Why Was The Messiah A Jew?
Jesus Christ is both the ultimate High Priest of humanity and the ultimate King of all humanity. The office of the Levitical high priest was created merely as a model to portray the mission of the Messiah. Any tribe of Israel could have been chosen to be the temporary, symbolic priesthood.
"8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." (Hebrews 8:1-2 KJV)
"7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 7:14-17 KJV)
On the other hand, Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew because, as it happened, King David was a Jew (see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin and Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah).
"1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David." (Luke 1:32 KJV)
Who Was Melchisedec?
Melchizedek, meaning king of righteousness, was the "king of Salem," later known as Jerusalem, and "priest of God Most High," at a time prior to the establishment of the Levitical priesthood (see Levites). Melchizedek is one of the most enigmatic people of Bible History, not only because of his distinctive position as king and high priest of Jerusalem (a dual office that will ultimately be fulfilled only by Jesus Christ), but also because of other profound statements about him, such as "7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually" (Hebrews 7:1 KJV).
"7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham [see On His Own Two Feet] returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 7:2 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 [see also Christ the Conqueror For Peace];
7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 7:8 And here men that die [see What Happens When You Die?] receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him." (Hebrews 7:1-10 KJV)
Melchisedec was the "king of Salem," later known as Jerusalem (see Who, What or Where Is Zion?) and "priest of the most high God," both of which will be fulfilled by The Christ (see High Priest to King of The World).
"7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda [see Israelite Dynasties]; of which tribe Moses [see also The Veil of Moses and The Trysting Tent] spake nothing concerning priesthood. 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment [see What Law Was 'Nailed To The Cross'? and Do You Know Him?] going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: 7:21 For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec: 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament [listen to the Sermon The Divorce and Remarriage of Jesus Christ from our Sermons page].
7:23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them [see Why Blood?, Why Was It Torn? and Christ's Mercy Seat].
7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners [see Sanctify], and made higher than the heavens; 7:27 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.
7:28 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 for evermore." (Hebrews 7:11-29 KJV)
Fact Finder: Who was "the LORD God" of the Exodus and Mount Sinai?
See 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament'; also The Ancient of Days.
Copyright © Wayne Blank