Proving that Jesus is the Christ From the Old Testament. Part 13

[Repeat of series introduction that began on 17 December 2023: Where would you go today in the Old Testament to argue that Jesus is the Christ? There’s so much to this that cannot be dismissed. We’re given in many ways what the Messiah would be like, what his character would be, how he’d be received (even by different people), what he’d do, how he’d redeem, that we’d have his lineage, what he’d say, how it would all end, how he’d come and more. So much, and we see it all done in just one man! How would you know that he is the promised Messiah? Jesus’ birth, life, suffering, and glorification all demonstrate the facets of his excellent work. Jesus himself asked two of his disciples the same question I could ask you today, and then went to the same source to explain it that I’d like to go to as well in this series: “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:26-27. Jesus had to suffer to then enter into his glory he said. With this premise, he goes through some measure of the 39 books of the Old Testament revealing himself to them thereby. This is the same Old Testament we have today. I wish we were given the transcript of that talk, but God didn’t wish to give it. But can we see it? Many historical events in the Scriptures could be fulfilled by men and women, but no one but Jesus (Messiah) could fulfill them all. The Lord himself demonstrated that he was and is the Christ, and our New Testament reflects that its writers were well aware of this. The clear approach of the Apostles was to argue the same from the Bible that Jesus read- the 39 books we now call the Old Testament. To know what it means that Jesus is the Christ is to show the fulness of God’s revelation to mankind in the New Testament in him. In the Old Testament, God said he’d defeat sin and death; the New Testament shows us that work done. There are so many ways to talk of this. So many passages. I won’t exhaust them, but in this series, I wish to examine some of these passages. These passages are how I would prove Jesus is the Christ from the Old Testament].

A man named Melchizedek appears and disappears from the biblical narrative in Genesis 14:18-20. He brings out bread and wine to Abram after Abram recovers his nephew during a pretty major skirmish, he blesses Abram, was honored by Abram with a tithe of the spoils, and then he disappears. This same Melchizedek is mentioned again in Psalm 110:4 and is made reference to numerous times in the Book of Hebrews. In Hebrews, God makes great use of this rather enigmatic man named Melchizedek as a type of Christ. There is speculation about who exactly Melchizedek was. I used to believe he was a Christophany (a pre-incarnate appearance of God the Son) but I no longer do. I now believe him to be a Gentile priest king from ancient Salem, the land King David made the Lord’s capitol city roughly a thousand years later.

We learn by Barnabas’ inspiration (the man I say wrote Hebrews) almost everything we know about Melchizedek. He was clearly an awesome guy. His translated name alone is fascinating. I’ll let you look it up in Hebrews. Hebrews 7 gives us a ton of detail. Melchizedek was a Gentile priest and king long before there was such a thing as an Aaronic priesthood. He did not become a priest due to his genealogy therefore as those of the Mosaic Covenant did. In fact, we’re not even given his genealogy. This is the point of vs. 3 which reads: “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.” He had parents, but we’re not given their names, and so, since we know nothing of his death or the length of his days he remains a priest, like Jesus now is in reality, in picture forever. This is what God capitalizes on. Melchizedek was a priest to God and a king. Fascinating!
The high nature of Melchizedek’s supremacy is also a point made in Hebrews. He is shown higher than even Abraham in Hebrew reckoning. And so if Abraham is, as he is, the first and greatest of all the Hebrews, and thus in Christ the father of us all (Romans 4:16), then how great a figure was this Melchizedek to whom Abram 1) gave tithes, and 2) received blessing? This is what Hebrews 7:7 means saying, “Without any dispute the lesser person is blessed by the greater.” Abram (the lesser) was blessed by Melchizedek (the greater). Jesus is a high priest higher than Aaron and his progeny which came much later. This is the point. Jesus, from Judah’s tribe, doesn’t get his priesthood from Levitical descent, which is lower than Melchizedek; he gets it from his very nature. Jesus’ priesthood is higher than Aaron’s, not lower. Jesus didn’t get his “great high priesthood” (a totally unique title for him from Hebrews 4:14) by his genealogy. Thus it’s written: “Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:20. Jesus’ priesthood is an eternal one since he’s above death again through his Resurrection.
This was prophesied from Genesis through the Psalms and made plain in Hebrews for us. Jesus is the Great High Priest of the New Covenant ratified by his blood.

God bless!!!

(If this has been a blessing to you, would you please share it with someone else? Come by anytime for new stuff).

Joseph Pittano

1 Comment

Bill M. - May 10th, 2024 at 5:03pm

Keep em' coming, brother!