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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

Blind Man

Originally scheduled for June 3

"Speak to Aaron, saying, 'No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the food of his God. 'For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb,
(Leviticus 21:17-18 NASB)

It may sound curious today, with our emphasis on treating everyone equally. But in the days of Moses and following, the priest who presented offerings on the altar of the Lord had to be someone with no bodily defects. The verses following list quite a few more; these restrictions are in addition to the fact that he must be a descendent of Aaron. But just being a descendent of Aaron was not good enough; you had to be bodily perfect. Which means that if you were blind, among other things, you could not present sacrificial offerings. You couldn’t even go beyond the veil to get to the altar. Interestingly, such a person was entitled to eat the offerings which were given to the priests as a share — but they could not perform the ceremony of sacrifice.

What must it be like to have God call you defective! Your author know something about this, because he wears an eye patch over his right eye. It is not an enhancement; it is not a fashion statement; defect is a good name for it. This prohibition is designed to let the people of Israel know that the real atonement for sins has to be made by somebody who is perfect. That person is Jesus Christ.

But consider the blind man at Communion:

·         It’s obvious that he is a sinner — just like the rest of us. We are all “defective” in that regard.

·         It may be that the blind man needs a little help, physically, to participate in communion.

·         But it’s also obvious that the rest of us need a little help, spiritually.

You might think of taking communion as being something you do by yourself. This is not really the case. We are told that we are to confess our sins one to another, and forgive each other. That is not a solo activity; indeed, it may need some help from those around us in the form of encouragement. Sometimes, some of us need some help with a besetting sin. We need it both in overcoming that sin, and encouragement take the Lord’s communion in repentance. We also need to take communion and fellowship with all the other believers present. If you have something against your brother you are commanded to reconcile so that you may take communion with a clean heart.

So take communion this morning in a worthy manner. Be at peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ; forgive those who have offended you and ask forgiveness for those you have offended. Then partake with the solemnity fitting the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

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