During the school year, when I am driving from school to school to school, over miles and miles of land, I like to listen to Christian radio.  Music until I drive out of range of that station.  Then it is a mix of radio teachers/preachers and music, until I drive back into the music range.  There is one pastor in particular that I like to listen to.  Yesterday he spoke about Melchizedek, the king of Salem and priest of God Most High, who blessed Abram after he rescued Lot from captivity.  I was extra tired that morning as I drove, and very little of the message made sense to me.  I really didn’t give it much thought, but I did catch that this was a priest about whom we are given very little information, including no genealogical information (odd, coming from the Old Testament).  Yet, from the 3 verses where he interacts with Abram (Genesis 14:18-20) he is linked to Jesus Christ.  There is one other verse that mentions Melchizedek in the Old Testament, Psalm 110:4.  There was a thousand years in between.  Then another thousand years passed, and lo and behold, the king-priest was mentioned again, and in reference to Jesus.  The author of Hebrews, in fact, gives him quite a bit of time.  He is mentioned in chapter 5, then briefly at the end of chapter 6, and totally compared to Jesus throughout chapter 7.  But aside from all of this, I really could not process the purpose of this message.

Three hours after this radio message, I arrived at my second school.  As I sat in the car writing down my mileage, the Christian radio station I had been playing was fazing in and out to another Christian radio station.  Weird, I know.  Weirder still?  Another radio pastor or speaker on the station that was breaking in was talking about guess who.  Yes.  Melchizedek!  What are the chances?  Obviously this was a God-thing because there is no such thing as coincidence, only God-incidence.  I knew instantly that God had a message for me in this.  I just needed the time to pray, search His Word, and allow Him to reveal it to me.  The rest of my day was completely planned out until I hit the pillow, though.  It was all I could do to keep from cancelling students and sit with my Bible.  I even pulled out the little pocket Bible I carry with me, but couldn’t bring myself to read and drive:-)  Here I am, finally, this afternoon, with a message to share with you.

Four times, that I caught, the phrase, “a priest like Melchizedek” is used in reference to Jesus (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 5:10, Hebrews 6:20, and Hebrews 7:17).  This drove me nuts, I confess!  How is Jesus a priest like Melchizedek?  Is it in his name?  Melchizedek means “king of goodness.”  Is it in is title?  Melchizedek was the king of Salem.  Salem means “king of peace.”  Melchizedek had no genealogy listed in the Bible.  Jesus did, He was from Joseph and Mary, a descendant of King David.  His entire genealogy is listed in Matthew all the way back to Abraham!  That couldn’t be the connection.  Melchizedek was obviously human, even though we don’t know when and where he was born, or when he died.  So what was it????  Why did God say the following about Jesus in Psalm 110:4b, “You are a priest forever, a priest like Melchizedek.”  I studied all morning.  And I prayed.  When I finally quit trying to be the research student, and opened up my heart and mind for God to show me the answers, He did.  Go figure!

Melchizedek and Jesus were priests (of course, Jesus still is) who book-ended the Old Testament agreement/covenant between God and the Israelites–the time of the Law of Moses, when the people could not approach God directly, but through a priest from the line of Levi.  A human, sinful priest who had to sacrifice for his own sins before he could sacrifice for the sins of the people.  The time of priests who’s genealogy could be traced to a line of mortal people.  When one died, another was appointed in his place.  The turnover rate was that of the average life span.  The people came to God for cleansing through a weak, sinful, fallible representative.  It would be like taking a mud bath to clean yourself.  It worked only because God determined that would be the only way until another, better way was provided.

Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High (Genesis 14:18-20).  He was not a Levite.  Couldn’t have been.  Levi was Abraham’s great-grandson who was a long way from being born when Melchizedek blessed Abram.  He was before the Law of Moses began.  Because his genealogy is never listed, and his birth and death are unknown, his legacy as a priest lives forever.  Jesus is the Holy Priest who is, at the same time, God.  He is at the END of the Law of Moses.  The law that required sacrifices for sins and “muddy baths” through sinful priests in order to approach God Almighty was ended at the cross.  Jesus was not a Levite either.  He was from the tribe of Judah.  Yet He became the High Priest forever (Hebrews 6:20).  Jesus was perfectly obedient to God.  THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS ENDED THE TIME OF THE PRIESTS, FOREVER.

Jesus spoke many times of being the source of living water, water that would quench the thirst of the Spirit.  In other words, He is the only One who can satisfy the soul.  We are also commanded to be baptized in water, a sort of washing away of the old self.  Approaching God through the High Priest who is forever, Jesus, is approaching God through the blood of Jesus, the Living Water.  Instead of taking a “muddy bath” by approaching God through a sinful priest, we now approach God by bathing in the purity of the Living Water, Jesus.  This high priest who defeated both sin and death; who lived, and lives in perfect obedience to God; who will never die and pass down His post to another; who will never have to make a sacrifice for His own sin before bringing our petitions to God.  Jesus is the Living Water that we bath in, and then can approach the throne of God, clean, pure, righteous in His sight.

We no longer need an imperfect human to represent us before God, or to seek forgiveness of our sins.  We have the perfect Son of God now.  And I don’t know about you, but I would much, much rather trust my representation to Jesus than to someone who is as sinful as I.

Thank you, Jesus, for being my direct lifeline to God, my Creator!!