Salvation is God’s work on our behalf
When it comes to the subject of Salvation, we humans like to hang our hats on many things
such as rituals, good works, genealogy, law and regulations, in order to earn or expect acceptance from God. However, since salvation is God’s work on our behalf, it behooves that God tells us just how He will save us. God says in his Word the Bible “my ways are above your ways, past finding out” and “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” This means that we humans need to be revealed to and provided with the means of salvation as is wonderfully explained in the Bible. In this part, we will see that Jesus is the culmination of even a better salvation than that of the Levitical Law and priesthood. Jesus is the fulfillment of the type of Melchizedek in part 1, the Law, and sacrificial system here in part 2 and as we will see in part 3 He is the means and the end of providing for us a connection with God.
Jesus Like Melchizedek
Hebrews 7:11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ ”
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the author and the true source of atonement – your salvation,only I can do it properly. My priesthood is eternal, heavenly, perfect and greater than anything which mankind can come up with. Even the Levitical priesthood which I gave the Jews was just a weak and useless shadow of what my reality is, which I have replaced through my death on the cross when I offered a better sacrifice on the altar. My sacrifice is perfect, eternal, able to save completely, meets your needs, and I only had to do it once for everyone – not year after year like the Jewish High Priest. This means that salvation comes from me in heaven, not performed by you on earth. It is completely finished for you and there is nothing more you can do to add to it. It is not based on human regulations; even those of which I gave to Moses, but rather on my personal indestructible promise to you. Just as I came to bless Abraham by bringing bread and wine, so too, I come to you with the blessing of the body and blood of my new covenant.
Now all you have to do is to depend on my work in your stead, and you shall be saved.
The Law is weak and useless
The oath which God makes in the Psalms through King David indicates that His Divine standard is higher than any human effort, even higher than the Law which God gave to Moses in setting up the Levitical priesthood because the Law is weak and useless and cannot make people perfect. The Law only indicates what perfection is and shows you that you are not. It has no power to make you perfect because nobody can perfectly obey it. On the other hand, the indestructible oath given to the descendant of King David – Jesus, was given after the giving of the Law making it supersede the weakness of the Law. Sacrifices by the Law had to be offered yearly and ceased when Christ’s sacrifice through the order of Melchizedek was offered once for all and for all time.
God’s Righteousness must be imputed to us
The righteousness as revealed to us and required of us by the law must in fact be imputed to us by God who is righteous. This quality is not something that we ourselves can generate or find deep within us. We humans refuse to believe that we don’t already possess this basic capacity for good. However, we must come to grips with our inability and thus receive the blessing of an imputed righteous standing with our creator on his terms. This is what the story of Melchizedek is showing us. Abraham was a sinner just like us and is entered into the hall of faith in chapter 11 not because of good works, or right heritage, or sinless character; no it was solely because he allowed God (faith – belief) to bless him through this preincarnate appearance of Christ as well as allowed God to give him the promises of becoming a great nation, and a becoming a blessing to the world. Then he “owned” those promises and blessings.
Remember that Abraham lived hundreds of years prior to Moses and the 10 commandments. So God’s salvation is based on God’s promises to Abraham, not on his obedience to any Law. Paul makes that clear. Blessings are gifts, they are not earned. Melchizedek blessed Abraham, and then Abraham gave a tenth in response. God blesses us first, then we reciprocate, but his blessing is not dependent upon our promise of reciprocation – just our appropriation (ownership). We and all mankind like Abraham do not deserve God’s blessing of salvation. But he offers it as a gift. Only he/she who recognizes their un-deservedness can freely receive it.
More to come,