Have you ever watched a movie where a character in the story appears for a moment? You don’t think this person is significant but later this character plays an important role in the movie. This is what takes place with Melchizedek. The New Testament talks more about him than the Old Testament does.
The first place we meet Melchizedek in Genesis. His story is small and simple. Nothing is given in who he is. He’s a Boba Fett like character. He doesn’t say much. He gives bread and wine to Abraham, blesses Abraham, and calls him blessed.
Melchizedek tells him, “Man Abraham you are blessed” (my own paraphrase of the story). Abraham knows that he is a High Priest of the true God so he gives a tenth of his possessions to Melchizedek. I’m sure in the mind of the Jewish community, Abraham was the Michael Jordan. To them there really was no one greater than Father Abraham. Yet Hebrews reminds us that, “the lesser is blessed by the greater” (Hebrews 7:7). Abraham’s tithe shows us that Abraham is lesser than Melchisidek. In the same way, when we tithe, we are telling God that he is greater. He is the only priest-king in the Bible besides Jesus.
The second place we meet Melchizedek is in the Psalms. The Psalmist prophecies that the Messiah will not be a priest after the order of the Levites. Psalm 110:4 tells us , “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Melchizedek is important because he shows us that grace is greater than the law. The purpose of this tithe is to show us that the order of Melchizedek is greater than the order of the Levites. Melchizedek is a better priesthood because Levi Tithed to Melchizedek. Levi is lesser. Why is he needed? Because when there is a Change of priesthood change of law. We are no longer under the law to say that we are under the law is to say that we are under the order of Aaron. Melchizedek was greater than Abraham and Aaron.
The final place we see this mysterious Melchisidek is in Hebrews. Mike Winger once said, “The old testament gives us question marks, and Jesus takes them and makes them exclamation points.” In the old testament he was a question mark. He was a mystery. In the new testament we see a revelation. If we just read the story in Genesis it will seem that he is a regular man. If we just read the story retold in Hebrews it will seem like he is Jesus. For instance, Hebrews talks about how we have no recorded family or lineage of Melchizedek. This could work either way, either it means that in the story this man had no beginning of days or end of days, or it is to be literal. I believe there is a case for both, but I personally believe this was Jesus.
The old covenant changes our conduct the new covenant changes our character. The old cabinet you play by sheet music the new covenant you play by ear. The law made nothing perfect so what does that mean Grace makes us perfect.
Who was Melchizedek in the Bible? He was a priest-king who was greater than Abraham. He has a priesthood that our Savior Jesus Christ became a High Priest of. He is a reminder that grace is greater than the law. The conclusion of Hebrews 7 is this. Jesus is greater. Grace is greater than any of our works. This story took place 2,000 years before the cross. 2,000 years before the cross, Abraham was given bread and wine, then he tithed. Today 2,0000 years after the cross we can also have communion (bread and wine) and tithe to Jesus. Let this story be a reminder that God is greater than any problem you are facing today. Go to Jesus, your High Priest, and receive grace today!