Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University series entitled Looking Unto Jesus, which is a study of Christ in the Old Testament. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Kevin Oberlin, a professor in the School of Religion. Take your Bibles today and turn to the 110th Psalm.
Psalm 110. We are in the middle of a semester long series entitled Looking Unto Jesus. And we've had some wonderful messages regarding Christ in the Old Testament. We've heard how Christ is seen in the structure of the Old Testament as we await the perfect prophet, the perfect king, the perfect priest. We saw how Christ was prophesied in the covenants, particularly the promise that's given to Abraham. We saw Christ in the binding of Isaac in Genesis chapter 22.
We looked at King Jesus in 2 Samuel 7 in the Davidic covenant prophecy. And we gloried in Christ in the installed king of Psalm 2. Today, we're going to look at Jesus Christ, our high priest, forever. Have you given any thought today that you need a high priest in order to come to God Almighty? You might say, well, I don't need a high priest. I can go directly to God. I have direct access to God. The fact is none of us can go directly to God by ourselves.
We all need a high priest. And our text today in Psalm 110 is the number one quoted Old Testament passage in all of our New Testament. It's a Psalm of David, and as you can imagine, it's about Christ.
It actually prophesies the moment when all of Christ's work would be done after his first advent and Jesus Christ would ascend to heaven. And the Psalm provides a window into a conversation. Look at it in verse 1. The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion. Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power and in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning.
Thou hast the dew of thy youth. And then if you jump down to verses 5 through 7, you see Christ now in his second advent when he comes to rule and to reign. Verse 5, the Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the days of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen. He shall fill the places with dead bodies. He shall wound the heads over many countries.
He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall he lift up his head. Jesus is going to conquer every one of his enemies and he will take what is rightfully his. He will judge all the wicked people one day with a righteous judgment. But right between these two sections is found verse 4 and you have a second office of Jesus Christ expressed and that is his priesthood. Look at the text in verse 4. The Lord hath sworn and will not repent. Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. And it's here that we combine the perfect king with the perfect priest in the person of Jesus Christ. Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. Well, who is Melchizedek?
And what does this have to do with Christ's priesthood? Well, in Genesis chapter 14, there is another Old Testament text that actually mentions Melchizedek. I'd like you to go turn over there and as we turn to Genesis chapter 14, I'm going to recount what actually is going on in that particular narrative. You have Lot, Abraham's nephew who has actually pitched his tent to Sodom and there's an invasion of the confederacy of that valley. And Lot and his family and other people are taken and all these goods are taken by these kings to the north as far as Damascus. And in Genesis chapter 14 verse 14, it says, And when Abraham heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, 318, and pursued them unto Dan.
And he divided himself against them and he and his servants by night and smote them and pursued them. And verse 16, And he brought back all the goods and also brought again his brother Lot and his goods and the women also and the people. And then verse 17 says, The king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return. And if you look now at the beginning of verse 18, it says, And Melchizedek, king of Salem, he's a king of peace, the city Salem, most likely Jerusalem, shortened version, king of peace, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine and he was the priest. So you have this man Melchizedek, who's a king, but he's also a priest. And this man brings out this bread and wine and he was a priest of the most high God.
Verse 19, And he blessed him and he blessed Abram and said of him that he is servant of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be the most high God which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And then Abram actually pays tithes now to Melchizedek. And that's the extent of Melchizedek in the Old Testament.
Psalm 110 verse 4, Genesis chapter 14. So this Melchizedek, Melchizedek meaning king of righteousness, Zedek meaning righteous, so he's king of righteousness, he's king of Salem, he's a king who is also a priest. And I want you to see how quickly Melchizedek comes on the scene and then he vanishes just as quickly. Well there are other texts as well that talk of Melchizedek. We have Hebrews chapter 5. In fact, we don't have any other record in the Old Testament, but there is this New Testament book, Hebrews, that actually in three successive chapters tells us of Melchizedek.
