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Communion Meditations (2020)


Jigsaw Puzzle

Originally scheduled for March 8

Have you ever seen a small child trying to work out their first jigsaw puzzle? Usually it has no more than 6 to 8 pieces. The pieces are large to work with clumsy hands. There is an initial phase in which the kid wonders whether or not these things even fit together, and if so, why? But eventually the process becomes straightforward and as the child grows he can enjoy puzzles with many more pieces. It is intrinsically satisfying to the human mind to be able to solve a puzzle. This may be why God gave us so many.

Of course, to solve a jigsaw puzzle there are some requirements:

·         First, you must have all the pieces. It sounds a little obvious but if you ever tried to work one of these puzzles with 20 or 30 pieces missing you know how difficult this can be.

·         The puzzle itself must be solvable. Take away a few pieces and add a few more from some other puzzle and it is not.

·         Finally, you must know what the assembled puzzled looks like. If you think you’re putting together a puzzle that shows the Cathedral of Notre Dame but actually has the Statue of Liberty in it, you’re going to have some real difficulty.

Communion is the jigsaw puzzle of the Bible. It’s given to us so that we may know some very important facts, but it is simple enough for our clumsy minds to handle.

·         It has very few pieces. We recognize the cup as being representative of the blood of Christ, shed on the cross for our sins. We know that it comes from the Passover feast where it represents the blood of the animals sacrificed for sins. The bread represents his body, broken for us. The puzzle pieces are simple; the meaning very deep.

·         The puzzle is solvable. If we just had communion as it’s given to us in the New Testament it might not be. But we have a guide; we have Passover from the Old Testament to show us what God was doing. You look at the lamb sacrificed in Passover and you see the Lamb sacrificed at the cross. As you look forward into the future — for communion lasts until he comes again — you see with the eyes of a prophet. We don’t see everything that’s coming; but we know who does.

·         And who is it that knows what all of human history is going to look like? Is it not the God who holds time in his hands? The cross is the pivot point of human history, just as God planned it. Moses told of a prophet who would arise in Israel who must be listened to; Christ tells us that he is coming again to judge the living and the dead. Plan on it.

So what is the picture? The pictures that man was designed to love God and serve him forever. That relationship was broken in the garden of Eden — but not without hope. Even then, God foretold the coming of one who would restore this relationship. That restoration happened at the Cross. God gave us this picture puzzle so that we might be reminded and remember the sacrifice he made for us. If you are a Christian you know the ultimate answer portrayed here in communion. Live like it.

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