Sunday, January 20, 2019

Experience Jesus' Sacrifice

Day 21: Experience Jesus' Sacrifice

Matthew 26:28, “Then he (Jesus) took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”

Hebrews 9:22, “The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

Receiving communion in church is one of the most unifying and unique acts we do when we come together. It is more than just another religious obligation. When I introduce communion in a service, I often liken it to a family reunion where people sit around the table telling the same familiar stories and enjoying them as if they heard them for the first time.

In communion, the church family symbolically gathers around the table of grace. We tell the same story about Jesus’ sacrifice, and it is meaningful every time. As we eat the bread, we remember the body of Jesus that was broken for us. As we drink the juice, we are reminded of the new covenant, sealed with His blood.

When I was a child, I thought he reason Jesus came was to literally save sheep from being slaughtered. I knew the story quite well: Jesus became the sacrificial lamb, and when Jesus died on the cross, we no longer needed to kill a lamb. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to realize that the one who Jesus came to save was me, not the sheep.

When a sacrifice was offered to God for sin, with the purpose of restoring a relationship with Him, it was called atonement. The root idea of atonement is “to cover” or “to conceal.” Atonement suggests a covering that conceals a person’s sin and makes it possible for him or her to approach God. The covenant relationship between God and man depended on the shedding of blood. The weakness of the sacrificial system was its constant need for sin offerings. Although sacrifices continued to be offered, there was no change in people’s behavior. The sacrifices of the Old Testament only covered and concealed sin.

Jesus ushers in a new covenant. He came to take away sins through the sacrifice of Himself, not just cover it. What ancient sacrifices foreshadowed, Christ accomplished! “By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).

Find a quiet space and listen to: “Oh the Blood” by Gateway Worship:

O the blood. Crimson love. Price of life's demand
Shameful sin placed on Him, the hope of every man

O the blood of Jesus washes me
O the blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life!
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

Savior Son, Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb: The great I Am
Who takes away my sin

O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
The precious blood of the Lamb

What a sacrifice, that saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

O what love, No greater love
Grace, how can it be
That in my sin Yes, even then
He shed His blood for me

For further study read:
Leviticus 4:26; Hebrews 10:1-10; Romans 3:25-26

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