March 9 - Hebrews 7
CHAPTER SHIFT: This is the last day of our 'chapter shift,' where the actual chapter divisions don't align with the topics in each passage. Chapter 7 should begin at 6:13, but at least it ends at a good transition point.
MYSTERIOUS MELCHIZEDEK (mel-ˈki-zə-ˌdek): If you're really confused by this character named Melchizedek, you're in good company. We really don't know very much about him. He makes a cameo appearance in two verses in Genesis 14, his name is dropped in Psalm 110, then all of the sudden he's vaulted to star treatment in the book of Hebrews. I would count 7:3 as one of the most mysterious verses in the Bible: he has no earthly parents, is without beginning and end, and he resembles the Son of God. Hebrews indicates that since Abraham - the patriarch par excellence for the Jews - paid tithes to Melchizedek, it shows that Melchizedek, the king of righteousness and peace (v2), was greater than Abraham. Since all Jewish priests descended from Levi, an offspring of Abraham, the fact that Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek rather that Levi signifies that Jesus is a greater priest than any of the Levite descendents.
THE BOOK OF HEBREWS SEEMS REALLY HEBREW: All of this talk of priests and Levitical descendents and mysterious ancient kings sounds really irrelevant. But it's not. Here's why this matters to you: Remember, the point of a priest is to be a mediator (stand between) between you and God, and chapter 7 demonstrates that in Christ, you are very well represented before the throne of God: - The Old Testament law couldn't make anything perfect, but Jesus is a better hope who brings you near God (v18-19). - Jesus is able to save you completely, because He will always be there to intercede for you before God (v25). - Earthly priests need somebody to intercede for them, because they are just as sinful as you are. Jesus is sinless, so the sacrifice He made of Himself was not for His own sins, but all for ours.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The unchangeable God (6:17), who is the greatest of all that is (6:13).
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Draw near to God through your eternal priest & mediator, Jesus Christ (v19).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: