Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is the Covenant

“And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words. Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel… So they saw God, and they ate and drank.” (Ex. 24:8-9, 11).

It is no accident that these words are so reminiscent of Christ’s words at the last supper. Of course there are differences: Christ did not sprinkle blood on his disciples. In fact, the only sprinkling that took place was the washing of feet. The other difference of course is that instead of sprinkling the blood of the covenant, Jesus gave the blood of the new covenant to his disciples as a cup of wine to be drunk. But the overarching parallels are unmistakable. As the disciples ate and drank with Jesus, they like the elders of Israel centuries before “saw God” and “ate and drank” with him. Instead of a mountain, it was an upper room, and instead sapphire stones beneath his feet, there was probably a humble upper room floor. Of course Jesus has ascended back into heaven, but Paul doesn’t believe that we no longer see God. In fact he says in 1 Corinthians 11 that we ought discern the Lord’s body. We are to look and see Him here as we eat and drink. How do we do this? Does it happen as we squint and look really closely at the bread and the wine? Is there some kind of magic trick that happens such that if we put the elements under a microscope we would see Jesus? Of course not. The Body of Christ is you. You are the Church, and as the Church you make up the body of Christ. So discern the body of Jesus in one another. You are the body of Christ because you have been given the Spirit of Christ. God has put his Spirit in your midst. He has put his Name upon you. He has drawn near to you so that you may draw near to him. Therefore come: eat, drink, and see God.

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