Reading through the Bible together
Hebrews 6 ended with the idea that Jesus is the “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (6:19). Hebrews 7 explains why.
The chapter is divided in two big sections. Verses 1–10 describe three principal characteristics of Melchizedek that prefigured the priesthood of Jesus. Verses 11–28 will explain how those characteristics fulfilled in Jesus provide us with the greatest certainty.
Melchizedek’s name means that he is a king of righteousness (v. 2). This prefigured Jesus who is “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners” (Heb 7:26–28). There are no sins that can separate him from the Father. He is perfectly qualified to approach God in our behalf without impediment.
Melchizedek was king of Salem, which means king of peace (v. 2). The author says that while the law of the priestly order of Levi could not perfect the worshipers, Jesus’ ministry brings perfection (vv. 11, 18–19). Perfection is related to the Hebrew word “peace” (shalom), which also means “whole, complete.” Jesus brings perfection in that he can really provide forgiveness of sins (10:1–4) and also provides us with access to God (10:19–23).
Melchizedek did not have genealogy (v. 3). He was not a priest because he belonged to a family—as was the case with Aaron. In fact, he was made priest through an oath, which cannot be broken (7:20–22). The author suggests that Scripture does not register Melchizedek’s genealogy so that he could “resemble” the Son of God who truly had “neither beginning of days nor end of life.”
So Jesus’ priesthood provides a certainty that the Levitical priesthood could not offer. He is a perfect priest that has unfettered access to God. He provides full cleansing. He also lives forever to intercede for us. What wonderful love God has for us that He appointed Jesus to be our high priest. We need to hold fast to Him as the sure and steadfast anchor of our souls!
Felix H. Cortez
Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary