Psalm 110: The Lord has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Hebrews 7:14-17 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For He testifies:
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
Living in Jerusalem, Simeon saw a lot of the priests. He saw them daily as they walked to and from the temple to take the shift assigned to them by lot, assemble with fellow priests, and teach the common people. He saw them don their garments like trophies and look down on anyone who didn’t descend from the line of Levi.
Obviously it didn’t mean all the priests. There had to be good and kindly ones other than the father of John the Baptist in the mix. But there had to be a substantial number that acted all high and mighty. Look at Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, for instance. Not one of the religious leaders stopped to help the injured man. Or think about the woes the Lord pronounced against the group for their false piety. There had to be a reason that the priesthood of Jesus came through a different lineage—one that predated the nation of Israel.
And the reason goes back to the curse Christ came to undo. We are all sinners. No matter how the lineage of Levi tried (or didn’t) to do what God commanded through Moses, not one did it 100% correctly.
So God the Father returned to the original plan. To create a holy people, He needed a holy and perfect priest to lead them.
Simeon looked forward eagerly to such a priest. Only He could redeem Israel.
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas