9: Genesis 14:18-20c

COPYRIGHT WARNING

365 Prophecies: Prophecy 9

The future sacrifice of the Messiah illustrated in the bread and wine of Melchizedek.

Old Testament Prediction:

Genesis 14:18c Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Mark 14:22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”

John 6:49-51 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

John 6:54-56 “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

Application:

There are many occasions in the study of Bible Prophecy where there is a dual fulfillment of a single prophecy. In this 9th Old Testament Prophecy that Jesus fulfilled, we find that this is the case.

Genesis 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.

As in our study of the 8th Prophecy that Jesus fulfilled in Genesis 14:8b, we see that God was seeking to show us a picture in the Old Testament of the future sacrifice that Jesus would make later in the New Testament.

What is the significance of Melchizedek bringing Abraham bread and wine and pronouncing a blessing upon Abraham if not to foreshadow the future event of Jesus’ sacrifice for us?

Jesus said that not a single Jot or Tittle of the scriptures are there by accident:

Matthew 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

The Jot and Tittle are the smallest artifacts in the Hebrew alphabet. The Jot is represented by a small dash or a hook above or below a letter; these seemingly insignificant parts of Hebrew words are described by Jesus as being just as important as the words they highlight.

jot_and_tittle[1]

The Tittle is the small stroke at the edge of a Hebrew letter that allows letters of similar appearance to be distinguished from each other. Notice that in the example above, the small stroke added where the arrow is pointing distinguishes this letter from the similar letter to the right.

When the man clothed in linen spoke to Daniel regarding the prophecies that he has been given of the last days, he told Daniel:

Daniel 12:10 …none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.

Those people who have not come into a relationship with God by the sacrifice of the Messiah will not be able to comprehend the truth of these prophecies. They will seem foolish to them and make no sense at all. The Bible describes the fact that the natural man, the person who has yet to be Born Again by the Spirit of God, cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness to Him.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The person who has come into a new relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, is able to understand the things of the Spirit of God. This person will be looking for the seemingly insignificant parts of the word of God to discover what the Lord might reveal. The intellectual, the scientist and astrophysicist, the mathematician, and the philosopher, who do not have the Spirit of the Living God residing within them, cannot understand any of these things because they are spiritually discerned. I am not surprised that highly intelligent men and woman think that Jesus, the Bible, and Prophecy are foolishness. This is what the Lord said would happen when those who think themselves wise are confronted with spiritual truth, they will not understand it.

1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

Jesus is giving us a hint that we should be paying attention to every tiny detail of the Bible and search out its deeper meaning. The skeptic of the Bible will often point out that it was written by men. They claim that the Bible is full of contradictions, and that it cannot be relied upon. The truth is that great men have carefully scrutinized the individual books of the Bible for thousands of years. Before the sixty-six individual manuscripts became a single integrated book, these documents were judged to be the word of God and absolutely reliable. As many scoffers and skeptics of the Bible have died and gone from the earth, the Bible remains the only source of truth, continually being validated by archeological discoveries, advances in science and mathematics. If the Lord should tarry in His return and man should continue to make discoveries regarding the origin of the universe, foolishness such as macro evolution and the secular doctrine of the none existence of God will fall away into obscurity. Every increasing discovery in man’s expanding knowledge of the universe confirms and substantiates the existence of God and validates what the Bible has taught all along.

For example, the Bible is full of specific and accurate statements about the laws of physics:

The nature of our solar system
The nature of the earth
The life forms on planet earth

The very first verse of the Bible speaks of the beginning of Time, Space, and Matter.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning (Time) God created the heavens (Space) and the earth. (Matter)

Notice that these three are in the exact order that they should be. Perhaps we should pay more attention to the scriptures.

The number of stars

When the Bible was written, there were no telescopes to determine the number of stars in the universe. The total number of stars that could be seen with the naked eye were no more than 3-4,000. We find in the writings of the prophet Jeremiah that God said that there are so many stars in the universe, that they cannot be numbered.

Jeremiah 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered.

Today, some astronomers estimate (the number ever increasing) that there are 300 Sextillion Stars in the Universe. Recent discoveries through the uses of powerful observational instruments at Keck Observatory in Hawaii has revealed that small dim stars known as red dwarfs are in far greater numbers that previously believed. This added ability to see so many more stars than previously was possible, has boosted the estimated number of stars in the known universe by three hundred percent to about 300 Sextillion stars.[2]

300_sextillion_stars[3]
The star field on the left represents a star field of the Milky Way galaxy as seen by older instruments. The new star field on the right illustrates the greatly increased number of stars that can now be seen today using new and more powerful instruments at Hawaii’s Keck Observatory.

