By Not Known
Today’s Lord’s Supper points us to the gospel of Jesus. God forgives sin and
restores those who believe in his Son to fellowship with himself and all else.
Jesus spoke of this when he gave us the Lord’s Supper. The setting was a Jewish
Passover meal (Ex 12:1-30). A lamb’s blood was the sign for judgment to ‘pass
over God’s people rather than ‘pass on’ to them. This ‘sign’ was amplified in the
Old Testament sacrificial system and is especially seen on Yom Kippur, the annual
Day of Atonement (Lev 16).
Jesus drew on this language of sacrifice, payment and atonement when offering
the communion wine (Mt 26:27-28). The wine is a sign of his blood. His blood is the
new covenant equivalent of the blood of animals offered in Old Testament
sacrifices. All this is further interpreted to us in passages like Hebrews 8-10
where Jesus’ death is seen as fulfilling and ending the era of sacrifices.
These theme are visible in this morning’s Bible passage (Zech 3). The high priest
was called ‘Joshua’ which means ‘God saves’. (This name is the Hebrew version of
‘Jesus’). But this high priest had filthy clothes – a sign of uncleanliness which
blocked him from priestly service. His new priestly garments and headgear were
supplied from god and so he could resume sacrifices. All this prefigures the coming
servant and the time when God will remove sins in a single day (Zech 3:8-9).
There is a big theme in all these texts: God saves and he does it through Jesus. so
Let our faith rest on Jesus alone.
The hymn ‘Jesus paid it all’ speaks of the effect of this. Jesus washed sin’s crimson
stain ‘whiter than snow’. The language may be a little melodramatic for our
modern tastes, but it echoes a Bible truth (eg Ps 51:7). God’s forgiveness is total
in its effect.
Our sense of wonder at grace increases as we better understand how Jesus paid for
our sins, as does our thankfulness that God should love us so. And likewise for our
glad obligation to live worthy of the ‘price’ paid for us (1Cor 6:2O). As the hymn
says: ‘All to him I owe’.
Let us gather at the Lord’s Table today to remember this and be thankful. Let’s
then make this our message as we go to enfold the lost of our community into
God’s forgiving and renewing love.