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Summary: “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘this is my body which is given for you; do this 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 f

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Luke 22:14-22 Theme: The blood of the new covenant

Text: Luke 22:14-22

Today is worldwide communion day and to celebrate our unity in the Body of Christ we have gathered from various congregations in the district to partake of the Holy Communion. The communion, using the elements of bread and wine, which signify the Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is a reminder and memorial of Jesus’ perfect life on earth and His death on the cross. It is a reminder of the forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. We need to be reminded less we forget as Pharaoh did – he forgot Joseph and what he had done for Egypt and enslaved his descendants. We need to be reminded less we forget what Christ has done for us, less we forget how His body was broken and how His blood was shed. We need to be reminded less we forget His agony in Gethsemane when His sweat became blood. We need to be reminded less we forget the cruel beatings, the crown of thorns, the pulling out of His beard, the brutal scourging, the nails driven through His hands and feet, and the spear thrust into His side. We need to be reminded less we forget that He laid down His life for the sins of all mankind. We need to be reminded less we forget that our relationship with God is based on a New Covenant in His blood. If His first disciples, who were first hand witnesses, needed to observe the Communion, then we also need to do so as a reminder of what Christ endured to pay for our sins. We need to remember because everything we have as Christians is centred in Christ’s death – centred in the blood of the New Covenant.

The blood of Jesus Christ ushers us into the New Covenant. The basis on which God makes a covenant is always a sacrifice. Without a sacrifice there can be no covenant and wherever there is a sacrifice there must be the shedding of blood. We all know that the Bible has come to us in the form of two covenants or testaments, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Covenant between God and Israel was dedicated with the blood of sacrificed animals. As a result of this covenant God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and when Israel became a nation God gave them the Law as part of the covenant. The covenant bound God to His Word and Israel to the terms of the covenant. The New Testament is a new covenant, a new agreement, and a new promise ratified, enacted and sealed in the blood of Jesus Christ. Without shedding His blood there was no possible way Jesus could have established a new covenant between God and man. Under the Old Covenant only one man could approach God in the Holy of Holies once a year. This took place on the Day of Atonement. On that day the Jewish High Priest, after many washings and purifications and with the blood of sacrificed animals, went into the Holy of Holies where he sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat to make atonement for his sins and the sins of the nation. This only covered the sins of the nation for one year and had to be repeated yearly. This is the reason why the High Priest never sat down while performing the ceremony. In the foreknowledge of God all this was designed to foreshadow what was to be accomplished by the single all sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ after offering His blood sat down at the Father’s right hand signifying that no sacrifice would ever be needed again. The blood of Christ had accomplished eternal redemption for all mankind.

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