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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.”—Genesis 14:17 (NKJV)
Abram has just scored a stunning victory. With the help of three hundred and eighteen trained servants, but most importantly, with the blessing of God, he pursues and defeats a coalition of kings who has subjugated the people of Sodom. Among them, Abram’s nephew, Lot.
This is an unprecedented upset, because even Sodom’s own king is unable to overcome these invaders. So when Abram returns from the battle, the king of Sodom naturally goes out to meet him with great gratitude. But before that encounter takes place, Abram is greeted by another character; and one of the most fascinating characters in all the Bible, at that. He meets with a man named Melchizedek. Pay close attention to how God’s Word describes him: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.” Genesis 14:18 (NKJV).
Let’s note a few features about Melchizedek. His name literally means, “king of righteousness;” he is the king of Salem, which means “peace,” and which many archeologists believe to be what we now identify as the city of Jerusalem. He’s identified with and presents bread and wine. He also serves as a priest of God and fulfills the role of a prophet by speaking for God as he pronounces a blessing on Abram. Lastly, he accepts adoration from Abram by receiving a tenth of all he has.
If you haven’t caught on already, Melchizedek exhibits several similarities to Jesus. In name, in roles, in actions . . . in just about every way, this man seems to mirror the Messiah. In fact, many respectable biblical scholars believe that Melchizedek is actually a Christophany; that is, a physical manifestation of the eternal Christ prior to His earthly incarnation.
Whether Melchizedek is an actual appearance of Christ centuries before His birth or not, everyone can agree that he points ahead to the person and work of Jesus. Consider all Jesus is and does for us. He’s our hope for righteousness. He’s our King who secures our peace. He’s our priestly intercessor before God, our faithful prophet who speaks divine truth, and the One we adore and give our substance to. He’s also the One who holds out the bread of His broken body and the wine of His shed blood to us, offering it as a symbolic reminder of how loved and accepted we are by Him.
In John 5:39, Jesus says that all of God’s Word ultimately points to Him. That’s never more evident than right here! Truly, the Word of God is all about Jesus; and the more we see Him, and the more we can focus on Him, the more like Him we are likely to become (Romans 8:29).
DIG: What does Melchizedek point to? How?
DISCOVER: What biblical principle is Melchizedek evidence of?
DO: Make it a point to specifically search for Jesus each time you study Scripture.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.