The Sun follows a circuit

Three thousand years ago, the writer of Psalm 19 described the sun as following a circuit or circular course through the universe.

Psalms 19:4-6 He has set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, 5 And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. 6 Its rising is from one end of heaven, And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Today, through the use of powerful telescopes, we now know that the sun is part of an enormous spiral galaxy called the Milky Way. The sun does, in fact, move in a circuit or circular course through the universe at speeds of more than 600,000 miles per hour. The milky way galaxy itself is flying through space at an estimated speed of over 2 million miles per hour.

How did the Psalmist know this 3,000 years ago? Obviously, he didn’t know. The Bible claims that Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. This is the method by which God wrote the scriptures found in the sixty-six books of the Bible.

2 Peter 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The amazing power of the Living God is such that He is able to speak to men who have set themselves aside for the Lord, so as to be used by Him. They write under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, what He wants them to say. Why this is difficult for people to believe is beyond me. It is logical that if there is a God that has the technology and power to create this vast and complex universe, He is certainly able to cause men to write what He wants them to communicate to all other human beings and preserve His word over time.

The earth is a sphere

Christopher Columbus is credited in 1492 with discovering that the earth is a sphere and not flat, as was believed before he set off across the vast Atlantic ocean to discover the Americas. Up to that point, it was the general consensus in the world that if a sailor navigated too far across the Atlantic, that he would sail right off the edge of the earth.[4]

The Greek mathematician Pythagoras proposed that the earth was a sphere, 600 years before Jesus was born.[5]

300 years before Christ, the actual first proof that the earth was a sphere was given by Eratosthenes who measured the circumference of the Earth.[6]

The Greek philosopher Hipparchus and Aristotle wrote in 200 years B.C.; both reached the same conclusion that the earth was really a sphere.[7]

In all these theories that the Earth was a sphere, none could match the Bible which stated that the Earth is a Circle nearly 2,800 years ago. That is more than 100 years before the earliest Greek Mathematician proposed that the earth was, in fact, round.

Isaiah 40:22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

Isaiah wrote this under the direction of the Holy Spirit nearly 700 years before Jesus was born. The original Hebrew word that Isaiah used for circle is khug, which could be translated as circle or sphere.

Earth hangs in empty space

For much of the earth’s early history, it was believed that our planet rested upon Atlas, or Hercules. The Hindus said that the earth sat upon a giant Elephant, or a Turtle.

The idea that the earth could float freely in empty space was a principle completely unknown and unrealistic idea to all ancient societies. And yet, in the oldest book of the Bible, Job provides an incredible piece of scientific information about what actually holds the earth in space.

Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.

Not a single person on the earth had any idea at the time that Job penned these words, that the earth was suspended by gravity in open space. It was impossible that Job could have known this himself. God revealed this fact to Job, and it was recorded for all mankind in the Hebrew scriptures. The problem is that most of the intellectual and highly educated men and women in the world pay no attention to the Bible.

God placed scientific, mathematical and astronomical facts about the earth and the universe in the Bible so that when they were discovered, it would be known that this information came from an intelligence outside of time, space, and earth itself.

The Atom

A scientific discovery that has only recently been known in the last 150 years is the microscopic structure of the atom. All matter in the universe is made up of invisible material called atoms. These micro particles have smaller internal components called protons, neutrons and electrons. Within these infinitesimally small parts of the atom are even smaller and completely invisible subatomic particles, called quarks, pions and gluons.

Almost 2,000 years before scientists discovered the atom and its subatomic components, the Bible contained a verse of scripture that says, All the things that we can see are made up of things that are invisible.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

If the Bible is written only by men, how does it contain information that no man knew at the time the books of the Bible were written? How did Paul know about the invisible properties of the atom almost 2,000 years before scientists discovered these properties?

Pathways through the seas

In 1855, a man by the name of Matthew Fontaine Maury published a book regarding his discovery of the currents within the oceans of the world. In Maury’s book, he wrote that if ships would use these passageways in the seas, they could greatly increase their speed through which they traveled from land to land across the oceans. Today, Maury is referred to as the father of oceanography and the pathfinder of the seas.[8]

Knowledge of these ocean currents which act as rivers through the seas is widely known and utilized today. Once a ship is placed within these paths in the sea, they are moved along at a much greater pace using less fuel and time.

