Hebrews (04): Jesus, the Victorious Priestly-King of Righteousness

Date: 10/28/2018
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Type: Sunday Sermon
Organization: All Saints
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The Background Passage - Psalm 110 is referenced by Hebrews over 14 times (1:3, 13, 5:6, 10, 20, 8:1, etc.) and it has been argued that it is the “key to the structure” of Hebrews (Buchanan, Anchor, et al). The psalm is cited regarding Christ’s completed redemptive conquest: “after . . . . He sat down at the right hand” (Ps. 110:1; cf Heb. 1:3, 13). It is also cited regarding the unusual promise that, “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’” (Ps. 110:4).

The Background Priest - “Malki-Tzedek” (in Hebrew) is the king (malik) and priest of “righteousness” (tzedeq) over Salem (“peace” - Jerusalem). He blessed Abram after the battle to save Lot (Gen. 14:18ff). Melchizedek is only mentioned in Gen. 14, Ps. 110, and Heb. 5-6. King David (writer of Ps. 110) later ruled Melchizedek’s rebuilt city. Like David’s later rule, the occasion for Abram’s blessing was that God “has delivered your enemies into your hand” (Gen. 14:20). This is reflected in Ps. 110: “Rule in the midst of Your enemies” and “He will shatter kings” in victory. “That ancient unity of priest and king in one person will be reunited in the Messiah, a fact which necessitates the end of the line of Aaron’s priesthood” (Ross, BKC). “In Melchizedek, priesthood and kingship were united as they were to be in Christ” (Kidner, Tyndale). The priest-king Messiah will “crush heads far and wide” (110:6) and so fulfill the ancient promise that the “seed of the woman” will crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15).

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more