For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
As I was reading through 1 Corinthians 11 tonight, I thought that I would simply let Paul’s words serve as a reminder to us of what our Master did on the cross of Calvary to purchase our freedom from sin’s mastery over our lives, our salvation from God’s eternal wrath, and our access to the Father and His Kingdom.
The cross is central to our new lives as kingdom people, and may we never tire of hearing, reading, thinking, or talking about it! The death of Christ on the cross means so many things and each of them is profound, humbling, and exciting. Today I would just like to encourage you with some thoughts about the sacrifice of our Master according to the purposes of our Father.
Cosmic Yet Personal. The effect of Christ’s work on the cross is powerful for individuals, and it is powerful for me personally, but the bulk of the New Testament’s testimony moves us to marvel at its cosmic impact. Jesus didn’t just purchase individuals, He purchased a supernatural nation. It’s accurate to say that He died for me, but it’s better and truer to say that He died for a community of which I am so happily blessed to have a part. According to Paul, God reconciles things on earth and things in the heavens through Christ’s physical death (Colossians 1:20). Cosmic!
Love and justice. It ought not be surprising to anyone that the writers of the New Testament pointed to Jesus’ sacrificial saving act as the proof of God’s love. Paul pointed to it as the quintessential demonstration of God’s love for sinful humanity (Romans 5:8). Yet, the death of Jesus wasn’t about sentiment. He wasn’t simply offering us a gesture of affection to prove how important we are to Him. No, the reason that act had to be the great demonstration of God’s love is that God had to justly and definitively deal with the hideous reality of sin and rebellion. As infinitely deep and wide as God’s love is, it simply cannot allow sin to go unchecked. Love had to be so brutally demonstrated because sin is a monstrous and brutal reality. No matter how loved we are, we cannot have a home in God’s holy Kingdom unless sin’s injustice is answered for and its power over us is broken. More than just a beautiful gesture, our Master’s death was a judicial necessity.
Inestimable value. The precious Lamb of God’s death on the cross was unlike any other sacrifice ever offered up before or since. It was final and ultimate. It makes all other blood sacrifices unnecessary and meaningless. Imagine it, Disciple! One man’s life was so powerful and so valuable that it could purchase millions and even billions of others! This is the One who has personally called us to Himself and offered to make us new – make us like Himself. As He has given Himself for others, for those who couldn’t deserve it, let us do the same and give of ourselves for the good of other precious people for whom He gave so much.
Joyful and Humble in Remembrance,