Doesn’t the fact that we have a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek prove we’re under the New Covenant with its priesthood?

Doesn’t the fact that we have a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek prove we’re under the New Covenant with its priesthood?

Doesn’t the fact that we have a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek prove we’re under the New Covenant with its priesthood?

Hebrews 7 tells us that God declared a decree in Psalm 110 to the seed of David that He would be a priest forever according to the order Melchizidek. Hebrews 8 argues that since according to the Aaronic priesthood you had to be of Levi to a be a priest (and Christ is of Judah), there had to be a change in the law to accommodate a New Priesthood. The argument Hebrews is making is not that the Church is under the New Covenant, but that the Law of Moses with its priesthood and sacrifices has passed away, replaced by Christ, who is the mediator of all the covenants.

Again the purpose of Hebrews is to tell Jewish believers in Christ that they need to make a firm decision to stand with Christ. The Temple was still standing, and the priests were still offering sacrifices according to the Mosaic law. Furthermore, the church in Jerusalem was apparently still meeting in the temple and James and the brothers even attempted to get Paul to take a vow to show that he had not “apostatized from Moses” but walked orderly “keeping the law” (Acts 21:21,24). This created much confusion for the Jewish Believers, and Hebrews is written to show them that their own scriptures and prophets told them that the Law would eventually be replaced.

The High Priesthood of Melchizedek

However, in establishing the ground for the High Priesthood of Melchizidek, Hebrews does not appeal to Israel’s New Covenant, but to the decree that the Father made to the Son in Psalm 110. His High Priesthood comes not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but emerges from His place in resurrection as the Seed of David who was declared to be the Son of God with Power by the resurrection from the dead (Rom 1:3-4), and is said to be in the “power of an incorruptible life” (Heb 7:16) His priesthood comes out of His Sonship, not out of the New Covenant with Israel that He mediates.

Hebrews 1:5 and Hebrews 7:17; reference two decrees that are made directly to the Son from the Father from Psalm 2 and Psalm 110. These two decrees establish His eternal throne and His inheritance of all the nations to rule them with a rod of Iron (Psalm 2:6-9) and His High Priesthood (Psalm 110:4). The Psalmist was referring by inspiration to something that God said to the Son Himself, and these are aspects of the Everlasting Covenant the Father made with Jesus the great Shepherd of the Sheep, referred to in Hebrews 13:20.

It is based on this declaration that He is our High Priest (for the church), can save us to the utmost (Heb 7:25) (by His life) and will eventually make us kings and priests as He Is (Rev 5:10). We believe these declarations are aspects of the Everlasting Covenant between the Father and the Son.

The Church’s Heavenly Position with Christ

Furthermore, the Church’s heavenly position with Christ is rooted in the covenant that God made with David’s seed. As believers, we are seated with Him in the heavens, and our life is hidden with Christ at God’s right hand. Before the resurrection of Christ, it was a mystery that there would be a group of people represented as being “in Christ” and seated at His right hand in the heavens (the Church). All of the promises that they anticipated were earthly, leading them to expect an earthly resurrection to enjoy their portion “in the land”, as the scriptures declare. But the Church has a different destiny altogether, also described as a “mystery”. We will not be raised into the land but will be caught up into the heavens with Christ and glorified in the “twinkling of an eye” to put on incorruptibility. This promise is not only for the dead in Christ but also for those who are living at the time of His return (1 Cor 15:51-52, 1 Thess 4:16-17). These realities concerning the Church’s heavenly position with Christ spring out of the Everlasting covenant that God made with Christ, and promises that He inherits as the seed of David. Meanwhile, the earthly nation of Israel looks forward to their New Covenant which ties them not to the Heavens, but to the land. By these two groups, Christ will head up all things in heaven and in earth (Eph 1:10).

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