Sunday, April 17, 2005

Sanctified Through Christ

Each Sunday, Christians around the world assemble to remember the sacrifice of their Lord. The Lord's Supper or Communion, as it's called in scripture, is a simple ceremony where the congregation is presented with unleavened bread and fruit of the vine. These emblems are used to prompt our remembrance of Jesus and the sacrifice He made of the cross for us.

The apostle Paul tells us, "As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26). The Lord's Supper is an act that requires our solemn attention. It's a time to rightly judge what Christ did for us on the cross. Many Christians use this time focus on the cross and what Christ's sacrifice means in their lives.

This brings me to the thought for the week:

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ once or all (Hebrews 10:10).
Up to this point in the Hebrew letter, the writer has gone to great lengths to prove that Christ is superior in every way. He spends the first four chapters explaining to his readers that Christ is superior to any other person or being (like the angels). Christ takes preeminence over Moses and the prophets. We are told to "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus" (Hebrews 3:1).

The writer continues in the fourth chapter with a detailed explanation of the Hebrew sacrificial system. Jesus' high priesthood is superior to the Aaronic priesthood of the old law, the writer concludes. He stresses at the end of this section that the "law ... can never with these same sacrifices ... make those who approach perfect" (Hebrews 10:1).

We are made holy through the blood of Christ. This perfect sacrifice, made once for all time, allows us to approach God with a clear conscience.

So next time you partake of the bread and of the fruit of the vine, remember Jesus. Take the time to clear your mind of earthly thoughts and contemplate the path Jesus that took to the cross and what it means to you as a Christian, as found in the central theme of our faith:

That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas and then by the twelve. (1 Corinthians 15:3a-5).

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