Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
I like taking Rocky the wonder dog for rides in my pickup; or rather, he likes taking me. He is ever at the ready with his front paws on the dash, tail on point in anxious anticipation of whatever adventures he may encounter, real or imagined. It is most often a symbiotic relationship, as for some reason I spot the targeted critter before he does. (His eyes are better, but he is focused only on what is immediately before him.) When I do spot the quail, or turkey or deer, the fun begins. I simply say "What's that?" and he goes apey. It was pretty dangerous till I convinced him to stay predominantly on his own side. Usually he spots the critter and spends the next mile chastising me for not letting him get it. Just occasionally however, he just doesn't see it. I point, but to no avail. I cry out franticly: "Look - there it is", but Rocky is focused on the pointer (my finger) rather than the object - the critter. This frustrates me.
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch: If you gave the Book of Hebrews a categorical title, it might be "Jesus is > than __________. You can fill in the blank. Folks then (and now) were worshiping angels. God's answer? Jesus is > than the angels. Folks were worshiping the temple. God's answer? Jesus is > than the temple. Folks were putting their faith in their lineage or - "I am a descendant of Abraham". God's answer? Jesus is > than the patriarchs. People were putting all their trust in the High Priest. God's answer? Jesus is the Superior High Priest. People were putting their faith in traditions and sacrifices, and you guessed it - Jesus is > than the traditions. 8 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot 1st Peter 1. How does this apply to me? Let's look at the Lord's Supper. It has been denied, ridiculed, diminished and distorted. At some point, the pointer became the object. So let's look at what it is from 1st Cor. 11. Many believe this text precedes any of the gospels, so it is our first real glimpse of this institution.
According to these passages, the purpose of the Lord's Supper is three fold: 1) a Time of Proclamation - vs 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lordís death till he come. This pictures a town crier, or someone on a soapbox in a public square. We are (by our observance) Proclaiming boldly His death for (instead of) our sins, according to the scriptures.
It is also - 2) a Time of Anticipation - "till He comes".
Nugget: Some people hold that in light of all the terrible things happening round about us, that there is no God, or He isn't coming. We believe the current events only point to the expedition of His imminent return. It's about the Resurrection. A dead savior can't return. See John 14:1-6.
And finally, most important for us and usually the most overlooked, it is a 3) time of Examination - vs 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. This (fortunately) is not to Be worthy, but in a worthy manner. If we have to be worthy, we may as well all go home. It is, one of the most important and significant things your God invites you to partake in.
Don't be flippant or unrepentant - For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. - vs 30. The Lord's Supper for us, represents the Past --- Sacrifice, the Present --- our victory, and the Future --- His Coming. God Bless.