Chapter 5, chapter 6, and chapter 7. And if you'll go over to the Hebrews, I know I'm having a eternal lot today, but I want you to have the satisfaction of seeing really all the passages that have to do with this mysterious character, Melchizedek. Hebrews chapter 5, and Melchizedek is mentioned in verse 6, I'm going to pick it up with verse 5. Hebrews chapter 5 verse 5, So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest, but he that said unto him, Thou art my son, today hath I begotten thee, as he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Turn to verse 9. And being made perfect, that is Christ, he became the author of an eternal salvation unto all them that obey him, Christ who's called of God and high priest after the order of Melchizedek. In chapter 6, we have one mention of Melchizedek, and that's found in verse 20, where it says whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. And then, in chapter 7 now, we have a fuller narrative regarding Melchizedek. In verses 1 and 2 of chapter 7, it actually goes back and rehearses that history we read in Genesis chapter 14.
Look at the passage there, chapter 7 verses 1 and 2. For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being by interpretation king of righteousness, and after that also king of Salem, which is king of peace. And so we have this history that's given to us of who Melchizedek is. Melchizedek is this one who is actually a type of Christ who combines the offices of king and priest into one being, into himself. In verses 9 and 10 now, the writer of Hebrews is going to explain that Melchizedek is actually greater than the Aaronic priesthood. He's greater than the Levite, or Levitical priesthood. Verse 9, and as I may say so, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham, for he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. And basically what the scripture is saying is that Levi is lesser than Melchizedek because Levi, who is part of Abraham, he's in the loins of Abraham, Abraham actually paid tithes to Melchizedek.
Therefore Melchizedek is greater than Levi. This theological idea. So verse 11 then says, if therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, what further need was there that any other priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek and not be called after the order of Aaron? But my question is, what about Jesus Christ? Who is this Melchizedek and what does this have to do with Christ's priesthood?
Is Christ connected to the Jewish priesthood? Well if you go down to verse 14, the author is going to explain. Verse 14 of chapter 7. For it is evident that our Lord, Jesus Christ, sprang out of where?
Judah, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident for that after the similitude, after the likeness of Melchizedek, there ariseth another priest who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life, for he testifieth thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. So who is Melchizedek? Well Melchizedek was a type of Christ who combined the offices of king and priest and himself, but was Melchizedek actually a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ?
What do we call that? A pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. Well a word you might use is a theophany or more specifically a Christophany. Well was Melchizedek a theophany? Well there's a clue to that that's found in chapter 7 verse 3. In chapter 7 verse 3 it says that Melchizedek is without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but he's made like the Son of God. Melchizedek is made, he resembles the Son of God. Well the question is how was Melchizedek like the Son of God? How is Melchizedek made or resembling the Son of God?
Well the text answers the question in the next phrase. He's made like the Son of God in that he abideth a priesthood continually, or another word perpetually, or forever. In other words Melchizedek is a type of Christ in his timelessness, in his eternalness. He's a priest continually. He's a priest perpetually. He's dateless.
He just is. He doesn't have a father or a mother. He doesn't have a beginning date.
He doesn't have an end date. He just is this priest that is perpetually offering unto God as a high priest. But what made Melchizedek timeless like the Son of God? Is it that we have Adam and all his posterity, but then God just created one man outside of Adam and he just says okay this man is going to be this man that's going to be forever, he's going to be a priest forever and I'm just going to create him to be a type?
Or is there something else actually going on? How is it that Melchizedek can be timeless like the Son of God? What does it mean that he was without father, without mother, without beginning? Well Melchizedek is made timeless intentionally in the scripture record itself. Melchizedek is made timeless intentionally by the scripture record. When we saw him in Genesis, in Genesis chapter 14, we noted that Melchizedek didn't actually have, that he just appears. And he appears as a priest before God, one to whom even the patriarch Abraham is paying tithes. But just as quickly as he appears, he vanishes off the scene in this book of Genesis.
Well the point is not that Melchizedek did not actually have human parents or the fact that he never lived a normal length of life and then died. But the point is that the very book of beginnings, the book of Genesis where every detail of ancestry is recorded to preserve exactly who is of the blessing, who is of the redeemer who's coming. It's Abraham and then it's Isaac, it's not Jacob, right? Or it's Isaac not Ishmael, it's Jacob not Esau, it's Judah not these brothers. And it is in this very book that we have a prominent figure without any record.
