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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Origins of the Lord's Supper

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 Origins of the Lord's Supper

Melchizedek met Abram (not yet Abraham) and brought with him bread and wine. Melchizedek was designated as the priest of the Most High God and the writer of Hebrews says that God had sworn and will not repent that Christ was forever named and made to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. What did Melchizedek and Abram do with the bread and wine that Melchizedek brought? Did they just eat a meal together or did they partake of "the meal?" When Christ served the Lord's Supper in the upper room did this signify the reappearance of the Melchizedek priesthood which was vastly superior to the Levitical priesthood? So, my sincere question is, did the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist, first take place in the Upper Room the night before Christ was crucified or did it first occur in Genesis 14:17-18 when Melchizedek (likely Christ) "brought out bread and wine.?"

What do you think?

Thank you.


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David Winter

 2018/2/14 9:55Profile
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 Re: Origins of the Lord's Supper

It would seem that the Lords Supper as instituted by Jesus and confirmed by Paul was intended as a commemoration, a remembrance, of Christ’s death on the cross.

I am therefore not sure how the episode in Genesis fits that pattern.


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Todd

 2018/2/14 11:04Profile
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 Re:

Good question, the only thing I can say is that Jesus was only referred that way after His resurrection, I’ll be interested to see what the others have to say.


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D.Miller

 2018/2/14 13:19Profile
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 Re:

David,

Interesting topic you have brought up regarding Melchizedek and Abraham.

There are many 'types' of the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice in the OT of which this must be one. As you stated, the NT teaches that Melchizedek is a 'type' of Jesus in His priestly role. These 'types' God put in scripture to teach about His redemption, so it is possible this was a forerunner of the Lords Supper (don't like the word Eucharist, with it's connection to the Catholic heresy).

Did Abraham know what this was about at that time? Probably not, but we should remember how close Abraham, the 'friend of God' was to the LORD. Years later he was involved in acting out the very sacrifice that was the 'type' of God sacrificing His son. I think that it was revealed to him through this what God was going to do through Jesus. Remember what Jesus said "Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it"! How did he see it? It could only be through this event of sacrificing Issac..and possibly then he realised what the bread and wine was all about, but we don't know. One day we will find out!

Interesting things to ponder....


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Dave

 2018/2/14 13:52Profile
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 Re: Grace before the law and the Melchizedek priesthood

To Abraham and his seed the promises were made and the law which came 430 years later did not annul the covenant that was confirmed before in Christ (Gal 3:16-17). So grace and even the gospel had already been preached before the law to Abram because the promises were only obtainable by faith - "Abram believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Gen 15:6).

So grace was around before the giving of the law and perhaps the same with the eternal priesthood of Christ. He has been made a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. I don't quite understand all things about this somewhat enigmatic figure presented to us as Melchizedek but his is the first mention of a priest and perhaps serves as the prototype of where God was going. Christ is as Melchizedek was so perhaps at the Last Supper, when Christ presented bread and wine the same as Melchizedek did, the Melchizedek priesthood was reappearing as it accompanied the official enacting of the new covenant founded on grace and the shedding of Christ's blood. Grace and the eternal priesthood work hand in hand so to speak. When one was officially enacted the eternal priesthood accompanied it as God had always intended. Levitical priests were forbidden to be kings and priests. Melchizedek was a king and a priest - the king of Salem (later Jerusalem) and priest of the Most High God (Gen 14:18). Christ was king and priest when he served up the bread and wine on the night before He was crucified. Yet, perhaps that which we designate as the Last Supper, Communion, actually first occurred when Melchizedek (likely Christ) met Abram with bread and wine - "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine" (Gen 14:18).

I'm kind of musing out loud here. Comments welcome if you are so inclined. Nothing I have said is to be taken as if I believe it is written in stone. I think there's something here though.

Thank you.


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David Winter

 2018/2/15 10:40Profile
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 Re:

David, I think you are right. There is something here and you bring out some good points.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So too is His redemptive grace. Jesus is the Lamb slain before the creation of the earth.

Is Melchizedek a Christophany? I'm not sure. It is possible, but Hebrews says Jesus is a Priest IN THE ORDER OF (like) Melchizedek. Anyway he is is quite a mysterious character.


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Dave

 2018/2/15 13:32Profile
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 Re: Origins of the Lord's Supper


David: The Communion we take had its origins in the Passover. Where unleavened bread and wine were used.

see
https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/passover/

as to melchizedek, there maybe a type in that, but its undefined whereas the Passover is well defined.

If you read the whole link you will be more than saavy to the Passover and the Christian communion or Lords supper.


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Marvin

 2018/2/15 16:04Profile
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Marvin,

I know you addressed this David not me, but thought I would comment.

Of course you are correct in stating the Lord's Supper is rooted in the Passover and that in fact was what Jesus was celebrating with His disciples. However the discussion was about that interesting encounter Abraham had with Melchizedek and if that pre-dated both Passover and the Lord's supper.

I see in scripture an unfolding and increasing revelation of redemption from Genesis through the OT to it's fulfillment in the NT. For example we have the first lamb sacrifice with Abel, then God revealing to Abraham that He will provide a lamb, onto the Passover lamb introduced in Exodus and the Law in Deuteronomy. Then Issaiah 53 identifies the Lamb as a person and then into the NT that identifies further who that person is, etc.
So too is it possible that the bread and wine incident with Melchizedek is the beginning of the revelation of this aspect of redemption? Worth a study I think.


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 2018/2/16 9:05Profile





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