August 28, 2012
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 28 AUGUST 2012
A “type” is a biblical term to designate someone or something that is predictive of something future. The identification of biblical “types” is because God prefigured His work of salvation in the Old Testament, and fulfilled it in the New Testament. Therefore, in the Old Testament, there are “shadows” of things (e.g. the ongoing sacrifices within the Book of Leviticus) that are revealed more fully in the New Testament (e.g. the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ within the Book of Hebrews).
Melchizedek was an enigmatic individual, who is only mentioned briefly in an historical encounter with Abraham (see Gen 14:18-20). Centuries after his historical appearance, Melchizedek was mentioned by King David (Ps 110:4). God prefigured the details of Melchizedek’s life so he would be a perfect “type” of the Lord Jesus.
According to Hebrews 6:20, the Lord Jesus Christ “has entered [heaven] as a forerunner for [believers], having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” The presence of the Lord Jesus in heaven assures the ultimate entrance of all those who belong to Him. The commonest believer on earth is to be as certain of entrance into heaven as those believers who are already there.
Previously the writer of Hebrews declared, “He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 5:10). The mention of Jesus as “high priest” in Hebrews 6:20 follows the declaration in 5:10 that the believer’s salvation is preserved because of Messiah’s eternal priesthood. The ministry of the Jewish priests prefigured the work that the Lord Jesus would accomplish.
The priesthood of Messiah assures the fulfillment “of a better covenant” (7:22) because it is an unconditional covenant of grace through faith. Christians today enjoy the spiritual blessings of this New Covenant. Although “the former priests . . . existed in greater numbers,” the Lord Jesus “holds his priesthood permanently” (7:23-24). God’s “oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever” (7:28). The oath of God was referenced in Hebrews 7:21, which quoted from Psalm 110:4. The divine and perpetual priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ has replaced human priesthood; therefore, Christians may approach God with confidence because the character of Jesus guarantees access.
The incomparable and marvelous grace of the Lord Jesus is to grant confidence to the believer. The suffering of the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry (Heb 2:10) allows Him to understand the needs of humanity. The Lord Jesus provides struggling sinners better access to God than any Old Testament believer ever experienced. Trust in the Lord Jesus grants one a powerful representative in the very presence of God. Moreover, as the Lord Jesus is holy, so is He able to produce other godly people. Praise God for the permanence, predominance, and purity of the Lord Jesus Christ! Hallelujah, what a Savior!!
Yours in Christ Jesus,