‘For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”’ (Hebrews 7:17 ESV)

Melchizedek, whose name means “King of Righteousness,” was the king of Salem (or “Shalom – Peace”), whom Abraham paid a tithe (Gen. 14). Quoting Psalm 110:4, the author of Hebrews spoke of the perpetuity of Melchizedek’s priesthood, showing that it predated the Levitical priesthood, and continues on after it to eternity. Though Jesus was born into the royal line of Judah and not the priestly line of Levi, His priesthood is superior because His priestly claim preceded Levi’s and is in every way superior to his. So then, what was the purpose of the Law and the Levitical priesthood? It was a foreshadowing and a tutor (Gal. 3:24) preparing the people of God for its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. In Him, the threefold office of Prophet, Priest and King are united. Christ is our Great High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, forever standing before the Father making intercession for us.