Melchizedek was a priest of the most high God (Genesis 14:18). He is said to be a priest forever (Psalm 110:4) because his priesthood has no record of beginning or end—he was a priest of God in Salem (Jerusalem) long before the nation of Israel and the Levitical system began. Jesus’ high-priestly role was superior to that of any priest of Levi, because the Messiah was a priest of a higher rank. The animal sacrifices had to be repeated, and they offered only temporary forgiveness; Christ’s sacrifice was offered once, and it offers total and permanent forgiveness. Under the new covenant, the Levitical priesthood was canceled in favor of Christ’s role as High Priest. The law was not intended to save people, but to point out sin and to point toward Christ. Salvation comes through Christ, whose sacrifice brings forgiveness for our sins.