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Parsonally Speaking: Proclaiming Christ's death

Proclaiming Christ's death

From the beginning of human history, our Creator has desired intimate fellowship with those he created in his likeness and image (Genesis 1:26-27). We see in the Biblical account of Adam and Eve that, prior to their fall from God's grace, they walked and talked with their Lord in the cool of the garden (Genesis 3:8). Though sin separated them from their Maker, he made a way for their fellowship to be restored by the shedding of innocent blood(Genesis 3:21).

Thereafter, we read throughout the Old Testament how the Lord again and again provided a way for his people to experience intimacy with him. Abram's seemingly chance encounter with Melchizedek, righteous king of peace and priest of God Most High who greeted him with a royal banquet of bread and wine, was revealed centuries later as being typical of our communion with the Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7:1-3). This was codified in the Law of Moses, which required blood sacrifices in the Tabernacle (and later in the Temple) for the express purpose that God's promised presence might dwell among his people (Exodus 20:24, 25:8).

Other laws involving various feasts and offerings, such as those of grain (or bread) and drink (or wine), were established to remind people that God is holy and must be approached with pure hearts and minds (Leviticus 23:37-38). Over time these divine object lessons that the Almighty had designed to remind his children of their dependence on his faithfulness devolved into empty rituals. The Lord was not pleased when people substituted mock solemnity for genuine repentance, but he promised to bless them if they would humble themselves (Isaiah 1:11-19, 58:4-5).

However, he came to despise their feast days and sacred assemblies, because people mouthed the right words but their hearts were far from him (Amos 5:21-24). We read in the New Testament that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, at least in part, because he fervently desired to re-establish intimacy with God among his followers (Luke 22:15-19). He took bread and broke it, which speaks of the sinless body of Christ that was broken to deliver us from our sins (Luke 22:19).

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