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Communion Meditations (2020)

 

Martha

Originally scheduled for January 19

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

(John 11:25-27 NIV)

 

Most Christians will remember the circumstances surrounding this passage. Mary and Martha had lost their brother, Lazarus, to death. They had sent for Jesus, but he delayed in coming until Lazarus was dead. The circumstances were rather grim; in those circumstances we have the first confession of Christ as the Son of God. Jesus, and what has become his typical fashion, answers the question Martha did not ask but should have. He tells her that he is the resurrection and the life, and asks her if she believes this.

It’s worth noting that Martha probably did not fully understand the ramifications of what Jesus just said to her. This is a reaction of not someone who is suddenly enlightened but rather the reaction of someone who believes that Jesus really is who he says he is. By telling her of the resurrection he is awakening her mind to the the logical consequences of the resurrection of Christ.

It is worth some time to consider just what “the resurrection”, as it applies to us, really means. First, dispensed with the idea that this is just a form of immortality. We will not spend all of eternity floating on clouds with harps. The resurrection means the reuniting of the human soul with the human body. A human being is not a complete human being unless that person has a body; it’s part of the definition of being human. Christ has promised us that this will happen, though we are a little short on details. For instance, we are told that the body will be a different one from the one we have now — and yet the same.

When you take communion, most of us know, you are acknowledging the price that Christ paid for our salvation — paid at the Cross. This he commands; this is fitting and just. At the same time, however, you also proclaim your faith in Christ — and thus your faith in the resurrection to come. He will return as he left; the saints will rise from the ground reunited with their bodies — whatever that means. For those who have been faithful, it will be a day of great joy.

Faithful. That is the key to the resurrection; it belongs to the faithful. It works that way in life to. As F. E. B. Meyer put it, “Christ always needed faith in some one, as the fulcrum on which to rest the lever of His mighty power.” In this incident he found that person in Martha. As you partake this morning, ask yourself: does the power of Christ finding me a fulcrum? Can he use me to achieve his mighty purposes? Remember, it is not your strength and power that moves the kingdom forward. Not by might, nor by power but by His Spirit. As you proclaim your faith this morning by taking communion, do not think of how weak you are — but how willing you are to allow the power of Christ to flow through you.

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