Originally scheduled for July 28
If you go back into the Old Testament,
particularly the book of Exodus, you will encounter the incident in
which God rains manna from heaven down onto the Jews.
It’s a familiar point. Please
recall that the amount of manna you got was sufficient only for the
one next day — except on Friday night, where you would need two days
to get you through the Sabbath. As you were not allowed to work on
the Sabbath, this made some sense. I submit there are three lessons
we can learn from this:
Lesson number one: you have to live
by faith. Stocking up on manna just got you more maggots.
Lesson number two: God will provide
just what you need — but probably not just what you want.
Lesson number three: if you suddenly
get an abundance instead of just enough — that means you’re going to
need it, and soon.
I suspect that last one is new to you. But it
is true. God will provide, even if he provides more than you
estimate you’re going to need. Communion is exactly such an
abundance. Think about it this way:
The Jews got by for several hundred
years with animal sacrifices; the cross greatly exceeds that. Why
didn’t God continue with the system that seemed to work?
Modern folk like us think that a life
of “good deeds” and “clean living” would be quite sufficient to
satisfy the merciful God; what’s wrong with that?
So it’s clear that the sacrifice at the cross
is distinctly superior to what we perceive to be our needs. It’s
“over the top.” Why is it that God thinks we need it?
You are going to need it. There are two
You are going to die — and after that
there is the destination of heaven or hell.
You are going to give account to the
sinless and perfect God of how you propose to meet his sinless and
perfect standard of righteousness. The only thing that works is the
atonement given at the cross.
In the meanwhile we are admonished to have
communion regularly. Why? Because you need to be reminded of the
overwhelming abundance of God’s love and sacrifice displayed at the
cross. You do not know the day of your death; therefore it is wise
to be prepared every day. As you take this communion, see in the
bread the body given for you. See in the cup the blood shed for you.
God is giving you the answers to the only final exam you really need
to pass. Remember, when he gives you an abundance, it means you’re
going to need it. Communion is an abundance of mercy.