Let’s read Genesis 14:18-23: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out BREAD AND WINE; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him a tithe of all. Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.’ But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich’” (NKJV).

If you read this chapter from the beginning, you will see that Sodom and the cities of the plain were attacked, defeated and their goods and people were taken captive, including Abram’s nephew Lot (verses 1-12). News of this came to Abram and he took his armed servants and went and delivered the captives and all the goods (verses 13-16). The king of Sodom went out to meet Abram to take his people and to reward Abram but Melchizedek intervened and blessed Abram first (verses 18-19). What is most important and relevant to your question is the fact that Melchizedek also had a feast of BREAD AND WINE with Abram before the blessing was announced. It seems he wanted to “strengthen Abram physically” after his victory and then the blessing which followed would serve to “strengthen Abram spiritually” by reminding him of how it was God Most High that had given him the victory and that he did not need the praises of men nor any rewards from the world that has not love for God.

Is there a spiritual lesson in this for us? I believe there is and this is where the “bread and wine” come in. I believe this whole encounter between Melchizedek and Abram is a picture of Christ and the believer. Just as Melchizedek strengthened Abram PHYSICALLY with food and then SPIRITUALLY by pronouncing a blessing, so Christ wants to strengthen the believer SPIRITUALLY so that we too won’t be tempted to take anything from the world that they may offer us. As we have seen, the “bread and wine” were literal and they served to strengthen Abram and his men. But do they not speak to us of the Lord’s Supper where the Lord Jesus used “bread and wine” to remind us of His death on the cross? Let’s read Luke 22:19-20, “And He took BREAD, and gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My BODY which is given for you; this do in remembrance of Me.’ Likewise He also took the CUP after supper, saying, ‘This CUP is the new covenant in My BLOOD, which is shed for you.’” Those two emblems, the BREAD and the WINE, speak afresh to our hearts of the Lord laying down His BODY on Calvary’s cross and allowing His precious BLOOD to be shed for the remission of our sins. Every time we participate in the Lord’s Supper we are “strengthened SPIRITUALLY” by thinking of His love that led Him to take our place in death and judgment which resulted in the complete forgiveness of our sins (see Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; Ephesians 1:7; 1st John 1:7; 2:12 and Revelation 1:5). When we recall His sacrificial love, it serves to strengthen us and enable us to resist the temptations of Satan when he comes to us and offers us some worldly pleasures or possessions that would make us forget our blessed Savior.

Regarding the Passover, if you read Luke 22:1-18 you will see that the Lord Jesus had just eaten the Passover with His disciples BEFORE instituting the Lord’s Supper; in fact, the “bread and wine” that He used in verses 19-20 had just been used in the Passover. The Passover was also a “memorial feast,” for it reminded the Israelites of the “lamb that was slain and the blood that was shed” in order to redeem their firstborn sons when the angel of death PASSED OVER the land that fateful night (see Exodus 12:1-27). The Passover then is a PICTURE TO US of the Lord Jesus, for is He not “the Lamb of God whose blood was shed” in order to redeem us? Yes, He was! See John 1:29; 1st Peter 1:18-19 then 1st Corinthians 5:7. In the Passover God said, “And when I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13). In the Lord’s Supper God is telling believers in Christ, “Because you have applied the blood of My Son by faith for the forgiveness of your sins, I will pass over you when I judge the world.” This, dear fellow-believer, “strengthens us” and gives us the power to reject this world and its fleeting “pleasures of sin” when they are offered to us (see Hebrews 11:24-24-26).  (DO)  (547.1)