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Communion Meditations (2016)

Zounds!

1 Peter 2:24

Originally scheduled for October 23

The expression “zounds” has pretty much left the English language, except for Bugs Bunny cartoons. To pronounce it, it must rhyme with “wounds” — for it is a contraction of the expression “God’s wounds.” It was used as an expression, not exactly in polite company, to express surprise or astonishment. Our ancestors felt that the existence of the wounds of Christ was an astonishing thing. That our Lord would be wounded on our behalf seem to them to be beyond any possible expectation.

Let us consider, then, the wounds of Christ. I once heard a preacher tell me that there is nothing man made in heaven. Leaving aside the possibility that the Ark of the Covenant is there, which is what Revelation tells us, there are five other things that are man made in heaven. They are the wounds of Christ, in his side, in his hands and in his feet. These are the most visible wounds, to which we must add the general suffering of dying on a cross. It is a long, slow, painful death. But the human being is not just a physical body; the cross is not just physical injury. It also includes the humiliation of being executed as the worst of criminals. He was wounded indeed for our transgressions.

It’s important to remember that the suffering of Christ is always mentioned as being “in the body.” Christ was not some phantasm who just came along to take a part in the play that God was putting on. No, His suffering was very real, very bodily indeed. He had a body just like ours, and he suffered just like we do. Note that this suffering is voluntary; he did it for a purpose — that you and I might be forgiven of our sins and receive the grace of God.

Christ did the suffering that we might receive the results. He carried our sins in his body; therefore we are dead to sin as children of God, but alive to Christ (Romans 6:11). It is not just our acquittal on Judgment Day that we are talking about, but also the effect of not being a slave to sin. We can live as we were designed to live — in communion with God. When we partake of communion, we are to remember that it represents the body and blood of Jesus. The blood represents the life; the body the suffering. By this suffering, now, Christ is our High Priest, intervening for us with the Father. He paid the price; we got the benefit.

Therefore, as you partake this morning:

·         Remember your sin and your salvation.

·         Realize your sins, not in the abstract but specifically.

·         Repent.

Then, with clear conscience and a proper respect for what Christ has done for you, partake.

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