Early Christians in the first century were in touch with ancient beliefs and practices. Hebrews chapter 7 speaks of Melchizedek being “raised up” to his priesthood, which is a word that also means “resurrected.” In contrast the sons of Aaron’s priesthood was from bodily descent:
“If therefore perfection had been reached by the Levitical priesthood by which the law was enacted for the people, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the Order of Melchizedek? Otherwise, the scriptures would have said he would be after the Order of Aaron. Since there was also a change in the priesthood, so also there was a change in the law. For he concerning whom these things are spoken was born of another tribe, from which no man ever ministered at the altar, For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah, of which tribe Moses said nothing concerning the priesthood. And yet it is far more evident because he said that another priest would RISE after the Order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:11-15 Aramaic – Lamsa’s Translation).
Thus a clear contrast. The high priesthood connected to Melchizedek is due to the ascent of resurrection, which is the power of indestructible life:
• “One who was not appointed after the las of carnal commandments, but after the power of life which abides for ever” (Hebrew 7:16 Aramaic – Lamsa’s Translation).
• “Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life” (Hebrews 7:16 KJV).
• “And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:15-16 NASB).
~ Robin Main