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"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matthew 26:26-28

Have you stopped to think about what Jesus Christ offers and gives in His Supper? It is certainly no ordinary food, no mere bread and wine!

Like the Passover meal in which God's people ate of the unblemished lamb which was sacrificed that they might live, with its blood smeared upon the doorposts and lintels of their homes (cf. Ex. 12:1ff.), so Christ, when we partake of the bread and the wine, gives us to eat and drink of His very body and blood which were given and shed in our stead upon the cross to make atonement for our sins.

The Bible tells us that "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7); and that "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God" (1 Pet. 3:18).

In Hebrews 7:26-27, we read of Christ Jesus: "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself." And, in Hebrews 9:28, we read: "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

And by His sacrifice upon the cross for the sins of all, Jesus put in place a new covenant, one promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (cf. Heb. 8:6ff.), one in which God forgives our sins and remembers them no more.

When Jesus gives us to eat His body and drink His blood of the new testament (or new covenant), our partaking of His sacrifice signifies that we are partakers of the new covenant and recipients of the blessings Christ won when He established that covenant by giving His body into death and shedding His blood to redeem us and atone for our sins.

Thus, when we partake of Christ's Supper and eat and drink of His body and blood given and shed for us for the remission of our sins, all who partake of that covenant through faith in Christ receive the blessings Christ won for them. They have forgiveness for all their sins. They are acceptable in God's eyes for the sake of Christ's holy life and innocent sufferings and death upon the cross. They have the promise of life everlasting in heaven for Jesus' sake.

However, those who partake of Christ's sacrifice in impenitence and unbelief count "the blood of the covenant," by which we have been sanctified, "an unholy thing," and do "despite unto the Spirit of grace" (Heb. 10:29). Therefore, instead of receiving blessing, they receive cursing and condemnation (cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-29).

Partaking of Christ's body and blood, of His sacrifice for the sins of the world to establish a new covenant of grace and mercy, is indeed a wonderful blessing, for in it Christ offers and gives to us, and we receive by faith, the blessings of forgiveness and life He won for us when He died on the cross and rose again. But, for those who count it as a common and unholy thing and partake in impenitence and without faith in Christ's words, it becomes for them a witness against them and a cause for damnation because they fail to repent and look to Christ for pardon and forgiveness.

Grant that, when I receive Your body and blood in the Lord's Supper, I do so in faith -- sorry for my sins and trusting in Your holy life and innocent sufferings and death as the atoning sacrifice for my sins -- that I may partake of the blessings of the new covenant established by the shedding of Your blood. Amen.

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Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Religion on 01/30/2019

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