Lent Devotion for March 2
"…a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine."
Reader: “Here is a passage from the Old Testament…”
Response: “…that points to the Lord’s Supper in the New Testament.”
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 14:17-20
17 After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High,
who has defeated your enemies for you.”
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26:26-29
26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
Reader: “The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
Sometimes some of us may be inclined to think that the Scriptures of the Old Testament have been fulfilled and therefore, kind of irrelevant. We focus our time reading in the New Testament because that is where we read about Jesus and the death, resurrection, and the beginning of the Church. So, to our great loss, we spend much less time in the first thirty-nine books. The above passages are an example. Abram was returning from a victorious battle. He was greeted by Melchizedek, who was the king of Salem (Jerusalem). Here, Melchizedek brings bread and wine to Abram with the blessing of God. Bread represented “life” to the Jews and wine spoke of “joy in living.” Bread and wine played significant roles in Jewish worship. We read specific detail of the preparation of bread for the Tabernacle and later, the Temple. Bread and wine were associated with God’s blessing. The priest of God, Melchizedek, blessed the one who put his trust in God, Abram. The seeds of a new understanding of the significance of bread and wine in worship were sown in this account. Two thousand years later, Jesus, the High Priest, would proclaim and give new meaning to these ancient elements of worship. He built on this fellowship aspect of worship with those who trust God, fulfilling its meaning in which He eternally became part of the celebration with His body and His blood being represented with the bread and the wine in a unique Holy Spirit way. Tomorrow we’ll say more about Melchizedek.
MUSIC: “Be Thou My Vision” by Sam Robson
Our Holy God and Father in heaven, we confess that we have often read the familiar and favorite parts of Scripture and have not done the work of reading the unfolding details of your story. As a result, we have cheapened the significance of what you have done and are doing. We have read your word as a series of isolated events and stories, failing to see the glorious larger picture unfolding through the centuries in the biblical era. Forgive our laziness and willingness to embrace a minimum effort. Stir within us a passion for reading and finding you on every page of your Holy Word. This we pray in our Savior’s name. Amen.