Following his rebuke of the Hebrews, the writer explained Melchizedek. As Abraham was returning home following a battle with four kings who had captured his nephew Lot, he was met by Melchizedek, king of Salem [(Jerusalem) king of peace].
Melchizedek was an unusual priest in that he was “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.” The genealogy of the Levitical Priesthood began with Levi and continued through his lineage until Christ. Melchizedek’s parents were unknown; he had no priestly parentage or genealogy; he had neither predecessors nor successors.
In keeping with the main theme of the letter to the Hebrews which explained and stressed the superiority of the gospel of Christ and His Priesthood to the Law of Moses and the priesthood of the tribe of Levi, the writer related the event at which Abraham had paid tithes to Melchizedek. He had also blessed Abraham at that time.
Since one paid tithes to someone greater than himself and was also blessed by a greater individual, Melchizedek was then shown to be superior to Abraham. Therefore, he was superior to the priestly tribe of Levi, who as descendants of Abraham also, in effect paid tithes to Melchizedek on that occasion.
The Hebrews writer concluded that since Christ was a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, if they followed Him, they would have a superior High Priest to those of the Levitical Tribe.
With the beginning of a new High Priest, it was necessary to have a change in the law. It had served its purpose of preparing the way for Christ. The Hebrews letter explained that Christians are subject to that new law instead of the old Law of Moses and its priesthood.
As Melchizedek had no priestly genealogy, also Jesus’ earthly descent was from Judah, who had no connection to the priesthood of Levi. He was prophesied to be a son of David, “a Rod from the stem of Jesse” (David’s father) who descended from Judah.
The Hebrews writer pointed out other areas of superiority of Christ’s Priesthood to that of the Old Testament. He had become a High Priest with an oath from God. No oaths had been performed for priests under the old law.
There were many high priests under the Law of Moses because of the deaths of those who served. The Priesthood of Christ will never end for He lives forever as an unchangeable Priest. He is always present to intercede to God for man.
Men continue to be sinners. The Levitical high priests were required to offer sacrifices for their own sins daily in order to properly approach God for the sins of the people. Christ, who had no sins offered Himself up once for the sins of all mankind when He was crucified on the cross. Men receive forgiveness through the saving power of that blood when they faithfully submit to baptism for the remission or cleansing of their sins.