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Communion Meditations (2018)

 

Covenant

Originally scheduled for October 28

It sometimes comes as a surprise to Christians that God does not conduct his dealings with humankind in the same way that we conduct our dealings with each other. God deals by covenant, which is often mistaken for a contract. Those who understand the legal nature of the contract and the covenant would tell you these are not at all the same thing. The biggest difference is that God offers a covenant, with rewards for accepting it and punishment for rejecting it. Contracts are negotiated between equals. Some of us think that God likes to bargain; he doesn’t. Others think that we deal with God by hasty prayer in crisis only. God’s method is that of the covenant.

Paul, in this passage, lays out briefly the covenant that God has with the Christian church. God is a God of peace, and his covenant is a sign of our peace with God. That peace was bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, which we remember in the cup of communion. It is an eternal covenant. It existed with God before there was mankind to sin, or before there was a planet on which to commit that sin. As long as time has existed, that covenant was waiting for us. The cross was in fact God’s original plan for redeeming mankind. And as it has always been, so it will always be.

Paul points out to us the resurrection of Christ. Perhaps we might pick one aspect of this; the body with which Christ rose. The Scriptures make it clear that it is a different kind of body, a spiritual body. But it reminds us that we too will rise in that spiritual body at his return. He is our forerunner.

A covenant, when kept, brings the blessings of God. In particular this covenant is to equip us with every good thing for doing God’s will. These are the tools by which we aid him in the coming of perfection. He works in us so that we will do what is pleasing to him. Interestingly, when this is successful, he rewards us for those good works. The covenant works to bring us closer and closer to God, as his children should be.

Communion is a sign of this covenant. In communion we remember the sacrifice of Christ made at Calvary, the event which put this covenant into effect. The cup reminds us of his blood, shed for our sins. The body is represented by the bread, and represents Christ’s body which was broken for us. But remember: that body was also raised as a new body. We too will be raised in that new body when He comes again. The church will continue to partake of communion until his return. Therefore it is a sign for us that we shall rise from the dead and greet him at his return — to be with him forever.

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