[Sept 18]--The Lord’s Supper: Salvation Past

1 Cor. 11:23-26

Both of the ordinances of the Christian experience (communion and baptism) are rich images for us. In fact, both of them are pictures of salvation past, present, and future.

The past element of the Lord’s Supper is pretty obvious. It commemorates and memorializes what happened on a Thursday evening/Friday morning about 2,000 years ago. The torn bread symbolizes his body, which was broken for us. He was scourged with a Roman whip, which had bits of bone in every strip, so that as the victim was struck, his back was torn to pieces. He was beaten, spit upon, and finally hung upon a cross. It was a horrible death reserved for slaves and the basest of criminals. We don’t know how Paul died, but we know that he didn’t die this way, since Roman citizens were exempt from this. My friend, the cross is where we get the word excruciating from. The writer of Hebrews says that “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” His body's become for us a “new and living way” into the presence of the Father.

And there is his blood, symbolized by the wine (or grape juice, if you prefer). Neither wine nor grape juice are simply poured out of a tap—they are produced by squeezing the very life out of the grapes. Again, the writer of Hebrews gives us some insight into this: “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” When you sin, something has to die. God only has one real penalty for sin: death. Physical death, then spiritual death is the lot of every one of Adam’s kin. But due to what Jesus accomplished on the cross, our sin does not have to lead to our death. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, and by it we’re redeemed (literally “bought back”).

All of this was for our benefit. Ours was the sin, and his was the pain. Ours was the transgression, and his was the blood spilt for it. This is why, when we eat the torn-apart bread and drink from the cup, we do it “in remembrance” of him.

Now for your edification, here's "Come To The Table" by Michael Card.

Lord Jesus, I don’t know what else to say, besides “thank you.” I belong to you twice-over, once because you made me and once because you’ve bought me back. I’m yours, so please help me to live like it.

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