Hope to Carry On: March 20, 2024

Lenten Devotional Book 2024

Read: Hebrews 5:5-10

“…being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchiz′edek.” – Hebrews 5:10

So who is Melchizedek, other than a guy whose name gets butchered badly by lectors? Let’s talk.
His name, by the way, is pronounced: “Mel-kih-zeh-dek”. The “ch” is a guttural “k” sound in Hebrew.

“Melchizedek” literally means “king of righteousness”. The name comes from the Hebrew words “melek” (king) and “tzedek” (righteousness). We first meet him in Genesis 14 on the way back from rescuing Abraham’s nephew Lot from some kings who kidnapped him. He brought out bread and wine (how familiar!) and blesses Abraham. The author of Genesis tells him that he is the king of Salem, which means “peace”, and “the priest of God most high” (v.18).

We hear about him again in Psalm 110 which is a psalm of David for “God’s priest-king”. Verse 4 has God speaking to this priest-king, telling him that “[he is] a priest for ever after the order of Melchiz′edek” and mentions that God “has sworn and will not change his mind.” This is the passage quoted by the author of Hebrews, and Jewish believers would understand that the psalm is written regarding the Messiah.

This has significance for us as Christians because Jesus is that King of Righteousness for us. Him being a high priest means that he could offer sacrifices for the expiation of sins, and the sacrifice he offered was his own life. This sacrifice covered our sins so we would not face judgment or death for them. This is our hope.

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen. (p.101)
-Jen McCabe