He appears and then he vanishes just as quickly. So the scripture is actually setting up Melchizedek to be thought of as a timeless character. The scripture is presenting him that way intentionally. So Christ has, so Christ is, by Melchizedek was a type of Jesus Christ's priesthood forever. Christ has a type specifically verifying his eternal priesthood. Christ is a timeless eternal priest because he conquered the grave and is a priest today.
Death could not hold him. Christ did not become a priest on the basis of Old Testament regulation or ancestry, but Christ is a priesthood, has a priesthood forever on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. Verse 15 and 16 of chapter 7, and it is yet far more evident for that after the similitude, after the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who is made not after the law of carnal commandment.
It's not after these Old Testament regulations, but after the power of an endless life. The grave could not hold this one and he now is a priest forever. Jesus Christ, his priesthood is forever. So Melchizedek was a type of Christ. Melchizedek combined the king-priest office and himself, Psalm 110. Melchizedek is not a descendant of Levi.
In fact, Melchizedek was actually greater than Levi. But the primary point of Melchizedek is the fact that he is a forever priest. He has a forever priesthood.
Melchizedek is made or set up as a forever priest. Well, why was the Melchizedek and high priesthood superior to Aaron's? Or I could ask it this way, what made Aaronic high priesthood so insufficient? Well, number one, Jesus lives forever so he has a permanent high priesthood. In the Aaronic priesthood, there was a succession. I mean, priests kept dying and you needed another generation of priests to actually do what priests do.
And they had to be born and raised up. But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Look at verse 23.
And they truly, Hebrews 7 23, and they truly were many priests because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death. But this man, because he continueth forever, he has an unchangeable and non-transferable priesthood. Therefore, he can save you completely. He can save you fully. He can save you perpetually because he will always be your priest. Jesus always lives to intercede on your behalf.
Look at verse 25. For wherefore he also is able also to save. To what extent can this priest save? He can save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. So we have a priest that is greater, that intercedes on our behalf. It's like a warranty that won't run out.
It's a status that is eternal. And number two, what was the Melchizedekan high priest? Why was it so superior to Aaron's? Well, in the Aaronic priesthood, these high priests had to offer up sins for themselves first.
And then they offered them up for other people. I mean, look back in chapter five, verse one. It says, for every high priest from among men is ordained from men in things pertaining to God, that he offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin.
And then look at the end of verse two. The problem is these priests had their own infirmities. These priests had their own sin that they were dealing with day after day. But Jesus, our perfect high priest forever, is holy. Look at verse 26. This high priest became us who is holy, harmless, undefiled. This is chapter seven, verse 26. He's separate from sinners. He's made, he's exalted above the heavens. Verse 27, who needeth not daily as those high priests to offer up sacrifice first for his own sins and then for the people's. For this he did once when he offered up himself. This Jesus Christ is the true king of all righteousness.
He is the king of all peace. And what sacrifice does Christ bring to the altar? His sacrifice was perfect because his sacrifice was himself. Some 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ died on a cross and when he did, he paid the penalty of sin once and for all. That it's not by works of righteousness within ourselves that somehow we can make our way to God, but that it's only through his shed blood on the cross that we can have forgiveness of sins. We can have atonement.
We can have remission from sins, canceling up completely a propitiation upon Christ in our stead, in our place. And third, what makes the Melchizedekan high priesthood superior to Aaron's? What makes it so significant is that Jesus Christ, the perfect priest, was accepted by God and was appointed to the role of priesthood forever. Look at verse 28. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity, but the word of the oath which was since the law maketh the son who is consecrated forevermore. Now if you go back to Psalm 110 and look at our text that we have here for this morning, Psalm 110 verse 4, there is no need to ever, ever, ever fear that Jesus will not be your high priest. Whatever God says without an oath is sure, but because this is so incredibly important that there will never ever be a period of time on into eternity where Jesus would not be a faithful high priest to God on our behalf. God assures us this way. He says, I will not repent.
