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A Thought for the Week
The Blood of the New Covenant
Thursday, March 20, 2008
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.'" (Matthew 26:26-28 NKJ)
Today we celebrate the beginning of the communion meal, inaugurated by Jesus on the night He was betrayed. Jesus was celebrating the Passover meal with His disciples. However, He used this occasion to celebrate the bringing forth of the new covenant with His disciples.
God loves His people. He wants them to be free to know Him and to live in His heavenly kingdom. Jesus came from heaven to demonstrate the ways of the heavenly kingdom to people. He healed them, He taught them, He fed them, and He delivered them from the bondage of evil spirits. Men were in trouble because of sin; Satan had the right to rule over people and to keep them in spiritual bondage to fear, lust, sickness, and sinful desires, and to keep them from knowing and living in fellowship with God.
Some of God's people wanted to be free from sin and its effects. Most of them wanted to be free from the effects of sin but did not want sin itself removed from them. They were happy to live under the law, whereby God pardoned their sin, enabling them to seek God's blessing. But they missed the greater blessing from God, which was to remove their sinful ways from them so they could live in communion with Him and experience His presence in all of their lives. Most of the people were satisfied living under the old covenant, thinking they were righteous in themselves, living for their own pleasure and for the pleasures of this world. They had compromised the ways of God and made covenants with the other nations who were living apart from God. They sought the ways of men, the ways of trusting in themselves and seeking glory from others. The people God called His had strayed from His ways.
Jesus came to bring about a drastic change in the way people related to God. Jesus came with the life of God in Him, and He lived in constant communion and fellowship with His Father. Jesus came to bring about the ways of the new covenant God had promised to His people. Under the new covenant God promised to put His ways into us and to take away our sinful ways and our sinful desires. Under the new covenant God promised to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and to have His Spirit dwell in us, imparting and empowering us with His life and His nature. Jesus came to bring this to us.
Jesus had to die for us. He gave His life, so we could receive it and be like Him. He took our old ways into hell. He was raised so He can now rule over all and impart the ways of God into His people. Jesus said we need to eat of His body and drink of His blood, so we can have His ways in us. He instituted the communion meal for us to know and experience this. As we celebrate the communion meal, we are communing with His body and His blood through the bread we break and the wine we drink. God does this for us. We can be dead to sin and alive to God, through the life of Jesus in us. That is the nature and character of His life. We can receive His righteousness into us so we want to do what is right, and are able to serve others, showing them the life of Christ that is in us. Thank God for what He has provided for us, and "LET US BREAK BREAD TOGETHER ON OUR KNEES."
Father, we rejoice in Your Holiness and in Your mercy. We thank You that You bring Your ways into us through the communion meal we celebrate. We rejoice in Your Son and in all He is for us and in us. Amen.
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