Summary: A communion message reflecting on Jesus' command to share the cup and break the bread in remembrance of Him.
When we come around to a time of communion, our attention can’t help but be drawn to the two elements. We have the bread, and we have the grape juice. But these two symbols represent something bigger, and much more important that bread and juice.
We are all familiar with the Last Supper celebrated between Jesus and his Disciples, as part of the Passover celebrations. We read that Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and giving it to his disciples told them that it was his body given for them, and that they are to do this in remembrance of him.
After that, he took the cup, and explained to the disciples that the cup is like the new covenant in his blood, which is poured out for them.
And we are told to do this in remembrance of him.
Remembrance is a time actively remembering something. It is an action, it is not a passive event. We are called to actively participate in remembering Christ.
You know, when we think of remembrance, we may recall Remembrance Day, when we pause to recall the sacrifice that our fellow Australians made for our freedom. We may go down to the cenotaph and watch as our brave soldiers march, and pause to reflect the sacrifices made, and the loses that are suffered.
And Communion is much the same. It is an opportunity for us to pause on the awesome sacrifice that our Lord, our King Jesus made on that cross around 2000 years ago.
Jesus, when he was sharing his last supper with disciples, told them that the cup is the new covenant in his blood.
A covenant is a legal binding contract. When we think of it like that, we may think of something like a phone contract or a property lease. Each party receives what they want out of the deal, but remain completely separate from each other.
But a covenant with God isn’t like that. A covenant with God is all about relationship. He wants us to be in relationship with him. He longs for us to come into that relationship. God never wanted us to be separated from him.
So God made a covenant with Moses at Mount Sinai. This covenant, although it was about relationship, was about law. This covenant was a system of laws, codes, rituals and observances. And people were accountable to these laws.
We often think of this as being the 10 commandments, but actually the number of laws in total was 613. And every time the people failed to live by the standards of the Old Covenant they had to offer a sacrifice to God.
Here’s the thing, the law was never meant to save us. The law was never meant to save us. We, ourselves, could never live by the law. To live perfectly and righteously by the law was impossible. It would be the same as saying that you never make mistakes. We all make mistakes, and we all fall short of the glory of God, and we all fall short of God’s righteous standards. We all sin, and the wages of sin is death.
The purpose of the old covenant was to show people that they were guilty before God and in need of a Saviour!
So can you imagine a life in that old covenant? A life where you had to try to live a perfect life, trying your hardest to abide by 613 difficult laws. 613 laws that were never meant to save us. 613 laws that could never fully restore our relationship with our Father God.
So in a moment we will take communion together. And as we do, let’s remember what God did for us so that we could not only have a restored relationship with him, but that we could spend eternity with him.
To achieve this purpose, God had to send his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die as a sacrifice for our sins. God himself suffered for his people. God himself was crucified, and died a horribly painful death in our place. God himself had to be sacrificed, because only God himself could take away the curse of sin. And you know, Christianity is the only faith group where God paid the penalty of sin, to ensure that we can spend eternity with him in heaven. This is how much God loves us, that he paid the ultimate price so that we can spend eternity with him. There is no greater love than this.
When Jesus was on that cross, he said that it is finished.
What was finished?
Our debt was paid.
Our debt was paid in full.
No other sacrifices were required,
no more animals, no more blood,
no dark cloud of guilt hanging over us because of our sin,