Nearly 2,800 years before Maury wrote his book on the pathways of the seas, the Bible contained the 8th Psalm with verse 8, which reads:

Psalms 8:8 … the fish of the sea …That pass through the paths of the seas.

Nearly 800 years before the arrival of Jesus, the Prophet Isaiah wrote of, “a way through the sea and a Path through the mighty waters.”

Isaiah 43:16 Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters…

At the time that Isaiah wrote this verse, no one had knowledge of these paths through the sea. They would not be discovered for nearly 2,700 years. The only seas that man knew about, at the time that Isaiah wrote this verse, were the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea. None of which had a path through them.

The Bible demonstrates over and over again that God predicted and revealed information about the earth, the heavens, and the events of the future through His word. He did this so that we would know that God is the Author of the Bible and that He does in fact exist in this great and magnificent universe.

No skeptic or critic of the Bible can deny that the Bible speaks of these scientific facts hundreds or thousands of years before any scientist discovered them. These words were not written after the fact. The books of the Bible that contains this amazing scientific information have already been scrutinized and verified by scholars. These passages in the books of the Bible were written from decades to centuries before the scientific community knew anything about these facts.

For example, in the widely criticized book of Isaiah, which was a part of the Pentateuch and was written almost 2,300 years ago, all the words of Isaiah, including Isaiah 43:16 regarding the paths of the seas, were in the Pentateuch version of Isaiah, 2,000 years before these paths were discovered by man.

The Hydrologic cycle

Today, we can turn on the Weather Channel and find out what the weather will be like in our own neighborhood or nearly any place on the earth, in just a few minutes. The Hydrological Cycles, which control the wind, the clouds, and the moisture that bring our rain, snow and hail, were discovered about 300 years ago by the French Scientists Parrault and Edme Mariotte. These men discovered the cycle of wind, that evaporates the lakes and seas that makes the clouds, that releases the precipitation that waters the earth. [9]

Commonly referred to as the Hydrologic Cycle, the basic principles of this phenomenon are necessary in understanding the weather patterns of the earth.

About 4,000 years before these astute French Scientists discovered this Hydrologic Cycle, the book of Job records these words from God:

Job 36:27-28 For He draws up drops of water, Which distill as rain from the mist, Which the clouds drop down And pour abundantly on man.

The Creator of the earth told us about the Hydrologic Cycle four Millennia before any man knew it existed.

Even Solomon wrote 3,000 years ago:

Ecclesiastes 1:6-7 The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit. 7 All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.

Medical knowledge of the Bible

Finally, in this brief dissertation on the importance of paying attention to the details of the Bible, we find that God imparted physiological knowledge of the human body to Abraham thousands of years before any medical doctor knew about this important lifesaving fact.

In the Book of Genesis, God told Abraham, in chapter 17, that as a sign between God and Abraham, he should circumcise his son on the eighth day.

Ever wonder why they were to wait till the eighth day?

Babies are born without the ability to coagulate their blood and stop bleeding. This ability comes from the presence of vitamin “K” in the blood stream. It is not until the seventh day that vitamin K is produced in the system of an infant.[10] Should Abraham have tried to circumcise his son before the seventh day, the resulting profuse bleeding could have killed his son.

Today, a doctor or nurse will administer a shot of vitamin K to all newborn babies which will produce, within hours, the ability to coagulate their blood.

Again, God demonstrating in His word that He has knowledge of events in Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, and Medicine that we know nothing of.

I placed this little mini study here in this 9th Old Testament Prophecy to demonstrate the importance of very carefully paying attention to the smallest details of every word of God. This is so that we can recognize each important fact of any prophecy in discerning its fulfillment in the New Testament, and thereby apply it to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

There is an even greater factor that we should consider in evaluating the Bible.

If we believe that there is an eternal intelligence that has the technology and power to call a universe of such beauty, design, and order into being; it is reasonable to conclude that this being would also have the ability to communicate knowledge of Himself and His creation to us. Since it is by words that He spoke the universe into existence, it is logical that He would also choose to communicate with us by words.

The first chapter, first verse of the Bible introduces us to this infinite intelligence:

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.

