Gallery Melchizedek, The King of Salem

1. november 2019

The center of the icon is dominated by the figure of the high priest Melchizedek in a gorgeous and richly decorated white-gold robe that was revealed to Moses.

“Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest. These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve me as priests. Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen. (Exodus 28:1-5)


Everything had a purpose in the earthly sanctuary. (Exodus 36-39) God gave the priests clear instructions on what to do. (Exodus 28) This was also true of the garments which the priests were to wear. “When Moses was on the mountain, he saw the pattern of the priest's robe. Every part of the priest's clothing, as well as the way it was to be made, were precisely determined. This robe was consecrated for the most noble purpose - to represent the character of the great model - Jesus Christ. It covered the priest with glory and beauty and revealed the dignity of his office. When the priest put the garment on, he acted as the representative of Israel. It demonstrated the glory that Israel was to reveal to the world as God's chosen nation.” (E.G. White, YI, June 7, 1900) About the meaning and symbolism of individual colors, fabrics, stones, chains, etc. many books have been written over the centuries. Whatever the significance of each of these things, they together represented the perfection, holiness, beauty, and dignity of "that great pattern" - our true High Priest, Jesus Christ, who serves in the heavenly sanctuary. (Hebrews 8: 1-2) In verses of Exodus 28:12; 29; 30; 38 and 42 we read about different things that were part of the robes of the priest.


Ephʹod is the top of the garment made of expensive fabric embroidered with gold, purple and scarlet. It was held by two bands decorated with precious stones set in gold, six on each side with the names of the tribes of Israel. It was tied with a woven belt, a sign of belonging to God's ministry and spiritual state, strength and power, self-control and restraint.


JESUS, OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15) In a sense, he also wears this breastplate. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:25) Thus, we can find comfort in the knowledge that our high priest is touched by our feelings, problems, pains and temptations. Like Aaron, Jesus was a man who knew the trials, sufferings and temptations of all mankind; but unlike Aaron, Jesus "did not commit sin". And this is a fundamental difference.

Because of his sinlessness, we can demand the fulfillment of two wonderful promises: (1) By faith we can appropriate the cloak of his righteousness. If we do, we know that we stand before God as perfect. (2) We can gain the same power that Jesus had - the power to overcome temptation. In Hebrews. 8:12, we read: "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." We read about those who have His law written in their hearts and therefore obey it - not to be saved, but because they are already saved. They are clothed in the robes of his righteousness, and this righteousness manifests itself in their lives.