And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. – Genesis 14:18
The mysterious man Melchizedek is mentioned ten times in the Bible: once in Genesis (Gen 14:8), once in Psalms (Ps 110:4), and the rest are in Hebrews. Hebrews chapter 7 is devoted to discussing his priesthood. His name means King of Righteousness and His title King of Salem, שלום (Shalom), meaning Peace. It is also interesting that Salem was the ancient name for the City of Jerusalem – In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. -Psalm 76:2
Hebrews 6:20 tells us that Jesus has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek. Not of the order of the Levites, which represented a mere shadow, but of the ETERNAL order of Melchizedek.
In the order of Melchizedek, King, High Priest, Righteousness and Peace are combined. In this way Melchizedek foreshadowed the work of the Cross, where “mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other”– Psalm. 85:10.
The High Priest King Melchizedek celebrated communion with Abraham as he looked forward thousands of years, into an upper room in Jerusalem where the Rabbi Jesus celebrated a solemn final Passover meal with His disciples:
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘TAKE AND EAT; THIS IS MY BODY’. Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘DRINK FROM IT, ALL OF YOU. THIS IS MY BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, WHICH IS POURED OUT FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS’. – Matthew 26:26-27
In 1st Corinthians 11:26 the Apostle Paul reminds us, “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. The bread represents His body that was given for us. The cup is the new covenant of his blood, shed for the remission of sins.”
Because His body was broken and His precious blood was shed, we can also look forward to the crown we’ll receive on the day when we’ll all be together with our High Priest in His Kingdom. Not because we’ve done anything for Him, but because He’s done EVERYTHING for us.
But if the SERVANT declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free’, then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and PIERCE his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life. – Exodus 21:5
Freedom should never be taken for granted. History is replete with examples of oppression, not the least of which is the inhuman practice of slavery. And how our Creator abhors it! He provided a path of freedom for slaves and indeed the book of Exodus is largely about that very subject. We as sinners can be set free by following His path – by keeping our eyes on the Cross of Christ. And as beautiful as this allegory is, I believe we can go deeper!
Jesus gave everything, including His freedom, out of love for His bride. Isaiah tells us that Jesus was (would be) “PIERCED for our transgressions”. But rather than with an awl in His ear, it was with nails of iron and a cross of wood that Jesus paid the ultimate price for us.
The Apostle Paul explains:
Who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a SERVANT, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:6-11
Friend, are you a slave to sin? Jesus has given everything for you. He has taken on your slavery that you should be free. He was PIERCED for you. How will you respond?
The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! – Hebrews 9:13-14
…and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:2
The Bible tells us that our Sin has separated us from our Creator. But it is our Creator’s deep desire to fellowship with His human creation. Before the foundations of the world were laid, the Creator had a plan for our redemption. Thousands of years before Yeshua Jesus walked the earth, His offering was foretold!
This was a sweet savor offering (Philippians 2:8). The burnt sacrifice was to be a male animal without blemish, portraying the One “who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God” (Heb 9:14). It was to be made voluntarily. Our Lord said, ”No man takes it (life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 10:18). Like that of our Savior, this sacrifice was ordered by God. It was flayed upon and laid upon the wood. As the sacrifice was made the guilty put his hand upon this innocent, spotless one to identify with it, as this was the ONLY WAY to be seen pure in the eyes of a sinless, perfect Creator. And the relationship was restored.
Friend, do you have a relationship with the perfect One who loved you enough to be flayed and laid upon the wood for your sake? God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God – 2 Corinthians 5:21.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
– Numbers 21:8-9
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
– John 3:14-17
Nowhere in the Torah do we find a more striking symbol of the Cross of Christ than in Numbers 21. In the Hebrew mind, to hang someone’s body from a tree after death was a sign of God’s curse:
If someone guilty of a capital offense is put to death and their body is exposed on a pole, you must not leave the body hanging on the pole overnight. Be sure to bury it that same day, because anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
– Deuteronomy 21:21-23
Jesus took our Sin upon Himself. He was literally cursed by God the Father for our sakes.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
– Galatians 3:13
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
– 2 Corinthians 5:21
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus. -Hebrews 3:1
Friend, do you know Him? Do you know the one who suffered and died for your Sin, your rebellion against God? The ONE who took your Sin upon Himself and was hung on a tree to be cursed by God in your place? God our Father invites you to come to the Cross of Christ just as He called Israel to look at the snake on the pole… and see not your Sin but the ONE who took the consequences of your Sin in your place – Yeshua Jesus.
But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. – Luke 2:52
JESUS IN DEUTERONOMY – OUR BROTHER
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-9
First-century Hebrews like Yeshua Jesus were home-schooled during their youth and learned by repetition and recitation of Gods Word. They would often begin with the book of Deuteronomy. It was common for children to have most of the Torah committed entirely to memory by the age of 13. The Talmud emphasizes the importance of reviewing the scriptures frequently: “He who studies the Torah and does not review is like one who plants and does not harvest.”
I must confess that I have spent little time in the book of Deuteronomy in the past. But it’s never too late for a fresh look. To hear this verse afresh is to be convicted again for my children and grandchildren. Let us examine the way we choose to educate our youth. Are we following our Creator’s way or giving in to pagan culture? Lord, help us find the way back home