The Lord’s Supper: The Daily Sacrifice

(Exo 29:38-46)  “This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. 39 Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight. 40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 41 Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning–a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire.

42 “For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD. There I will meet you and speak to you; 43 there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory.

44 “So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

The daily sacrifice of wine, blood, and flour mixed with oil, was given to assure the Israelites that God was present among them and that he had chosen them to be his people so that he could be their God.

The daily sacrifice was a lamb, flour mixed with oil (the ingredients for unleavened bread), and wine. At communion, we provide the bread and the wine. God provides the lamb. But because it’s God who provides the blood, it’s not our sacrifice to make. Rather, God has already made the sacrifice “once for all.” We bring the rest of the offering, no longer for atonement, but as a thanks offering.

(Heb 7:27)  Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

For Christians, forgiveness is not an event repeated day after day. It’s “once for all.” We no longer need to be forgiven over and over. But we do need to be reminded.

When we take this bread and drink this fruit of the vine, we aren’t buying another week’s worth of salvation. That’s not the point.

Nor is this an ordinance — a command — to be obeyed on penalty of damnation.

No, this is God’s reminder to us. God says, in effect, I promised to forgive your sins. I took a blood oath. I meant it. And every time you eat with fellow believers in my name — surely at least once a week — I want to remind you of my promise and the awful price I paid to honor it. Don’t ever forget that I have promised to forgive your sins, to dwell among you, and to make you holy.

The Lord’s Supper is not about our earning salvation by keeping a command. It’s about God assuring us that he’s already taken care of that for us — and promising, once again, that he’ll be true to his word at the end of all things.

We don’t partake of the bread and the cup because to skip church damns. We receive a gift from the hand of God himself to remind us that God is our God and we are God’s people — and that he will keep his promises.

God saved us so that he could live among us. First, Jesus himself lived among God’s people, and when Jesus ascended to be with God, he sent the Spirit to dwell within us — within each Christian and within each congregation. And when we gather in Jesus’ name — not just on Sunday, but anytime — Jesus himself is among us.

You see, one reason we were saved is so that God could dwell among us — to bring heaven and earth closer together, to bring us closer to Eden in which God walked with man in the cool of the morning.

When we take the loaf and the wine, we eat with Jesus himself — “God with us” — and celebrate God’s willingness to live among his people.

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16 Responses

  1. Wonderful truth, very well said.

    Royce

  2. Thanks for another excellent post. I have already referred one of my readers to this post in a comment on mine of today. Your comments on the Lord’s Supper and the Covenant Making of the OT are very enlightening to me.

  3. Very thoughtful. Thank you for these thoughts. How good and kind our Father is.

  4. Did the apostolic church observe a ritual of drinking a bit of fruit of the vine and eating a bite of cracker or bread? Were they told they should conduct this ceremony “at least once a week”? No, there’s no apostolic directive or example for any such ceremony. We see from Paul’s writing to the Corinthian Christians that they met together to EAT, at which time some of them were overeating and some drinking even to the point of becoming drunk. The point is that the bread and wine were part of a MEAL, not a ritual such as is seen in our churches today. Is there a scripture which says otherwise?

  5. “we eat with Jesus Himself” I like that.

    Praying or singing to Jesus or not is an issue to some, but, we don’t have to pray to Him when we take the loaf and the wine as He is there with us! Where ever and how often we do it.

  6. [deleted]

    Rey, you are way off subject.

  7. [deleted]

    Rey,

    You are on moderation.

  8. rey gets advice from athiests. His comments about it are here.

    http://oneinjesus.info/2010/02/01/perseverance/

    Does anyone else think rey’s athiest view of the Bible is anti-Christian?

  9. What I said was that many atheists who are ex-Christians cite Calvinism as the reason they lost their faith. And here is a more direct link that will take you directly to that particular comment.

    “Does anyone else think rey’s athiest view of the Bible is anti-Christian?” I’m not an atheist. I’m a Christin providing my interpretation of what Paul is saying here. Do you dispute that Paul links the ceremonial law to the principalities and powers that he says our warfare is against? If so, why not provide your reasons rather than lying an saying I get “advice from atheists”??

  10. Jay can you put up a comment as to why my comment is being moderated.

    I will post this comment on other blogs so they can see what you will not show on your blog.

  11. rey denies that the Bible is true, which is what athiests are proclaiming to people.

    And there are many who have left the COC denomination.

    http://www.setbb.com/exchurchofchris/index.php?mforum=exchurchofchris

    http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_links/ex-churchofchrist.com.htm

    http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2005/12/never-going-back-to-churches-of-christ.html

    http://www.chocd.org/

    I know someone who left the COC denomination confused and barely believing in God, praise the Lord someone was there who cared enough to help them, while others are too consumed and busy trying to condemn people.

  12. The comment has links of those who have left the Church of Christ denomination. Perhaps that is why.

  13. rey denies that the Bible is true, which is what athiests are proclaiming to people.

  14. Anon,

    You were caught by the spam filter. If I were moderating you, I’d tell you. Multiple links will get you trapped as spam every time.

  15. It surprised me that those links weren’t coming up. I apologize for thinking you had moderated them. Thank you Jay.

  16. What is there in the CoC that might make someone lose their faith? The same as in Calvinism but with a different spin. In Calvinism their god is openly proclaimed to hate mankind and to only love lottery winners, thus making people lose their faith. In the CoC God is openly proclaimed as loving everyone, but the enforced adherence to ceremonialism makes them not feel that love. My supposed “denial” that the Bible is true (as Anonymous calls it) is the answer to both these failing and flawed human systems. It is not that the Bible is not true but that Jesus has revealed a new view of God that disagrees with the OT because those writers wrote not with perfect inspiration but with such light as they had, as Jesus says “no man knows the Father but the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal him” and as John says “No man has ever seen God but the only-begotten Son in the bossom of the Father has declared him.” By taking the OT literally as perfectly identical with the word of God and not as containing human flaws, the Calvinists produce an idol that is more evil than the Devil. In the same way by taking the OT as inerrant and infallible the CoC produces an idol that is so concerned with ceremony that he will sent you to hell for not observing the Lord’s Supper with exactly one and only one cup, even though you do everything else right. The solution to both errors is the fact that the OT is not the perfect infallible inerrant word of God. After all, Paul himself only says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable“–is profitable the best word he could come up with? Why not infallible? Why not inerrant? Because the OT of which he most certainly speaks here is by no means inerrant. God never commanded the Jews to kill all the Midianites “but save the young virgin girls for yourselves….and distribute them with the gold and silver to every man including the priests” (as we read in Numbers 31). Either this was the principalities and powers who commanded this, or the Jews simply used God as an excuse for their fowl actions. Either way, to assert that God commanded genocide and child rape is abject blasphemy. Yet if any Calvinist or CoC preacher ever goes through a ‘chatper study’ of Numbers, you will find on the day that Numbers 31 is covered, they will defend this because the principalities and powers hold them in bondage by the doctrine of the inerrancy of the Old Testament, a doctrine which produces a sort of new certificate of debt that puts you in bondage to the principalities and powers all over again. But Paul says “ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” For we are not to read the Old Testament in order to put ourselves in fear of Calvinism’s demon god who hates all mankind nor of the CoC’s cermonialist god who will roast us all like Nadab and Abihu if we make one mistake in our worship services. Nay but we must look to Christ alone who presents to us a new view of God, in his own person (“for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”) who has said (to counter the Calvinist view) “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” and (to counter the CoC view) to the Jews and Samaritans “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

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