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Communion Meditations (2006)

Last Day of Your Life

Originally delivered July 23

A story is told of a Jewish rabbi, aged and revered by his students.  He was dying, and his students came to him to ask him the questions they thought most important.  One student asked, “On what day should a man repent?

The rabbi’s answer puzzled the student:  “A man should repent on the last day of his life.”

“But how can anyone know which is the last day of his life?

“That is why a man should repent every day.”

“But I am young and strong,” you say, “and there are many years before the end.”  Really?  Is it so?  Hear the words of Solomon:

I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.

(Ecc 9:11 NASB)

A familiar Scripture reading, and who are you to say that time and chance will not overtake you?  Indeed, Solomon makes the matter clear in the next verse:

Moreover, man does not know his time: like fish caught in a treacherous net and birds trapped in a snare, so the sons of men are ensnared at an evil time when it suddenly falls on them.

(Ecc 9:12 NASB)

So heed the words of this wise man; you are not guaranteed tomorrow.  Thus you should repent every day.

There is another reason, however, which is more subtle and sinister.  Each day that goes by without your repentance tightens sin’s grip on your throat.  The sin which will be difficult to renounce today will, in time, become so strong that you will find you do not have the strength to give it up. 

What should you do?  Repent, of course, and ask for the clean heart He will give you as you do. 

Why is this important at the time of Communion?  Because at Communion we deal with the fact that we are sinners, and He is our sacrifice of atonement.  Repent, therefore, and partake.

· Partake looking back—and see the sacrifice He made for your life.

· Partake, looking at today.  “Just as I am” comes to Jesus today; for today is the day, now is the hour.

· Partake, looking forward to His return, when all the thoughts of a man’s heart and the actions done in secret will be proclaimed to one and all. 

Today just might be the last day of your life.

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