Who is Melchizedek? And why is Jesus called a high priest like Melchizedek? And what does Mel—can we abbreviate his strange name?—have to do with the church and the world today?
On Sunday, I tried to answer those questions with an animated tour of the Bible. Incorporating the artistic gifts of Jeff Dionise, our elder for outreach, I preached a three part message that started with Melchizedek in history (Genesis 14), moved to Melchizedek in poetry and prophecy (Psalm 110), and finished with Jesus Christ, or Melchizedek in fulfillment (Hebrews 7).
In what follows you can listen to the message or trace the story with the graphics displayed below. Additional resources are also found below. Response questions will return next week as our church finishes up its series on the priesthood.
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But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for his own possession,
that you may proclaim the excellencies of him
who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
— 1 Peter 2:9 —
From Genesis to Revelation, the themes of priesthood and kingship overlap and intertwine in the history of redemption. In this new sermon series we are examining how royal priesthood applies to Jesus, the church, and our identity in Christ.
In this first sermon, we consider how Adam and Eve were created in God’s image to be royal priests serving and worshiping in the Garden of Eden. You can read about the background to this sermon series here and listen to the sermon online here. Response questions and Additional Resources can be found below. Continue reading
In his outstanding monograph on Exodus 19:5–6, A Royal Priesthood: Literary and Intertextual Perspectives on an Image of Israel in Exodus 19:5–6, John A. Davies provides a literary/chiastic structure of Exodus 19:1–8. Paying careful attention to the voices (first, second, third person; single or plural) and the contents of these eight verses, he shows two chiastic structures that organize this wonderful passage.
In any study of Exodus or the priesthood, this passage is crucial for our understanding, so I share his outline here for our consideration (p. 35).
A People of Israel camp at the mountain (third person plural verbs) (vv. 1–2)
B Moses’ ascent and Yhwh’s summons (third person singular verbs) (v. 3a)
C Divine instruction regarding delivery of message to Israel (second person singular verbs) (v. 3b)
D Divine declaration concerning Israel (second person plural verbs) (vv. 4–6a)
C’ Divine instruction regarding delivery of message to Israel (second person singular verbs) (v. 6b)
B’ Moses’ descent and summons to the elders (third person singular verbs) (v. 7)
A’ People of Israel respond (third person plural verbs) (v. 8a) Continue reading