Look at the text. Psalm 110 verse 4. The Lord has sworn and will not repent.
He will not change his mind. Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. So how does this affect our lives today?
We have a major problem, don't we? There's coming a day in which God will judge the world. Dr. Salivar read for us in Psalm 2 about a week ago that Jesus Christ will break them, his enemies, with a rod of iron.
He will dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. And we read about it today in Psalm 110 verses 5 through 7. The greatest threat today is not financial loss. The greatest threat today is not world tensions.
The greatest threat today is not even cultural degeneration. The main problem in the world today and for everyone in the world today is how can I, a sinner before a holy God, be reconciled to my Creator and escape his awful wrath? Well, the only God approved answer is Jesus Christ, God's appointed high priest forever. And what consolation there is today if you are a child of his and you are shielded by Jesus Christ, your high priest forever. The songwriter puts it this way, before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea, a great high priest whose name is love, whoever lives and pleads for me. My name is graven on his hands, my name is written on his heart. I know that while in heaven he stands, no tongue can bid me thence depart. So what guilt have you brought in with you today? What fear, what shame is in your soul? You might say, well, God can never accept me. I mean, God never used me.
I've messed up so badly. This month marks the 459th year of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer. And actually yesterday was the actual day. I like how one recounts the story. In March of 1556, a crowd of curious spectators packed the university church in Oxford, England. They were there to witness the public recantation of one of the most well-known English reformers, a man named Thomas Cranmer. And Cranmer had been arrested by the Roman Catholic authorities nearly three years earlier, and at first his resolve was really strong. But after months of prison, under daily pressure from his captors, and the imminent threat of being burned at a stake, this reformer's faith failed. And his enemies eventually coerced him to actually sign several documents that renounced his Protestant faith. Well, in a moment of weakness in order to prolong his life, Cranmer denied the truth that he had defended throughout his ministry, the very principles upon which the Reformation itself was based. And the Roman Catholic Queen Mary, the first known to the church in church history as Bloody Mary, viewed Cranmer's retractions as a mighty trophy in her violent campaign against the Protestant cause. But Cranmer's enemies wanted more than just a written recantation.
They wanted him to declare it publicly. And so in March of 1556, Thomas Cranmer was taken from prison and brought to the university church. Dressed in tattered clothing, weary, broken, and degraded, this reformer took his place at the pulpit. And a script of public recantation that was already approved was put before him, and his enemies now sat expectantly in the audience, eager to hear his clear denunciation of the evangelical faith. But then, the unexpected happened. In the very middle of a speech, Thomas Cranmer deviated from his script. To the shock and dismay of his enemies, he refused to recant the true gospel. Instead, he bravely recanted his earlier recantations. In finding the courage he had lacked over those previous months, the emboldened reformer announced to the crowd of shocked onlookers this, I come to the great thing that troubles my conscience more than any other thing I've ever said or did in my life.
And that is the setting abroad of writings contrary to the truth, which here I now refuse and renounce as things written by my hand, which were contrary to the truth, which I thought in my heart being written for fear of death and to save my life. And Cranmer went on to say that if he should be burned at the stake, his right hand would be the first to be destroyed since it had signed those recantations. Well, chaos ensued. And moments later, they grabbed Cranmer. They seized him. They marched him out to be burned at the stake.
And true to his word, he thrust his right hand into the flames so that it might be destroyed first as the flames encircled his body. And Cranmer died with words crying out to his high priest, Jesus. Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
I see the heavens open and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And Cranmer found grace in the eyes of God through his high priest, Jesus. So what guilt have you brought in with you today? What secret fear?
What shame? The gospel is the answer. Look to Christ, the faithful appointed high priest by God. And he alone can wash away your sins. He alone can reconcile you to God. Reconciliation is but a breath away. When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see him there who made an end of all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free for God the just is satisfied to look on him and pardon me. You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Kevin Oberlin, which is part of the study series about Christ in the Old Testament. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series here on The Daily Platform.
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