever, he has done it by oath, that oath is without repentance, is taking effect now, and will stand throughout all ages: hence our security in him is placed beyond all question.

    The declaration runs in the present tense as being the only time with the Lord, and comprehending all other times. "Thou art," i.e., thou wast and art and art to come, in all ages a priestly King.

    It also stands out to me that Jesus did not promote Himself to this job (Heb. 5:5-10).“He glorified not himself to be made high priest...” It was of God (Heb.5:10; Psalms 2:7).

  4. Toward the end of the lesson, the lesson writer notes that: “Christ’s royal priesthood will abolish the rule of evil, not only in people’s hearts but also in the world. He will keep the promise of Psalm 2:1-12 that every nation and ruler will be subject to the royal judgment of Christ Jesus.”
    She further notes that: “Jesus’ wonderful royal priesthood makes an absolute claim on our obedience and trust.”
    Reading both Psalm 110:1-12 and Psalm 2:1-12 to help me clarify who it is that is being addressed, I find that King David is most likely the one who speaks and is spoken to in the context of the everlasting relationship between God and His 'Anointed Ones'.

    I understand that the heads of nations and rulers who plot to “break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us” are warned that the King will ‘rule with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel. Does the pronoun ‘Their’ refer to King David and his Lord? Or, will the future King of Israel, its Messiah in the role of Priest and King do that work of destruction? If so, will there still be Mercy and Grace applied?

    I ask: "Does this scenario take place only in the old earth or also in the new earth"? Maybe this Psalm was written to alert the heads of nations and their rulers in David’s time as well as the rulers and leaders at the end of time that they will be called to account.

    One thing is certain – from King David onward, everyone has been put on notice that the God of Israel and His Kings are undefeatable – ‘Their bonds can never be broken’! “Kiss the Son lest He be angry and you perish in the way when His wrath is kindled but a little.” Will there be Mercy and Grace in the new earth? “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him!”

    • Brigitte, I think if you will review Esther's comment, you may find it helpful in sorting things out for yourself.
      I believe the scenario of judging or "ruling with a rod of iron" looks forward to the final judgment, after which all will be peace and harmony because only those who have chosen to trust Christ under the difficult circumstances on this planet will be the citizens of His Kingdom in the hereafter. His character of love will shine brighter and brighter as the years of eternity roll, and His children will also reflect His image more and more.

  5. Absolutly, He is our King of kings and Lord of lords. Goes back to our all mighty God, our Lord reigns. The One we lookup to in awe and pride, knowing that He is our Lord and Saviour. He is our High Priest who has interceeded for us. The One who has promised to one day, take us to where He is, there we may be also.

    I like that thought expressed in today's comments of our growing into Christ for ever and ever. Makes sense. The theif on the cross will drink of the Living Water and shine brighter and brighter, the glory of our Shepherd. So will we, whatever our growth stage is, when the roll is called up yonder. We will like David live in the house of the Lord forever, continuing to have the Lord at our right hand, not being moved from our hearts.
    Psalm 23:6
    Psalm 16:8

    Taking a stab at making our enemies our footstool, Psalms 110:1, I would concure with what has all ready been said, its in our future. When Christ comes in the air and we are caught up with Him in the air to be taken back to where He is now, then enemies, we will have no more. There are other text that express simular thoughts.
    Psalm 91:13 is just one in the Psalms
    Isaiah 26:4-6 is another.
    Of the most importance is, for us to trust in the Lord, for He is our High Priest, our salvation.

  6. King Melchizedek met, Abraham, after his military victory over the Kings of Sodom and Gomorah, with "Bread and Wine," Genesis 14:18. I fully believe that Melchizedek was and is Jesus in "Human Form." God the Father instituted Him as a King and a Priest to the City of Salem. I also believe that it was Melchizedek who was also the "Angel" that wrestled with Jacob too. But isn't it interesting how Melchizedek (Jesus) met, Abraham, with "Bread and Wine," to represent His Spilled Blood for "The Wages of Sin" for all of humanity. This reminds me of what Melchizedek (Jesus) did with His 12 Apostles: He instituted the "Communion Service," also with "Bread and Wine."


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