There is a rather mysterious character mentioned in the Bible. He is introduced in the book of Genesis chapter fourteen. His name is Melchizedek. He is identified as the King of Salem later called Jerusalem. He is also identified as the King Priest of God Most High. What is so fascinating about this King-Priest is what he brings to Abram, later called Abraham, after he has defeated the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah in battle returning his captured nephew Lot and his possessions. What he brings to Abram is a distant reminder of what Jesus of Nazareth highlighted at the passover meal just before his crucifixion namely, bread and wine.
According to John Mastrogiovanni in his book Melchizedek, Our Gracious King Priesthood in Christ, “The Melchizedekian king-priest order is like no other priesthood in the known world. Whether Aaronic/Levitical or pagan, the Melchizedekian order stands in a place all by itself. The crucial element of its priesthood is that it brings a revelation of the Divine through a Living Temple” This Living Temple is the dwelling place and where the presence of God Most High abides of which Melchizedek is the king-priest.
What I hold up for the reader to consider is centered around the bread and wine Melchizedek brought to Abram. I don’t think it was a coincidence that Jesus highlighted bread and wine indicating what it represented to and for his disciples. It is recorded in the Gospels Jesus showing that the bread represented his body that is broken for you and the wine represented his blood that was shed for you. All this was done before his disciples really understood just what was going to happen that fateful night and what would eventually follow the next two days.
It is recorded in the gospel of Luke chapter 22 and verse 19 that Jesus took a loaf of bread and after giving thanks broke it and gave it to them saying, “This is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Much earlier during his ministry Jesus had indicated that he was the Bread of Life. A number of places in scripture reveal how bread is synonymous with Life.
Regarding wine, there are places in scripture that highlight the essentialness of wine’s spiritual necessity because it comes from the Vine (John 15) of which we all are branches. One such example is the wedding feast at Cana where Jesus turns water into wine. This being the first reported miracle Jesus performs, is it possible that wine would play a significant role particularly when one considers that Melchizedek brought wine as one of the components of the priestly function of God Most High to Abram?
Anyone can enter a local grocery store that sells bread and wine. One can pass by the shelves where the numerous loaves of bread are on display for purchase never giving any thought to what the bread represents. Likewise, one can walk past the numerous bottles of wine displayed on the grocery store shelves never giving any thought to what the wine represents. I hold up for us all a challenge that is based on remembrance. I know the church likes to highlight communion services consecrating certain types of bread and wine to make that service official. But consider that the most important aspect of the bread and wine, no matter where it is encountered, opens the door for our remembrance of God Most High in Christ Jesus! This awareness places each of us within the same priestly order as Melchizedek. This priestly order has ministry to all as the very key to our existence and this ministry is driven by Love. “In remembrance”, as has been suggested in other entries, would not be possible unless we were already acquainted and familiar. Otherwise Peter would not have had the insight to tell Jesus that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.