This teaching on Hebrews chapter 5, by pastor Barry Forder, was recorded on 16th February 2020 at Calvary Portsmouth.
The writer to the Hebrews has already shown to his Jewish hearers that Jesus was greater than the Angels, greater than the Law, greater than Moses and greater than Joshua.
In this chapter he goes on to show that Jesus is also greater than any earthly high priest; for Jesus’ priesthood was given to Him by the Father and is after the order of the priesthood of Melchizadek.
We are not told much about Melchizadek in scripture, and had these Hebrew Christians been ready for it (rather than ‘dull of hearing’ v11) the writer would have gone on to reveal some exciting truths about Melchizadek that all speak of Jesus. Sadly for us, because they had failed to mature as believers, they were not ready, and more likely, would not have appreciated the spiritual significance of all that the writer wanted to share.
Fortunately for us, we have been granted some of the insights that the writer might have been referring to! In his book, ‘The Authenticity of the book of Genesis’, Dr Bill Cooper explains that, due to the discovery of a series of letters to the Egyptian pharaoh, Amenophis IV, discovered in 1887, we now know a great deal more about Melchizadek and the priestly system to which he belonged. The letters were not written by Melchizadek himself, but by another king and priest of Jerusalem who came after him.
It reveals that there had been a thousand-year period where priests of the Most High God had ruled and reigned in Jerusalem. Furthermore, these kings & priests had not come from a hereditary system (as the Levitical priesthood would later be), but each had been chosen seemingly by God Himself. The king-priest who wrote the letters to pharaoh went by the name of Ebed-tob – which simply means ‘Good Servant’ – yet another foreshadowing of Christ!
It is of this order of priests that Jesus came – chosen by God to intercede for His people, and also destined to rule and reight in Jerusalem for a period of 1000 years!
This is truly staggering and yet another example of how God has engineered history to bring about His plans and purposes, and everything ultimately points to Jesus!
We just have to wonder at what else the writer to the Hebrews might have revealed to them had they not been so spiritually sluggish!
May we all pray that we don’t miss out on great spiritual truths because we fail to mature and grow in the Way!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study!