His name is Elohim. It is interesting that this name in the Hebrew language is a compound unity. Not that there is more than one, but that within His entity, He exists as Three who are One: The Father, the Word also known as the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Later, when the Hebrew scriptures were translated into english, a name was fashioned for Elohim that depicts who He is. From the English word good, the term God was adopted to describe the Living Creator of all that exists.

The first chapter of John’s gospel tells us how He communicated with us in a most personal way, by becoming one of us:

John 1:1-14 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Fathers one and only Son. (NLT)

John’s gospel is an example of how God communicated with us both through His written word and through Jesus, the Son, called the Word of God. Because of the immenseness of His power, He is able to preserve His word to us down through every generation, to the present day. If there appears to be any inconsistency or contradiction in the Bible, the likely problem is our misunderstanding of the text or an improper application of the verse.

In the past 39 years of examining all of the purported contradictions of the Bible, I have never seen one that is valid. The source of these supposed contradictions is always from someone who is antagonistic to the Christian God or His Bible. A hostile witness is never a valid witness, for their particular view is always slanted in the direction of their bias against God before they began their investigation. Many great men and woman over the course of the past 2,000 years have carefully scrutinized every word of the Christian Bible and found that none of the claimed inconstancies or contradictions are valid.

The Old Testament was copied by hand for more than 3,000 years. The New Testament, hand copied for an additional 1,400 years. All of the basic fundamentals of the original writings have remained intact. However, due to copyist mistakes and scribal errors due to decay by the Papyrus that these ancient documents were first written upon, human errors have accumulated. Although the words of the Bible are those of the Living God, the people who duplicated the original document and subsequent copies are human beings, prone to error. It is only the original autographs of the word of God that are guaranteed to be free of error. All subsequent copies that have been made are certain to contain human errors when copying the text from one document to another. Because the original Papyrus has long since deteriorated, they no longer exists. What remains today are many thousands of copies of the original autograph of God’s word. Taking into account the fact that human error in the copying of the text over the past 3,000 years accounts for most of the misspelling and grammatical conflicts, the remaining contradictions that are claimed are simply due to a misunderstanding of the text or inappropriate interpretation.

In examining over 100 of the most commonly objected to verses of the Bible, we find the following:[11]

25 of the supposed contradictions are simply due to a misunderstanding of the historical text of the Bible.
15 of the claimed contradictions are due to the text being misread.
13 occasions in which a contradiction is imagined, there was a misuse of the original Hebrew language.
13 of the contradictions claimed by the adversary are not contradictions at all.
12 of the claimed contradictions are due to the reader not understanding the intent of the verse to which they were reading.
9 of the imagined contradictions were due to an error in the copying of the text.
6 of the contradictions that are claimed are because the reader did not have a complete awareness of the ancient history of Israel and the nations mentioned by the Bible.
4 occasions of claimed contradictions were due to a misuse of the Greek language.
4 times where a contradiction was imagined, the entire context of the verse was not read and taken into consideration.
3 of the supposed contradictions are due to a literalist interpretation rather than the contextual interpretation that the verse demands.
3 of the misunderstandings were by the false conclusions of the hostile evaluation and bias of the commentator.
1 of the claimed contradictions was due to confusion between one event and another.
1 of the contradictions that was claimed was due to the usage of an unreliable translation of the Bible.

From this short analysis of just 100 of the supposed contradictions of the Bible, it is clear that because those who make these claims of contradiction have a pre-bias to make the scriptures appear to be contradictory, it is easily accomplished when incorrect methods of interpretation are used. Those who often make these claims of contradictions or inconsistencies in the Biblical narrative are untrained themselves as well as unqualified to make these judgements. Many of those hostile to the English translation of the Bible have very little or no training in the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures and make their observations by opinion rather than scholarly diligence.

The Bible is absolutely reliable, and there are no contradictions or inconsistencies. The only certifiable problems that are known to exist are in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. All those who make claims of contradictions and inconsistencies do so for the apparent intent of discrediting the Christian gospel in order to impugn the claim that Jesus is the Messiah and the fact that He has proven His identity by the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures.

For further reading in understanding the vast evidence for the reliability of the Bible, see: Jesus as a Matter of History, and The Crucifixion of Jesus.

A correct understanding of the Bible

There are two purposes for the words of the Bible:

First: The clear and plain meaning of each text, meant to be read and understood by anyone.

