Two of Aaron’s sons died soon after they became priests (Leviticus chapter 10). They acted in an unholy manner in front of God. Fire came from the most holy place in God’s house, and it killed them.
Moses warned Aaron and his other sons. They must be especially careful when they served God as priests. They must do everything in a proper and holy manner. Otherwise, they would die too.
After that, there were many priests from Aaron’s family. Some were good, and some were bad. But of course, they all died. And so death became part of the system. That is why there had to be so many priests (Hebrews 7:23). In fact, a man could only become chief priest after the death of his father, the previous chief priest.
But there is something different about the nature of a priest like Melchizedek. Melchizedek could only serve as Abraham’s priest because he (Melchizedek) was alive at the same time as Abraham.
Melchizedek’s life matters, because he was a great priest. But his death was not important enough for the Bible to record it. Life, not death, was the nature of Melchizedek’s work as priest.
Christ was a priest like Melchizedek. And we have evidence that Christ is alive (Luke chapter 24). Although he died once, he did not remain dead (Acts 2:24-32). He has life that can never end (Hebrews 7:16). He is our living priest, who constantly prays for us (Hebrews 7:25).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.