Sunday, August 14, 2016
PSALM 110 continued...
"For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself."
"The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,
Thou art a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek."
When my second daughter was very little, her first sentence was,
"But I changed my mind!"
(It's a woman's prerogative, at any age.)
So, if God is swearing not to change, we better listen. In the prescribed order of things under Moses, the priesthood would belong to the line of Aaron and the Levites. This was to be passed down father to son. There was no oath to be administered in their appointment, not like this. However, there was this mysterious guy named Melchizedek, deemed to be a priest, who had blessed Abraham and brought bread and wine to his warriors to give them strength after a battle and refreshment for their soul, a prophetic symbol of what Christ would bring in communion. His name by definition means King of righteousness. Hmm. Who does that sound like? Melchizedek was the king of Salem (Jerusalem), Salem which also means "peace," which meant he was the Prince of Peace (sound familiar?) He came before Aaron so was superior. He did not get the position from his father, who was unknown. It is not recorded when he was born or when he died. Read Hebrews 7 for further understanding of this mystery guy and when you get it all figured out, come and tell me.
Christ is our priest for whom God has sworn to be unchanging in His purpose. That's His story and He's sticking to it! Christ came from the tribe of Judah, not the Levites, not from the lineage of Aaron. Oops. No problem: He came from the line of God Himself, was His One and only Son. In the vernacular of King James with a southern accent, God is saying, "I sware!" Like Adam Clarke said, "His decree for mercy is absolute."
We were living in the filth of sin.
Oh, you better believe that God the Father Himself was tempted to renege on this oath He swore when His Son was crying out on the cross, "Father, why have you forsaken Me?" There is no father's heart which would not be moved to tremendous pain in wanting to rescue their child. But in spite of His suffering, God stayed the course for the greater good, our salvation, salvation offered to us wimps, double-minded, wishy-washy about our redemption looking back like the Hebrew children longing for the leeks and onions of their life before Christ. We should be ashamed of ourselves and not neglect so great a salvation!
A priest was also considered to be a prince, of royalty, to hold sway over his people; Jesus is the Son of the King--in fact He is the King.
A priest was set apart to make sacrifices for sin which Jesus did once and for all.
A priest was also to make intercession for his people which Jesus fulfilled...
"Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him,
since He always lives to make intercession for them."
The gory description of battle in verse 6, which will be played out in the last days, is also a reflection of the battle when four kings were defeated and Abraham met Melchizedek and gave him a tithe, a tenth of the spoils. But then there is the terrible and beautiful verse 7 which describes the before and after of victory...
"He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head."
"...that is more than of the cup, for a cup contains but a certain portion of sorrows, but a torrent a whole flood of miseries. In a cup which is drank may be clear and clean; but in a torrent a man can expect nothing but muddy and troubled water. Thus the prophet intimates here that the drink offered Him should be much and troubled. And in His passion He descended into the depth of the torrent, and drank deep of it."
The cup He offers us is His own blood to share in remembrance of His sufferings. "Jesus the Chief, the Captain, the Messiah--the last enemy death is destroyed. Jesus having overcome, has sat down with the Father upon His throne. All this so that...
'Far from a world of grief and sin,
I have seen a muddy torrent pour furiously down from the mountain streams caused by a storm where normally crystal clear water would flow. It was so thick in its flurry, that I as a child thought it perhaps was chocolate milk, almost tempted to taste it. In fact, I was so whiney that my dad stopped the car on the dirt rutted road and dared me, "Go ahead and try it!" I changed my mind. God did not change His mind. This is a picture of the filth that Jesus was willing to drink so deeply of for us, the refuse that has trickled down from myriad sources into one fast flowing stream of the sins of all mankind."
But that is not the last word.
"He will lift up His head."
Victory is the last word,
victory over sin and death!
at 6:13 PM