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A Better Hope

Jesus Christ, as our Savior, draws us near to God.

Introduction

Hebrews 7 breaks down for us what it means that Jesus is a priest forever after or in the order of Melchizedek. That sounds strange to our ears. It's not something we typically talk about in Christianity, Jesus being a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. I think most Christians understand that he has a priestly function. He represents God to man, man to God, as well as being a prophet and a king.

But why does the writer to these Hebrew Christians make so much of this fact that he's not in the Aaronic priesthood? He is not a descendant of Aaron, Moses' brother. He's not part of the Levitical priesthood. He's a priest after the order of Melchizedek, a guy who appears once in the Book of Genesis. He's mentioned again once in the Book of Psalms in Psalm 110:4, and then he disappears off the pages of Scripture until we find him again here in the Book of Hebrews. He's mentioned in Chapter 5, in Chapter 6, and all of Chapter 7 is about Melchizedek and Christ's relationship to Melchizedek, how Melchizedek is a picture, a foreshadowing of Jesus.

Why is this so significant?

(Read Hebrews 7:4-19)

We have to remember that this Old Testament encounter between Melchizedek and Abraham that he's talking about, teaches us about our need for Christ alone. Beyond that, the writer to the Hebrews is telling us how we should read the Old Testament. As Augustine put it, "The New Testament is in the Old concealed. The Old Testament is in the New revealed."

Whenever we read the Old Testament, we're always looking. We don't read the OT as though we didn't know the NT. We read it knowing that it's been fulfilled in Christ, that all those Old Testament pictures point to ...

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Hershael York is pastor of Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, as well as Professor of Christian Preaching and Associate Dean of Ministry and Proclamation in the School of Theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

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