One of the humbling truths of Christianity is that we cannot approach God on our own. Ever since our ancestors were barred from the garden by a flaming sword and cherubim, our access to the divine presence must be mediated by another. But this raises another question, who is a sufficient mediator? What kind of mediator do we need? We need a mediator who is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). The Bible identifies this mediator, this high priest, as Jesus. He fulfills the requirements to be our mediator. And the pattern of his priestly mediatorship follows that of an ancient and mysterious king/priest, Melchizedek. Just who was Melchizedek and how is he the pattern for Jesus’ high priestly ministry? Let’s see how Charles Spurgeon connects Melchizedek and Jesus with some of his sermon notes from the Spurgeon Study Bible.

The Mysterious Melchizedek

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, met Abraham and blessed him as he returned from defeating the kings . . . Without father, mother, or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

Hebrews 7:1, 3

“Resembling the Son of God.” Melchizedek was duly appointed both priest and king. But he had no predecessor in his priesthood, and he had no successor. He was not one who took a holy office and then laid it down. As far as the historic pages of Scripture are concerned, we have no note of his quitting this mortal scene. He disappears, but we do not read of his death any more than of his birth. We see but little of him, yet we see nothing little in him.

He is thus a type of our Lord.

This great man blessed the blessed Abraham, and the victorious patriarch bowed before Melchizedek and gave him tithes. If Melchizedek was so great, how much greater is that man whom Melchizedek represents? If the type is so wonderful, what must the antitype be? Consider the greatness of Jesus Christ about whom the Lord said, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Ps. 110:4).

Melchizedek – King of Righteousness and Peace

To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace.”

Hebrews 7:2

Various opinions as to Melchizedek. Some supposing him to have been Christ incarnate chiefly on the ground of his superiority to Abram, his being “without father or mother,” etc. Most, however, agree that he was a king of a town in this country, and that the sense of the passage is that he had no predecessor in the priestly office. And that, as no time of birth or death is mentioned, he is thus a type of our Lord. And that his superiority arose out of his priestly office.

His name and title are here referred typically to Christ.

  1. As to his nature. Jesus is righteous and peaceful. We are apt to conceive of him as all love and the Father as all Justice, but they are both infinite in each. Jesus has every attribute in infinite perfection.
  2. In the plan of salvation. He had due regard to justice. The wisdom of the plan is its wise provision both for the justice of God and the happiness of man.
  3. In the execution of the plan. Jesus satisfied law both by his life and sufferings. He remitted not one farthing of the debt, but paid it all and also worked out peace by reconciling men to God.
  4. In his application of salvation. He first pardons, justifies, and purifies before he plants peace. Purity, piety, peace all go together.
  5. In his general dealing with the world. To the wicked he will display his justice, but to his saints, his peace in heaven’s profound peace.
Handwritten sermon notes from Spurgeon on Hebrews 7:2

The Superior Salvation of the Greater Melchizedek

Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:25

“He is able to save completely those who come to God through him.” Where do these people come? They come to God, which implies leaving something else. If a man comes to God, he must leave his sins and his righteousness. He must leave both his bad works and his good ones. How do they come? They come by Jesus Christ. Do not consider that any will be heard and saved by God apart from the merits of his Son. If you would be at peace with God, you must come to him through Christ, the mediator. Why do they come? The poor sinner, in coming to Christ, has only one objective. He comes for salvation. If the entire world were offered to him, he would not think it worth his acceptance if he could not have the gift for which he asks—salvation by Jesus Christ the Lord.

More from the Spurgeon Study Bible

Charles Spurgeon was one of the most famous preachers in church history. His sermons are still in print today and now you can read thousands of excerpts from them with the Spurgeon Study Bible. Pick up a copy today and read Scripture along with notes from the “Prince of Preachers”!

Write A Comment