Melchizedek – a Shadow of Christ

Hebrews Series – Chapters 7- 8 (audio sermon)

Your shadow tells us you’re coming, your shadow reveals your shape. This sermon describes why Melchizedek, the mystery Old Testament priest, is a prophetic shadow of Christ. Prophetic portraits like Melchizedek show that the Bible is predictive and thus divinely inspired. Click the arrow to play –

Speakers notes follow –

Melchizedek – a Shadow of Christ

Ancient Sermon text – Genesis 14. 18-20 / Psalm 110.4   Sermon – Hebrews 7.1-8.8,11-13

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

Psalm – “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

Melchizedek – mysterious character – appears & disapears – but called priest of God Most High

Melchizedek a shadow of Christ – shadow in 8.5 temple – much of Hebrews

Paul – Col 2.16-17 Do not let anyone judge you … with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Why shadow? ① Your shadow has your shape – tells us what you’re like ② Your shadow says you coming – person coming around corner – visual prophecy ③ Your shadow is mysterious – once you arrive all is explained – Christ has come – speculation of Melchizedek can end

High priest (7.26-28) the same – a shadow pointing to what Christ would do – day of atonement

Read it as a Jew (to Jewish believers) – order of Melchizedek (7.17) eye opening for them – priests order of Levi – Messiah a non-Levite high priest – different to order – from Judah (7.14)

Levi tithes to Melchizedek – still in Abraham who tithes to Melchizedek – blessed in return – implication – Levi & Abraham tithe to Jesus

Melchizedek means ‘King of Righteousness’ is ‘King of Salem/Peace’ (7.2) – king & priest – Jews expected Messiah as king – here also high priest

Melchizedek appears without ancestry (7.3) – Genesis introduces people as ‘son of’ – resembles Son of God without beginning or end – priest forever

God swears an oath – ‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind’ – no high priest was every sworn in (7.20)

Levites priests of Moses Law/Covenant – but the Messiah is no Levite – new Law/ Covenant needed  (7.12)

Old Covenant not perfect (8.7) – ‘If there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another’ – New Covenant promised (8.8-12) Jeremiah prophecy – Jesus high priest of New Covenant

Melchizedek – ‘Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine’ – symbols of New Covenant

The preacher claims to have a main point ( 8.1) ‘We do have such a high priest’ – Jews trying to persuade converts to return saying ‘You now have a problem – following a Jewish sect that has no   priest – who will plead your case with God?’

Jesus superior high priest (7.22 – 8.2) better covenant (promises) – better sacrifice (once for all) – better tabernacle (heavenly) – better position (next to Father) – better endurance (doesn’t die)

Priest of priests – Messiah doesn’t mean prophet (Islam) – OT Messiah is King of kings, Priest of priests, Prophet of prophets

Note (8-13) New Covenant makes Old Covenant obsolete/outdated – Islam badly warped form of Old Covenant

Aim – Jewish believers to remain faithful – what does it mean for you and me?

Shadows are prediction come true – one of the main evidences that the Bible is God’s word – only God knows the future – a day will come when you doubt the Bible – remember this

Prophesy points to who Messiah is – follow Jesus

Priesthood helps understand atonement – to understand Saviour need to understand high priest – ‘this person sinned, has repented, here is a life given, forgive them’ – wrath of a God turned

Main point: ‘We do have a high priest!‘ – a far superior one

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