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“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.”
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’”
Two troubled travellers were making their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day the news broke that the grave of Jesus was empty. The Lord joined those two and took part in their conversation. In Luke 24:27 we read, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” What passages did the Lord explain to them? We do not know the answer though we would love to have been there to eavesdrop on this unique conversation! There are so many passages He could have used.
In the verses above we have a reference to this strange person, Melchizedek, who was the king of Salem and a priest of the Most High. In Hebrews 7 we read that the priesthood of the Lord Jesus can be likened to that of Melchizedek and it is very fascinating teaching. But for our purposes now we simply want to note that Melchizedek brought out BREAD AND WINE before he blessed Abraham
We immediately think of the last evening that the Lord spent with his disciples. On that occasion He used the Passover feast to introduce a new, simple feast of remembrance concentrating on BREAD AND WINE and giving them a new symbolic meaning. Remember that this was the evening before the Lord was nailed to a cross.
He spoke of the bread as an illustration of His body that was to be broken for them. The next day He suffered scourging which caused tremendous damage to the back of the poor victim. Then nails through His hands and feet would have ripped through His flesh when the cross was lifted into an upright position. Yes, the broken body is a powerful reminder of the cross.
He then spoke of the wine as representing His blood. When the Lord had breathed His last breath, an unknown soldier came and pierced His side, from which flowed blood and water. Through the shedding of that blood, the forgiveness of all sins was made possible.
It is not difficult to see how the story of Melchizedek points us straight to the cross, though his part of the story occurred centuries earlier. Isn’t it amazing how the scriptures all tie in together?