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Communion Meditations (2020)

 

High Priest

Originally scheduled for January 26

"It shall be on Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall take away the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

(Exodus 28:38 NASB)

 

Some of us have a problem with communion. Actually, we all do — it’s just that some of us have not thought of it. You would most commonly hear this problem expressed by an argument that said, “I’m not good enough to take communion.” The argument is that you have to get to a certain level of holiness before God is going to allow you to participate. Some of you have never had this problem, and never will. Please, those of you who fall in that category, be assured that there are those who do. It springs from their desire to be pleasing to God.

The ancient Israelites had exactly the same problem. Before they could present offerings and sacrifices to the Lord God Almighty, those sacrifices had to be strictly acceptable under the Levitical law. If you want an idea of the difficulty, try obeying every traffic law in your state all the time for 20 years. Eventually some obscure little regulation is going to trip you up. You just aren’t smart enough and detailed enough to make this work. The Israelites had the same problem; the Levitical law had lots of little details.

To get past this, God prescribed a portion of the High Priest’s uniform. It was a medallion on the turban which was inscribed with the words, “Holiness to the Lord.” Only the high priest wore it; everyone but him could see it. It expressed the highest aim in worship. But please note that little phrase: “that they may be accepted.” This means that if there is any defect in their sacrifices which everybody missed, the responsibility lies with the High Priest. This is one reason he makes sacrifices for himself personally. In other words, even though you tried to get it right and missed, the High Priest covers the difference. He was to where this little plate of gold all the time — symbolizing that you could offer sacrifices for forgiveness at any time and have them accepted.

The importance to us, as Christians, is that Jesus is our High Priest. We are not intrinsically holy; our perfection is too limited. If our participation is to be acceptable, somebody has to cover that lack of worthiness in our hearts. That “someone” is our High Priest, Jesus Christ. He does for us what Aaron did for the ancient Israelites. So — you are exactly correct: you are not worthy to take communion. Don’t worry about it; our High Priest, Jesus Christ takes care of it for us. Do your best, and trust Christ for the rest.

 

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