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Communion Meditations (2017)

Three Passes

Originally scheduled for February 19

There are three places in Scripture where God “passes over” — that is, overlooks — the sins of his people.

·         The first of these is in the Passover as outlined in the book of Exodus. You recall that the Israelites were to feast upon a lamb, then take some of its blood and painted on the lintels and the door posts. The angel of death would see this blood and pass over that house instead of killing all the firstborn inside.

·         Later, the Israelites were instructed to construct what is now known as the Ark of the Covenant. I would draw your attention to its lid — also called the “Atonement Cover” or the “Mercy Seat.” Underneath that cover was the evidence of the sins of Israel. By constructing this box at God’s instruction, the Israelites gave God a picture not of their sins but of their holiness.

·         The third instance, of course, is the salvation by grace which is offered in the New Testament.

In each of these instances God is following a particular pattern. First, we should observe that God is not blind. It is not that he can’t see the sins of the people; it is that he has interposed something else between the sins and his view. He sees something else. That something else stands between sin and God, and therefore satisfies his requirement for our righteousness. The blood of the Passover, the Atonement Cover and the Cross are what he sees. Notice, however, that God himself has prescribed these three things. He has not only prescribed them, he has prophesied them. He is the one that chooses the way that allows his people to be saved. We are not privileged to say to him that we are counting up cosmic brownie points of righteousness; he tells us how it is to be done.

Communion is given to us to help us to remember that he does not see our sin. He has placed the righteousness of Christ between us and his view of us. Therefore he sees the righteousness of Christ, not our sinful lives. This is something that God had planned from the beginning. He had his prophets tell us about it throughout the Old Testament and we see it fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It is his method; it is his plan.

So, as you partake this morning, remember the price that was paid to cover up your sins. The bread, his body and the cup, his blood, are given so that you will remember that the body and blood of Christ stands between you and God’s view of your sin.

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