Sunday, January 4, 2015

Melchizedek - Communion Meditation

He’s a figure of mystery, this Melchizedek.  Some say he is the pre-incarnate Christ.  Others take him at face value;  he is the king of Salem (which means peace; shalom).  The theories abound.  But we may note two things about him:

· He greets Abram (Abraham) with bread and wine, the same elements used in Passover and in the Lord’s Supper.

· Abram tithes to him, thus marking him as superior. 
The event then seems to disappear.  There is no mention of Melchizedek in the Scripture until about a thousand years pass, when he is mentioned in one of the prophetic Psalms.  The explanation, such as we have, is found in the book of Hebrews.  So it seems that he remains a mystery—until you consider what happens next.

The chapter divisions don’t help us much here.  For the very next thing to happen to Abram is that God establishes his covenant with Abram.  It is a covenant of promise and prophecy.

· Promise.  He promises Abram three things
1. God will be his shield and reward.  Protection from evil and reward for righteousness will come from God.

2. Despite his age (about 99) he and his wife will have a son.  This, of course, is Isaac.

3. His descendants will be as numerous as the stars.

· There is prophecy also:
1. His descendants will return to the land of Canaan in four generations—because of the sins of the Amorites.

2. His descendants will be enslaved for 400 years—but at the end of that time God will lead them out of slavery into the Promised Land.

3. Then, there is The Land.  A large section of the Middle East is promised to his descendants.

Is there a connection?  It seems so—for bread and wine mediate two more covenants, the one with Moses and the one from the Messiah.  It seems God has a menu for the occasion.  He also insists upon a priest, evidently.  Abram had Melchizedek; Moses had Aaron; we have Christ.
What does a priest do?  May I suggest these three:

· The priest intercedes—speaking on behalf of the others to Almighty God.

· He also is to bring God’s will to man, so that we might learn obedience to God.

· And, the priest is empowered to pronounce God’s blessings upon us.
Your priest, Christ, does all this for us and more. The name of Melchizedek did not vanish with Abram; in David’s time his name is recalled—so that we might understand that Christ is our High Priest.  This priesthood was bought with a price at Calvary; what He paid, we could not.  Let us remember His intercession for us in the simple elements used by Melchizedek so long ago.

-- borrowed from (delivered orignally April 20, 2006)

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