Second: The deeper meaning and purpose of the verse that can only be understood by those who search out and seek to discover the hidden treasures God has placed there.

Jesus gave an example of this when He taught by the use of Parables:

Matthew 13:13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”

The Parables that Jesus spoke were illustrations of greater truths hidden beneath the surface of the story. For the casual listener, these parables were simply stories. To the diligent listener and sincere seeker of God’s truth, they were a treasure trove of eternal guidance.

The Identity of Jesus

When we arrive at the New Testament, we see that the intent of the Holy Spirit in writing the words of the Old Testament was to point the way to a greater understanding of who Jesus is.

Paul revealed that every single word of the Bible is about Jesus and for the purpose of revealing who He is:

Hebrews 10:7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ ”

When we read the text from Genesis 14:18 and see Melchizedek bringing bread and wine, the wise student of the Word of God should immediately go forward to the New Testament and seek out a counterpart. As we study the gospels, we discover that Jesus is found breaking bread and drinking wine as symbols of His death and resurrection.

Mark 14:22-23 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

The parallel between this event in the gospel of Mark describing the bringing of Bread by Melchizedek is clearly not happenstance. There are no coincidences in the Bible. Every word is placed in its precise location in the Bible for a specific purpose by the Holy Spirit.

Later Jesus said to his disciples something that both shocked and horrified them:

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”

Was Jesus saying that we must literally eat His flesh and drink His blood? Or was there a deeper spiritual meaning behind these words?

Whenever we hear the word Bread in the New Testament, we should immediately go back to that place in the Old Testament Book of Exodus Chapter 16, where Manna is given to God’s people in response to their hunger.

Exodus 16:35 “And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.”

Later in the New Testament, Jesus reveals that the Manna, described in the Book of Exodus, was really an illustration of Himself.

John 6:49-51 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Jesus said that He is The Bread of Life, available to anyone who wants to partake of Him:

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

The intended purpose of the Manna in the book of Exodus was to point us to the New Testament where Jesus would give His body as the Bread of Life. The people described in the Book of Exodus who wanted to live had to partake of the bread that God gave them. There was no hope of life apart from it. Each person had to willingly partake of the bread themselves, of their own free will. In order to live, they had to take the bread into their body and allow it to become a part of their life.

What did Jesus mean by the term: …unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.?

The Jewish leadership in Israel also wondered at Jesus’ statement. They were curious whether Jesus was commanding them to literally eat His flesh in order to have eternal life, or did He have some other intent in mind?

John 6:52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

These men did not understand what Jesus was saying because they were not really seeking spiritual truth. They heard only the surface of Jesus’ words but did not perceive their deeper meaning.

The question is: “Why didn’t Jesus clearly explain to these men what He really wanted them to understand? Why does He hide the spiritual truth of His words under the illustration of eating His flesh and drinking His blood?”

Most people have only a surface awareness of God. Many will say that they “know who Jesus is”, but upon further examination of their life, it is apparent that they do not know Him intimately. If a person comes into a sincere relationship with Jesus, it will affect the words they say, the places they go, the things they look at and the manner of living for their life. It is impossible to surrender yourself to Jesus and make Him the Lord over your life without it drastically changing you. A person who claims to know Jesus, yet lives a life that is a contradiction of the character of Jesus Himself, does not truly know Him.

Those who were well acquainted with Peter and John were aware of their character before they came to know Jesus. In the process of following the Lord, they began to change so drastically, that those who formerly were acquainted with them were shocked and amazed.

Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

By Jesus telling the Jews that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, one of two things should have happened:

One: They would hear the story and not understand it because their hearts were not really seeking spiritual truth.

Two: They would hear the story and not understand it but be driven to dig deeper and ask, “What is Jesus really saying? Surely He is not asking me to eat His literal flesh and drink His actual blood. What does He mean by this statement?”

A relationship with God does not come by casual hearing and a surface understanding. God only reveals Himself to those who are diligently seeking Him with all of their heart:

Jeremiah 29:13 “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Jesus desires that all people know Him and have a personal relationship with Him. The person who comes to the Lord must want to know Him with every fiber of His being. Without sincerity and a diligent seeking of God, He will not reveal Himself to us.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is God, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

With these things in mind, we can understand the purpose behind Jesus’ statement in John 6:53:

John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”

As the children of Israel had to take the Manna and eat it in order to live, so also must everyone, who is sincerely seeking a relationship with the Living God. As we take bread into our bodies and digest it, the elements of that bread become a part of every cell of our body.

