Monday, May 3, 2010

"The Communion Feast of Peace" - Leviticus 7.11-38 & 1 Corinthians 10.16-18

Yesterday was my first official Lord's Day at Reformed Presbyterian Church, though I will not be ordained and installed until this Friday (d.v.).  One of the things I enjoy about this call is that RP practices weekly communion.  As a means of grace, the Lord's Supper is vital to the life and health of the Christian pilgrim.  As citizens of heaven who still find themselves on earth--Christian pilgrims find themselves needing nourishment and refreshment for enduring the hardships of the desert pilgrimage.  The sin of this world and the ongoing sin in the pilgrim can become a choking dust in the throat of the traveler, and as the psalmist says, the effect of this sin can make one feel like his/her "moisture is dried away."

For the church who finds herself living between God's advent in Christ and entrance into the fullness of our promised inheritance of heaven--we are like the church of the OT who found herself living between the advent of God on Mount Sinai and entrance into the promised inheritance of the land of Canaan.  To sustain his people on that journey, God provided the means of grace of the peace offering.  A meal that both portrayed and conveyed the very peace God would accomplish for them--not through the substitutionary sacrifice of an animal through the mediation of the Aaronic priesthood, but through the mediation of the priesthood of Jesus Christ who not only mediated the once for all sacrifice, but who was himself the substituionary sacrifice.

As the people would feed on the sacrifice as a portrait of the peace achieved for them by another, they simultanesouly experienced that peace when they ate by faith.  The point:  as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10.16-18,
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?
Just as they partook of the benefits of the altar, we too, partake of the benefits of Christ when we eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord's Supper.  Although the Lord's Supper is a beautiful picture of the grace of the gospel, it does more than merely portray that grace--it conveys it when received by faith.

What we have in the Lord's Supper is nothing less than a communion feast of peace!  So are you feeling weakened because of the ongoing pilgrimage and struggle with sin--then get to the table and feed on your savior, so that as your moisture dries up, you may be replenished!

You can read the entire sermon here.

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