Four: Melchizedek, a Type of Christ

Hebrews 7:3, He was likened to the son of God. We must search wherein and how, Christ was the truth of that figure.


Melchizedek a type of Christ in four respects:

First in the notation of his name. Melchizedek signified King of righteousness; our Savior was indeed properly King of righteousness (Heb 7:2). Isa. 11:4, Ps. 45:6-7: Your kingdom is a scepter of righteousness, you love righteousness. Ma.l 4:2: Christ, the Sun of righteousness shall arise. From him all have righteousness as from a fountain.


Secondly, in his office. He was king of Salem, of peace: so Christ is called, the Prince of peace (Isa. 9:6), not of a corner, but of all the world; and of Salem, that is, of Jerusalem, (Ps. 2:6). I have set my King on Zion. On his shoulders was the government laid. Of whom (Zech. 9:9), O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass: But with this difference; Melchizedek brings peace earthly temporal, but Christ is our peace (Eph 2:14), by whom we have peace with God; he guides our feet into the way of peace, and leads us to peace eternal. So he was the true king of true peace, so was not Melchizedek.

Melchizedek was not only a king but priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14:18). So Christ was both King and Priest. King (Rev. 1:5), Prince of all the kings of the earth: Priest (Heb. 4:14), our great high priest. This was not usual in the Jews’ policy, or progeny of David to whom only the kingdom was promised; neither would God admit the mingling of these offices among them, as in Uzziah, (2 Chron. 26). But as his dignity was referred unto Christ; so was it dispensed within his special figure to be both a great King and Priest.


Thirdly, in his origin. Without father or mother, genealogy, beginning or end of days; without kindred, that is none of these mentioned in Scripture, or in the story of his life. Although he had both father, mother, kindred, birth, death; yet the Lord of set purpose would have all these concealed in the Scripture, that he might be a more express type of Jesus Christ, who was truly without father as man. Lk. 1:35, “That holy thing which shall be born of you, shall be call the son of God;” without mother as God, without kindred according to his Deity, in respect of his divine nature, without generation, for who can declare his generation? (Isa. 53:8), seeing He was before all worlds, eternally begotten of his Father. And whereas Melchizedek only had no beginning or end of life expressed; Christ is only truly without beginning, neither shall have any end; for He is the beginning and the end. And although His humanity had genealogy, beginning and ending of life, yet as He was the Word, He had none. And although as the Son He was from the Father; yet as God He was from none, but as the Word was of Himself. Here also is a difference: Melchizedek was without genealogy according to Scriptures; Christ according to nature.


Fourth, In the excellency of his person and priesthood. For excellency of his person, Melchizedek was greater than Abraham; for he blessed Abraham, and the greater blesses the lesser (Heb. 7:7), signifying Christ the fountain and origin of all blessing in heavenly and earthly things (Eph. 1:3).


Melchizedek refreshed Abraham and his Army, returning weary from the battle and journey, with bread and wine. Here Abraham was a receiver, Melchizedek a giver, a manifest type of Jesus Christ, refreshing and comforting all His followers and members of his militant Church in their journey and weariness with His word and sacraments. Matt. 11:28, I will refresh you. Melchizedek was man only and sinful, Christ God and man without sin. Melchizedek as the son of God; Christ indeed the Son of God.


For the excellency of his sacrifice or his priesthood which was greater than Aaron’s, for Levi and Aaron paid tithes in Abraham’s loins to Melchizedek (Heb. 7:9), and the lesser pays tithes to the greater. Such is the priesthood of Christ, after the order of Melchizedek, not of Aaron. In regard of the entrance. Melchizedek was not anointed with material oil as Aaron, nor received his priesthood from any other, but only so declared by the mouth of God. So Christ succeeded none, received His priesthood from none, but anointed by the Spirit of God (Lk. 4:18) and made a priest by the oath of God (Ps. 110:4) “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” 


In regard of the continuance of His priesthood. For as He receives it from none, so He passes it not to any other, nor any can succeed Him, but he endures forever, having an everlasting priesthood (Heb. 7:24). The Levitical priesthood ended particularly in the death of every high priest, and universally and finally in the death of our high priest. But Christ is eternal, who died but rose again, figured in Melchizedek.


If Christ is the true Melchizedek, then he needs to be greater than Abraham, though the Jews vainly contradict it (Jn. 8:53). To him all our tithes and offerings, our sacrifice of praise is due, as tithes and offerings due from Abraham to Melchizedek. He alone is blessed and Prince, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, unto him be honor and power everlasting (1 Tim. 6:15-16). So the twenty-four elders (Rev. 11:15-17), and angels, beasts, elders, and all creatures (Rev. 5:11-13).


It is for the comfort of the church that Christ is the true Melchizedek, both a priest and a King.  As he is a priest, we are assured of a perfect reconciliation by his all-sufficient sacrifice. Of sound instruction for the priest must teach the law, his lips must present knowledge. Jn. 4:25, When the Messiah is come he will tell us all things. We detest the blasphemy therefore that tells us that he has left an imperfect doctrine that must be enlarged with traditions. Of his blessed intercession, which is meritorious and acceptable. Samuel out of his love for the people (1 Sam. 12:23) said this, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Christ’s love to the Church is no less; therefore, he will both teach and pray.


Of powerful protection and safety, for he is not our Priest only but our King; not our doctor only, but our defender; not a priest only to pray, but a King to obtain for us, and bestow on us, what He prays for. What if He had never so much power in teaching, if He were impotent in defending? But He is King of peace in Himself and unto us, we have a powerful advocate in heaven. They never tasted the sweetness of this doctrine, that seek after any other mediator.


Hence is the happiness of the Church. As Melchizedek blessed Abraham: So Christ our Melchizedek has blessed all the faithful posterity of Abraham (Eph. 1:3) with all spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. But with difference: Melchizedek only pronounced blessing (Gen. 14:19) blessed are you of God possessor of heaven and earth. But our Melchizedek merits and bestows blessings of a higher kind, also than could Melchizedek. For Christ blesses by meriting blessing through His most perfect sacrifice, pacifying his Father’s wrath. Melchizedek offered no such sacrifice to no such effect, his was accepted by mercy, not for merit, not for his own sacrifice, but for Christ’s. He by actual procuring the blessing of remission of sins and righteousness, restored a more effectual blessing than Melchizedek could procure: His sacrifices could only signify these in the Messiah’s, not actually apply them.


By gathering, calling, ruling and preserving in Spiritual life his whole Church, as members of His own body, and by the donation of His Spirit: none of which blessings Melchizedek could give. By bestowing eternal life on believers, here in the first fruits, hereafter in the harvest: whereof Melchizedek must be a receiver from Him the fountain, not a giver. By publishing and pronouncing on believers all this blessing.


The excellency of the person shows the greatness of the sin, Melchizedek because he was but likened to the son of God (Heb. 7:3), could not offer a sacrifice to take away sin: He must be the Son of God indeed, and God himself must do that. The least sin which we account so light could never be expiated but by the blood of Him that is God as well as man. All created strength cannot stand under the burden of the least sin. Therefore, in the worthiness of this Person see the unworthiness of your sin to hate and abhor it, and yourself in dust and ashes for it. A heinous and execrable offence were that which nothing could take away but the death of the Prince.