So also must each one of us, if we want to obtain eternal life. Jesus must be taken into every fiber of your being and become a part of you. He must become your life and the reason that you live.

John 6:54-56 “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

In response to Jesus’ statement, many of those who heard Him were offended. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an offense to many people because it reminds them that they are a sinner and that they need a Savior. Many people do not want to accept this truth about themselves. People want to believe that they are basically good with a few bad attributes. The truth is that all of us are morally corrupt because of our fallen nature, and there is no cure for this inherent fault except that our old life should die and we are given a brand new life by God. 

John 6:61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?”

The purpose of Melchizedek bringing bread and wine, in Genesis 14:8, was to point the way for Jesus who would come in the New Testament and show us the significance of the Bread and Wine. The Bread is Jesus’ body which was broken for all of us. The Wine represents His Blood that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins.

When Jesus said that we must Eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood, He was speaking a spiritual example of the fact that a relationship with Him must be deep and personal and become a part of every area of our life. It is not by a casual knowledge of Jesus that a person is saved. It is through a complete and utter surrender of ourselves to Him as Lord (Master) and Savior (The method for removing our sins).

Jesus words: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”

These words were meant to drive us to find the deeper spiritual meaning of what He was saying. The fact that Jesus was speaking by a spiritual illustration is clear from John 6:63:

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

“The words that I speak to you are Spiritual…”

In other words, what Jesus is referencing to here in the illustration of His body and blood are spiritual and have to do with a changed heart. Eating the bread and drinking the wine does nothing for us, if we have not first surrendered our life to the Lordship of Jesus. The Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation is incorrect. Jesus never implied that the bread wafer nor the wine in the chalice were going to become His literal body and blood. He was speaking in a spiritual sense, the deeper meaning of coming into a true relationship with Him by our repentance from sin, and a complete turning to Him as the Lord (director) of our life.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus fulfilled this 9th Old Testament Prophecy, in Genesis 14:18, by becoming the Bread and Wine that Melchizedek brought to Abraham. Melchizedek was very likely Jesus Himself, appearing before Abraham, in the Old Testament. See prophecies 7 and 8 for further study on this subject.

The message that Jesus was seeking to convey to every person on the earth is that—all those who partake of Him as the Bread of Life and those who appropriate the blood of His sacrifice as the only way for their sins to be removed are seen as righteous in the sight of God and have, as their present possession, eternal life.


NOTES:
[1] Illustration by Rob Robinson
[2] Pieter van Dokkum – Chairman, Professor, Astronomy & Physics/Chairman, Department of Astronomy, Yale University
[3] Used by permission, Illustration: Patrick Lynch/Yale University
[4] Christopher Columbus Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 8 June 2010.
World Book – Columbus, Christopher “Columbus, Christopher”. World Book Store has the encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, homework help, study aids, and curriculum guides. 2010
[5] To the Ends of the Earth: The Age of the European Explorers,By Peter O. Koch
[6] Alfred, Randy (June 19, 2008). “June 19, 240 B.C.: The Earth Is Round, and It’s This Big
[7] Astronomies and cultures in early medieval Europe, Stephen C. McCluskey, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 22. Books.google.com. 2000-11-20. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
For general information on Hipparchus see the following biographical articles: G. J. Toomer, “Hipparchus” (1978); and A. Jones, “Hipparchus.”
[8] Diana Fontaine Maury-Corbin “Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury USN & CSN” Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S.N. and C.S.N. David L. Cohn Pathfinder of the Seas. The Nautical Gazette, May ’40
[9] Brutsaert 2005, pp. 572 ff.
[10] Shearer MJ (January 1995). “Vitamin K”. Lancet 345 (8944): 229–34. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(95)90227-9. PMID 7823718.
Wintrobe’s Clinical Hematology, 11th Edition. J.P. Greer, Foerster J., Lukens, J.N., Rodgers, G.M., Paraskevas, F., and Glader, B., editor. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkens.
Controversies concerning vitamin K and the newborn. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn”. Pediatrics 112 (1 Pt 1): 191–2. July 2003. PMID 12837888
[11] 101 Clear Contradictions in the Bible , Shabbir Ally
101 Cleared-up Contradictions in the Bible By: Jay Smith, Alex Chowdhry, Toby Jepson, James Schaeffer

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