Ancient Glimpses

Long time no post…  We’ve been wandering for a month or so, from Colorado up over Lake Superior in Canada and back, by the little squiggly roads.  We’ve encountered beautiful sights and some really crappy WiFi.  Worth it though…

So then, back to the “Fresh Bread;” here’s a mind-bender for you…

Isaiah saw glimpses of Jesus, 700 years before His birth; we’ve mentioned that before (See “Ancient Sroll; Secrets Revealed”). Go back 300 years earlier, and King David saw glimpses of Jesus, too:

The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”  Psalm 110:1

The puzzle in that first line of David’s psalm is that David says that God (“The Lord”) speaks to his God (“my Lord”).  Who does he say God is talking to?  Jewish theologians from antiquity agreed: David was referring to the Messiah.  But the Messiah was understood to be a king from among David’s descendants.  How could David call a descendant of his “my Lord?”   Jesus posed this question for the theologians of His day:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,

“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’  Matthew 22:41-44

David had been given a glimpse of Jesus, 1000 years or so before His birth.  In that same psalm, David talks of Jesus’ powerful rule.  In poetic imagery, he alludes to Jesus’ eternal life, saying that each new day…

Arrayed in holy majesty,
from the womb of the dawn
you will receive the dew of your youth.  (Psalm 110:3b)

But then David calls back an event from the life of his ancestor, Abraham, that took place 700 years earlier, 1700 years before Jesus.  Abraham was returning from a battle he knew God had caused him to win, seeking a way to give thanks and honor to God, when a mysterious stranger showed up.  His name was Melchizedek, which means “King of Righteousness.”  He served Abraham as a priest, receiving an offering of thanks for God, serving as one through whom Abraham could connect to God.  He then vanishes from the pages of Scripture.  In addition to not having any record of his lineage, Melchizedek has no death recorded in Scripture.  But the really unique thing about him is that he served as both a king and a priest, something no other king or priest has ever done.

David, in his psalm, says that God says to the Messiah:

“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”  (Psalm 110:4b)

This may sound confusing, but David was saying that one day, a descendant in his line would be a righteous, powerful, supreme leader, a man who would live eternally, and who would serve as both a king and a priest.  Jewish scholars and theologians who puzzled over that psalm generally agreed.  1700 years later, Jesus acknowledged that He was that Descendant, Righteous King and Perfect Priest.  He would serve to connect us to God in a perfect way.  The author of the Book of Hebrews later gave a rather detailed explanation about how all those pieces fit together (Read Hebrews 6:13 – 8:2).

When I consider how unlikely it is that such ancient glimpses of a Messiah would ever fit together, much less be realized in the Person of One Man, my head swims.  And all of  that just skims the surface…

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