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Communion Meditations (2021)

 

Suffering

Originally scheduled for May 16

In the act of taking communion, the Christian acknowledges the truth of many of the things of the New Testament. One such acknowledgment is that of the suffering of Christ.

·         In so doing, we share vicariously the suffering of Christ. We acknowledge the cup to be the blood and the bread to be the body of Christ, bleeding and broken for us. We acknowledge that he did this on our behalf. In so doing, we reject the shame of suffering, and take it upon ourselves. We identify with Christ.

·         We also acknowledge that — as he suffered — so also shall we suffer for the cause of Christ. How much, how often — who can say? Some of our brothers and sisters have had the privilege of being martyrs for the faith; others have reached their limit at being ridiculed for being a Christian. But suffering is the lot of those who identify with Christ.

·         We do this willingly — not as one who is resigned to his fate, but as one who has taken up the cause of Christ. Where he leads us, we will follow.

Perhaps you never thought of it this way, but by taking communion you acknowledge that Christ’s suffering is greater than ours.

·         We, to some extent, deserve the suffering that we get in this life. It is at least useful as a corrective to sin. He had no sin; he not only suffered but did so in the knowledge that he was innocent.

·         It is fair to say that most Christians don’t volunteer to suffer; they see it is something that just happens to them. But Christ went willingly to the cross for the sake of our salvation.

·         Christ went through this suffering not by force or by temptation but willingly — it is for our benefit, not his, that he died on the cross.

So what, we may ask, does he ask us to do in return? He asks us to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in remembrance. In remembrance of what?

·         In remembrance of his body — “which is for you.” (First Corinthians 11:24) He came to this planet, incarnate in a human body, born a baby in Bethlehem — for you. The one who spoke and the worlds began became human for your sake.

·         In remembrance of his blood — which he tells us is the new covenant. God has established a new way to reach mankind. No longer do you have to be born Jewish; you only have to be born again.

We have been doing this for 2000 years; when will we stop? When our Lord and Savior returns to this earth in power and glory. You acknowledge the past and all that it means to you; you also acknowledge his soon and coming return. Do so in a worthy manner.

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