For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.…
Two orders of priesthood are referred to in the Scriptures-that of Melchisedec and that of Aaron. Certain functions were common to both, such as sacrifice, intercession, and blessing. The text implies peculiarities in the order of Melchisedec, and that it was in some respects superior to that of Aaron. These were —
1. That it was a royal order. Melchisedec was berth king and priest, which was never the case in the Mosaic economy. He was arrayed with double honour — a king of righteoustness and a priest of the Most High God; He received tribute from Abraham, and conferred his blessing upon him. In these respects he typified Christ, who was the Head of His Church, and thus their King; while He was also Saviour of the Church, which is His body, and so their Priest.
2. Its universality. The Levitical order was national and limited in its scope, and its honours and privileges were for the Jew alone. In Melchisedec's day there were no Jews. No nation bad yet been chosen as the peculiar people of God. Humanity was one, and Melchisedec was a priest of humanity. The shadow of his mitre extended as far as the shadow of his crown, and the incense of his intercession covered all that his sceptre swayed. Christ was a Priest of this higher order. He never once called Himself the Son of Judah, but on sixty-three occasions the Son of Man. The intercession of the high priest was bruited to those for whom he offered sacrifice, arid no sacrifice was offered for Gentiles on the Great Day of Atonement. The extent of Christ's intercession was evidenced by three little words. All, every, the whole. "Christ died for all." "He tasted death for every man"; "for the sins of the whole world."
3. It was intransissible. Melchisedec's priesthood began and ended with himself, and thus differed from the Levitical, which was strictly dependent on an unbroken pedigree, on both father's and mother's side. Melchisedec was selected as one specially qualified for the office. The Levitical priests were officially, but not always personally, holy. Christ, too, fulfilled this requirement.
4. It was a perpetual priesthood. Under the Levitical law the priest could hold his office only between the ages of thirty and fifty. In Melchisedec's day no such law obtained. The Levitical priest died out of his office, Christ in the exercise of His office. In the grave of Joseph He was still a Priest. That was His robing-room, where He was preparing for His everlasting work of intercession, putting off mortality that He might put on immortality. The golden bells on the hem of the high priest's robe rang when he sprinkled the blood of the covenant upon and below the mercy-seat, and thus conveyed the assurance to the silent multitude without that their priest still lived, and that their sacrifice was accepted. These golden bells were paralleled by the declarations of the Word of God, such as "He is consecrated a Priest for evermore"; "I am He that liveth and was dead," &c. Then there was the great bell of God's oath, "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent; Thou art a Priest for ever," &c.
Parallel VersesKJV: For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.