Jesus the Christ, High Priest, King of
Lord of Lords, and the Sacrificial Victim.
The High Priest Melchisedech, a type of
Jesus the Christ: The King of Kings and Lord of Lords: The Lamb of GOD is the Sacrificial
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18. "And Melchisedech, the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God,
19. Blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God, who created heaven and earth.
20. And blessed be the most high God, by whose protection, the enemies are in thy hands. And Abram gave him the tithes of all."
18. Melchisedech was both a King and High Priest. Note the singular 'the priest' of the most high GOD.
Salem, later named Jerusalem, means peace. From it we get shalom (Jewish) and shalem (Arabic). Melchisedech was 'King of Peace'.
Note that He brought forth 'bread' and 'wine'. It is the first time bread and wine are mentioned together in Holy Scripture. It foretells the use of bread and wine in the sacrifice of the Holy Mass of today.
19-20. Doesn't the fact that Abram was blessed by Melchisedech, and paid tithes to him, imply that Melchisedech had a fundamental superiority over Abram? This superiority becomes self evident in Hebrews chapter 7 as is shown subsequently.
2. "The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies.
3. With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee.
4. The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.
5. The Lord at thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of his wrath.
6. He shall judge among nations, he shall fill ruins: he shall crush the heads in the land of many."
2. The 'sceptre' is a wand used by kings as a symbol of authority.
Here it is symbolic of the coming of Jesus the Christ (Matthew 16:20 DRB, KJ) in the flesh, Gen 49:10, Psa 45:6(7), Heb 1:8.
4. Once a priest, always a priest, for all eternity.
1. "For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2. Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
3. And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
4. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was.
5. So Christ also did not glorify himself, that he might be made a high priest: but he that said unto him: Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten thee.
6. As he saith also in another place: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.
7. Who in the days of his flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offering up prayers and supplications to him that was able to save him from death, was heard for his reverence.
8. And whereas indeed he was the Son of God, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered.
9. And being consummated, he became, to all that obey him, the cause of eternal salvation:
10. Called by God a high priest, according to the order of Melchisedech."
4. No one can call himself to become a priest, but only those called by GOD.
9. Note that eternal salvation is for those who obey Him.
20. "Where the forerunner Jesus is entered for us, made a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech."
1. "For this Melchisedech was king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him:
2. To whom also Abraham divided the tithes of all: who first indeed by interpretation is king of justice: and then also king of Salem, that is, king of peace:
3. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but likened unto the Son of God, continueth a priest for ever.
4. Now consider how great this man is, to whom also Abraham the patriarch gave tithes out of the principal things.
5. And indeed they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is to say, of their brethren: though they themselves also came out of the loins of Abraham.
6. But he, whose pedigree is not numbered among them, received tithes of Abraham and blessed him that had the promises.
7. And without all contradiction, that which is less is blessed by the better.
8. And here indeed, men that die receive tithes: but there, he hath witness that he liveth.
9. And (as it may be said) even Levi who received tithes paid tithes in Abraham:
10. For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedech met him.
11. If then perfection was by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchisedech: and not be called according to the order of Aaron?
12. For the priesthood being translated, it is necessary that a translation also be made of the law,
13. For he of whom these things are spoken is of another tribe, of which no one attended on the altar.
14. For it is evident that our Lord sprung out of Juda: in which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.
15. And it is yet far more evident: if according to the similitude of Melchisedech there ariseth another priest,
16. Who is made, not according to the law of a law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an indissoluble life.
17. For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech.
18. There is indeed a setting aside of the former commandment, because of the weakness and unprofitableness thereof:
19. For the law brought nothing to perfection: but a bringing in of a better hope, by which we draw nigh to God.
20. And inasmuch as it is not without an oath (for the others indeed were made priests without an oath:
21. But this with an oath, by him that said unto him: The Lord hath sworn and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever).
22. By so much is Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23. And the others indeed were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue:
24. But this, for that he continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood:"
1-2. This is a recap of Genesis 14:18-20
3. This description of Melchisedech, 'without father or mother, and with no genealogy and likened unto the Son of GOD', is a perfect description of the second person of the Holy Trinity, the eternal Christ. It also tells us that the priesthood of Melchisedech was not one of descent as was the Aaronic priesthood (Ezra 2:62, Nehemiah 7:64), but one of appointment or direct calling by GOD.
4, 6, and 7. Three examples of the superiority of Melchisedech over Abraham.
5. Coming out of the 'loins of Abraham' defines a priesthood of descent.
11-12. The end of the Levitical priesthood, it being replaced by the everlasting priesthood of the order of Melchisedech.
13-14. The new priesthood of Jesus Christ will not come from the Aaronic tribe of Levi, but from Judah.
23. Levitical priests were not priests forever. This is yet another sign of the superiority of the priesthood of the order of Melchisedech.
"But Christ, being come an high Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation:"
As presented above, Melchisedech is a King and is also a figure of Christ. That makes Christ a King also.
33. "Pilate therefore went into the hall again and called Jesus and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews?
34. Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me?
35. Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee up to me. What hast thou done?
36. Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence.
37. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."
36-37. Jesus the Christ has said that He is a King.
1 Timothy 6:13-16
13. "I charge thee before God who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession:
14. That thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the Blessed and only Mighty, the King of kings and Lord of lords:
16. Who only hath immortality and inhabiteth light inaccessible: whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and empire everlasting. Amen."
