Lenten Meditation 7, March 7

Tuesday, March 7

Psalm 32
Genesis 4:1-16
Hebrews 4:14-5:10

by Melinda Jennings

“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Hebrews 5:6

Melchizadek? Here is what I have learned.

* The name comes from two Hebrew words; melek meaning king and tsedeq meaning righteousness and seems to be more a title than a name.
* We meet him in Genesis:

“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,
19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
Genesis 14:18-20

Salem means peace, so Melchizedek is the righteous king of peace. With the tithe, Abram recognizes him as a priest above himself.

* Then in Psalm 110:4, David says:

“The Lord says to my Lord:” Psalm 110:1
“The LORD has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.’” Psalm 110:4

David, God’s anointed king, acknowledges that there is a king above himself to whom God speaks.

* Millennia later, the writer of Hebrews says that, while Jesus does not take on the honor or glory of a high priest, God says to him:
“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 5:6

The writer declares that God has chosen Jesus as high priest and anointed him as the king of peace.
But who is Melchizedek? Is he the archetype of Jesus? Is he a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus? Are Melchizedek and Jesus the same person? Sometimes questions just lead to more questions.