Melchizedek as a Type of Christ in Genesis

27 Oct

Read Genesis 14:18-20,Psalm 110:4,Hebrews 5:5-11,7

Christ is referred to as having three offices;  Prophet, Priest and King. In what sense is He a priest? As a priest, He represents men to God, and God to men.  He offers sacrifices. He serves God. He mediates between God and man in their covenant.

Christ was, humanly speaking, from the tribe of Judah. It was the Levites who were the priestly line. How then could He be a priest?

In Genesis, we’re introduced to a person named Melchizedek, who is referred to as a priest of God Most High in Salem (Jerusalem). He meets Abraham as he is returning from a military victory. Abraham, the patriarch recognizes Melchizedek as his superior, and gives him a tenth of his spoils. Some comment on the tenth as a tithe even before the law was given, which may or may not be significant. He also gave him bread and wine, which some say foreshadows the Lord’s supper, and Christ’s sacrifice of His body and blood.

Melchizedek seems to come from nowhere. In a book known for long lists of genealogies, the lack of information about him is significant. That’s one reason some believe He was a theophany, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ, which we see in several other places in the Old Testament.

There is also no mention of how long he lived, as you also see in the genealogical lists. To the Jew, and then for our sake, it was important to know which family line someone descended from. It was how we would recognize the Messiah, who would be from the family line of Judah, and then a descendant of David.

Psalm 110 is another place where Melchizedek is mentioned. This psalm is widely accepted as being a Messianic psalm.

“The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
‘You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.’”
Psalm 110:4

However, it’s only when we get to the New Testament that some light is shed on exactly how Christ is like Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:3 says that Melchizedek was “without father, without mother, without beginning of days or end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest forever” .This makes him sound either like a theophany of the eternal Son of God, or a reference to his appearance out of obscurity. He shows up in one scene in Scripture and then disappears just as quickly. We know nothing about him, unlike all other important persons throughout Scripture.

So, how is Christ like Melchizedek?

“Christ was ‘without father as relates to His humanity, and without mother as relates to His divinity.” B.B.Warfield

Further, without beginning or end of days in relation to Melchizedek means we don’t know anything about his lifespan, unlike the genealogies which say how long they lived. In relation to Christ it refers to His eternal  Sonship. As God, He had no beginning and He will have no end. He is the eternal God, the Ancient of Days, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He lived before the stable in Bethlehem.

As such, His priesthood is far superior to the Levitical priesthood. Those priests could only continue for a while, because death eventually overtook them.

But Christ, who is the eternal Son can be a Priest forever, because He will never die. He can continue to be the Mediator between God and man, making intercession for us because of the sacrifice of Himself, making atonement for us with His blood.

Also, King of Salem, means King of peace (Heb. 7:2). Salem was an early name for Jerusalem. Christ is both the King of the Jews and the Prince of Peace (Isa.9:6). He gives peace in our hearts because we have peace with God. “…having made peace through the blood of his cross.” Col.1:20

Prayer– “Thank you for being my everything, Jesus. You are the King of the Universe and yet you rule in my heart, as a Prophet, You tell me in Your word what the kingdom of Heaven is like and You teach me how to live for You. As a Priest, You represent God to me, so I worship You, and You mediate for Me before the throne of Heaven. Thank you that you are eternally my priest forever because of who You are.”

Questions-Do you realize you need a priest? Not an earthly one, but a perfect One? This One sacrificed Himself so that His blood could cover your sin. He also mediates between you and God the Father. (see the blogpost on Christ as the Mediator in Job).

Response-Thank God for being a far superior priest to the types and shadows of the past.


2 Responses to “Melchizedek as a Type of Christ in Genesis”


  1. God wants a Kingdom of Priests - Bible Devotions | eDevotional - November 13, 2012

    […] Melchizedek as a Type of Christ in Genesis […]


  2. Conquer Atlanta 2012 Conference « L.E.G.A.C.Y. - November 21, 2012

    […] Melchizedek as a Type of Christ in Genesis ( […]


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