14. "These shall fight with the Lamb. And the Lamb shall overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings: and they that are with him are called and elect and faithful."
16. "And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
29. "The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him; and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who taketh away the sin of the world."
36. "And beholding Jesus walking, he saith: Behold the Lamb of God."
In those two verses, John the Baptist equated Jesus the Christ to the "Lamb of GOD".
Exodus 12:3-8, 12-14
3. "Speak ye to the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and say to them: On the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses.
4. But if the number be less than may suffice to eat the lamb, he shall take unto him his neighbour that joineth to his house, according to the number of souls which may be enough to eat the lamb.
5. And it shall be a lamb without blemish, a male, of one year; according to which rite also you shall take a kid.
6. And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening.
7. And they shall take of the blood thereof, and put it upon both the side posts, and on the upper door posts of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
8. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire, and unleavened bread with wild lettuce."
12. "And I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and will kill every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast: and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments; I am the Lord.
13. And the blood shall be unto you for a sign in the houses where you shall be; and I shall see the blood, and shall pass over you; and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I shall strike the land of Egypt.
14. And this day shall be for a memorial to you; and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations, with an everlasting observance."
Here we see the Old Testament symbolism or typology of the New Testament "Lamb of GOD", of which John the Baptist spoke.
5. The lamb must be an unblemished male. Jesus Christ is an unblemished male.
6. The lamb is sacrificed in a bloody manner. Jesus Christ was sacrificed on the cross in a bloody manner.
7. The blood of the lamb is spread around the doorways of the homes of the Hebrews in order to save those inside from the Angel of Death. The blood of Jesus saves us all (from eternal death), just as the blood of the lamb saved the Hebrews in Exodus 12.
8. Then the Hebrews had to eat the flesh of the lamb.
We are commanded to eat the flesh of the "Lamb of GOD" in John 6:53-56.
"So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.""
The blood of Jesus saves us all, just as the blood of the lamb saved the Hebrews in Exodus 12.
13. This is the first verse to use the term "pass over", words of remembrance for the Jewish holy day celebration of "Passover".
Note that only those who were saved were Hebrews inside of the houses that were protected by the blood of the Lamb.
Likewise in the days of Noah, the only ones that were saved were inside the ark (Genesis 7:20-24, Hebrews 11:7, 1Peter 3:20-22).
Noah's ark is a prefigurement of the Church which Jesus Christ founded in the New Testament. The connection between the Old Testament type, the ark, and the New Testament reality, the Church, is readily apparent. Those to be saved are likewise inside the Church which Jesus Christ founded.
The blood of the "Lamb of GOD" is salvation offered for all the world.
14. GOD commanded that this holy day (of Passover) be a perpetual memorial for the Hebrews. To this day the Jews celebrate Passover.
Catholics offer a perpetual memoriam ("Do this in remembrance of me", Luke 22:19-20) in every sacrifice of the "Lamb of GOD" in every Mass offered.
"For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts."
11. This is a very graphic and key Old Testament prophesy of many changes to come.
"For from the rising of the sun even to the going down", indicates that a daily sacrifice will be performed. The Catholic Church performs daily sacrifices in the Mass. Then there are the words that the name of GOD "is great among the Gentiles", meaning that not only the Jews will be GOD's chosen people, but people from all over the world (Colossians 3:11) will participate in the sacrifice. This indicates a "universal" Church will be performing these daily sacrifices. The word "Catholic", or "Katholicos" in Greek, means "universal". The "clean oblation" indicates the end of bloody animal sacrifices for an unbloody one, as is performed in the Catholic Mass.
The bloody sacrifice:
"According to John (John 19:14), Christ died on the cross at the exact moment when in the temples nearby, the lambs were being slaughtered for the Pascal feast. His death coincides with the sacrifice of the lambs. That however means that he died on the eve of Passover ... Most of the exegetes were of the opinion that John did not want to give us the exact, historic date of Christís death, but had instead chose a symbolic date to highlight the one profound truth: Jesus is the true Lamb of God who shed his blood for us."
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, sermon, 5 April 2007, Holy Thursday
The unbloody sacrifice:
19. "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
20. "And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood"."
19. When Jesus said, "This is my body" He was actually holding His own body in His hands.
This is the "clean oblation" prophesied in Malachi 1:11.
"And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing, as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth."
"Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and benediction."
"And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb which was slain from the beginning of the world."
Some final notes:
1. We have seen from Holy Scripture that Jesus the Christ, the Lamb of GOD, is both the High Priest and the Sacrificial Victim. The High Priest performs the sacrifice and the Sacrificial Victim is the sacrifice.
2. The Levitical priesthood offered many animal sacrifices to atone for sins, which could never take away sins (Hebrews 10:11), and those atonements were offered only for the Hebrew - Jewish nation.
3. Jesus the Christ offered only one sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14) to atone for sins, and He did it for all peoples of all nations. His sacrifice is commemorated in the Mass every day as the prophet Malachi had prophesied. His sacrifice opened the door to salvation, but there is no "Once saved always saved". Sins are ongoing, therefore the commemoration of the one sacrifice of Jesus the Christ is ongoing as well. Recall when He said, "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19).
When this is done, that is when Heaven and earth meet in the sacrifice of the Mass.
Written by Bob Stanley, April 17, 2007
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