Please Help Us Keep These Thousands of Blog Posts Growing and Free for All
which he brought about in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:20)
Which he brought about in Christ. So after Jesus had faithfully completed his earthly ministry and life, God applied his great powers in relation to Jesus when he was dead.
At that time, in the year 33 C.E., Psalm 110:1 applied, which says, “The utterance of Jehovah to my Lord is: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’” God then delivered the further command found in the following verse, saying prophetically to Jesus, “Rule in the midst of your enemies.” (Psa. 110:2) Therefore, Jesus’ position as king is amazingly greater than what David ever had. In addition, two verses later, David was inspired to say, “Jehovah has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever according to the manner of Melchizedek.’” (Ps. 110:4) Here, then, was another prophetic promise regarding the coming Messiah that God had made. Jesus’ kingdom would be superior to that of David, as he would be a priest and a king. The Mosaic Law to Israel upheld a strict separation between kingship and priesthood. In the days of Abraham, this superior office held by Melchizedek made it so that it could not be passed on to anyone. This special office was not used again until it was time to make Jesus a king and priest. That is why it is not mentioned in the Bible until Paul in his letter to the Hebrew Christians, written about 61 C.E.
Many have argued over just who Melchizedek was. Was he a real historical person, like Noah’s son Shem? Was he an angel or some superhuman being? Was he an appearance of Christ before he came to earth as the Son of God? In the book of Hebrews, the Apostle Paul, chapter 7 helps his readers see that Melchizedek was a type of Christ, and Christ was a priest and king in the manner of Melchizedek. In Hebrews 7:3, Paul writes, “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life [unrecorded], but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”
Melchizedek was a real historical person who was born and died. However, the account can be used to highlight features of similarity by the greater Melchizedek, Jesus Christ. The Melchizedek account does not mention his mother and father, not his descendant, or the birth or death, it is simply left out. Accordingly, Melchizedek could aptly foreshadow Jesus Christ, who has an unending priesthood. Jesus had no predecessor or successor to his priesthood. Moreover, Jesus’ Priesthood and Kingship are not the results of human ancestors but by being appointed by the Father.
When he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand. So, Jesus is God’s High Priest with no human connections, that is, not because of his genealogy. The apostle Paul understood that Jesus could be completed in this by his being raised from the dead and seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly places. Jesus did not seek honor for himself, “So also Christ did not glorify himself to become high priest, but the one who said to him, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you;’ just as he says also in another passage, ‘You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.’” (Heb. 5:5-6) So, Jesus, by his being raised from the dead and seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly places, was the only person worthy to be both high priest and king. This is far more superior and outstanding in extent and opportunity than those implemented and held by the Levitical priests and the Judean kings. – Heb. 7:4-17.
In the heavenly places. The Greek phrase in heavenly places (ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις en tois epouraniois) found here occurs in four other places in Ephesians. (1:3; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12) The context shows that Christians who are going to be with Christ are viewed so by God because they ‘obtained an inheritance’ with his Son. Even though some of these are still on earth, it is as though they have already been “raised up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 1:11, 18-20; 2:4-7, 22.) Paul tells us elsewhere, “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Col. 3:3) And the apostle John tells us, “Beloved ones, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when he appears, we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.” – 1 John 3:2.