Originally scheduled for February 24
Those who teach
the Bible often hear the complaint: “if I could only see just one
miracle, my faith would be so strong…” Have you ever felt that way?
The evidence of the Scripture is quite to the contrary. Think about
the ancient Israelites, with Moses. They were witnesses to a string
of miracles unmatched anywhere else in the Scripture. And what was
their reaction? They complained about the food. Who wants manna from
heaven when you can grouse about the pizza?
The truth is
quite different. As Aristotle said, men need not so much to be
taught as reminded. That’s one of the functions of communion: to
remind you of what God has done for you. Let’s take a look at one of
the great men of the Old Testament, facing the same situation.
Here’s what the Lord did with Elijah:
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.
And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent
the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but
the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but
the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire;
but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small
(1 Kings 19:11-12 KJV)
Elijah, you will
recall, was in desperate circumstances. The Queen had promised to
take his head off of his shoulders and he was running away as fast
as possible. He feels miserable, despite the fact that God has
miraculously fed him. He makes his complaint before God, and this is
the answer he gets. There is a great display of the Lord’s power —
when have you ever seen a rock being split by the wind — but God has
chosen not to speak that way. Instead, in the exquisite phrasing of
the King James Version here, he speaks in the “still small voice.”
Elijah is being reminded of just who God really is.
as such a reminder for us. It recalls to our minds the supreme
miracles outlined in the New Testament.
First, we see the
miracle of the incarnation. That God Almighty should take upon
himself the form of a human being — and a poor kid at that — is both
miraculous and surprising. Yet, that is what God did.
Next, we see the
miracle of the atonement. The Christ would come as a human being is
one thing; that he would sacrifice himself for the love he has for
us is entirely another. We have seen the greatest example of love,
and it was given to us by God.
Finally, we see
the miracle of the resurrection. Others had been raised from the
grave before; this time, the man rising from the grave predicted it
beforehand. We see in person the master of hell and death — who
promises us eternal life.
These are the
great miracles you should remember during communion. As you take
communion this morning do not look for the earthquake, the wind or
the fire. Listen instead for the still small voice by which God
reminds you. Here him as he speaks to your conscience, and bring
before him that which needs repentance. Accept his atonement and
remember his sacrifice of love for you.