We left off last week with Melchisedech. St Paul teaches us quite a bit about him in the seventh chapter of the letter to the Hebrews. Paul actually wrote this letter to the Hebrew priests—the Levites, pointing out how the true priesthood of God now went through Jesus to the Apostles as Caiaphas relinquished his high-priesthood to Jesus. Paul points out that we have no genealogy of Melchisedech in the Old Testament nor do we know exactly when he died; therefore we have a priest and king related to Jerusalem confirming Abraham’s possession of his promised land after his victories. So with no beginning and no end, Melchisedech represents the eternal priesthood as he offers in sacrifice bread and wine. He also pre-figures Jesus Christ who was King (designated by Pilate by the sign on his cross), and high priest designated by Caiaphas (John 11:49), and who celebrated the Last Supper with his apostles offering bread and wine, and instructing them to do so in the future.
Then we come to the time of Moses. At this point every Hebrew male head of household is the priest of his household. During the last plague that God brought down on the Egyptians, he told the Hebrews to slaughter a yearling lamb without blemish and consume it entirely in a ritual meal, painting the blood of the lamb on the doorposts (lentils) of their homes. Then the Angel death will “passover” them. So it happened and the Jews repeated this meal every year in honor of the greatness of the one, true God. It became the apex point of their religion. Now free, the Jews follow Moses into the desert toward the Promised Land. They see God destroy the Army of Egypt in the Red Sea that they had passed through on dry land. (to be continued)