MELCHIZEDEK, PRIEST AND KING
“As Abram returned from his strike against Chedorlaomer and the other kings at the valley of Shaveh, the king of Sodom came out to meet him, and Melchizedek, the king of Salem, who was a priest of the God of Highest Heaven, brought him bread and wine. Then Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘The blessing of the supreme God, Creator of heaven and earth, be upon you, Abram; and blessed be God, who has delivered your enemies over to you.’ Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the spoils.”
The Last Supper was not the first celebration of communion. The first celebration took place thousands of years earlier. Abram had just achieved a victory in a battle. Four kings had captured all the herds and carried off Abram’s nephew Lot. Abram had got together 318 men, surrounded the enemy at night and attacked. He brought back Lot and all the flocks and herds.
It was then Abram met a mysterious figure, Melchizedek, king of Salem. Who was he? Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness”. Salem was the original name for Jerusalem. The modern Hebrew word ‘shalom’ – peace, comes from the same root. King of Righteousness and King of Peace. Some say this was a pre-incarnation appearance of Jesus.
But the Bible says you can’t be a priest and a king. Melchizedek brought bread and wine. Abram accepted these. In Hebrews, speaking about Jesus as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, it says, “after He had offered sacrifice for sin for ever, he sat down at the right hand of God.” Priests always stood, they never sat. But Hebrews 1:8 says, “Jesus sat”. The priests’ task was never complete, so they stood, but Jesus sat because He had completed His task. No more sacrifices would be needed again.
The bread and wine of the Last Supper were the same as the symbols offered to Abram.
Prayer: Whenever we take communion, may we remind ourselves that our great High Priest, Jesus, can now sit down at the right hand of God because His sacrifice was once for all time and all people.