Sunday, March 31, 2013

The First Communion

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine : and he [was] the priest of the most high God. Genesis 14:18

Such a mysterious person. Who was, or is Melchizedek? He gave communion of bread and wine to Abraham. This was hundreds of years before there was another priesthood, the one we are so familiar with, that of Aaron. Hundreds of years before there was even an Israel, or Moses. This was centuries before the law was given on Sinai.

No blood was shed by this priest. There was no animal sacrifice, just wine and bread, as we do today. This leads many to believe that Melchizedek was the preincarnate Christ, appearing as an angel in anticipation of His own death, as the Lamb of God. There is much to credit this view. Who better to appear to than Abraham?

But I do believe he was a man, great as he was. Yet he pointed the way to the blood of Christ for those who had the vision to understand. This seems so out of order to what many believe is the progression of the faithful. In this belief, the giving of the law was a great step forward, a precursor to the New Covenant we live in today.

Let me take a contrary view. The people were getting worse and worse, not better. After all what kind of people need to be told not to murder or commit adultery? What manner of people need to be informed that murder was a crime. Cain, the first person born, knew he had done a terrible wrong when he killed his brother.

Stephan, in Acts chapter seven, recounts that Israel offered sacrifices to pagan deities for forty years in the tabernacle of God.

It is that Melchizadek was showing Abraham the sacrifice of Jesus to come, just as we commemorate it in remembrance. Only he was looking forward, with such vision God gave to him.

The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizadek. Psalms 110:4

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