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Communion Meditations (2015)

Healing Word

Originally scheduled for September 6

Psalms 107:20 NASB  He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.

 

It is a curious turn of phrase for the Old Testament. What does it mean when the psalmist says, “He sent His word…”?

·         It may mean simply that he sent his commands. We still use this kind of phrase today, when we say that someone “got the word.”

·         In context, it might also mean that he sent his blessing. This might be met either physically, or in terms of our more complete understanding.

·         In a New Testament context which is anticipated in the Old Testament, it could refer to the Scriptures in general.

·         But for the Christian, the most powerful use of this noun is that which St. John uses, when he tells us the word became flesh. As Christ is the agent of creation, all four of these meanings have within them the possibility of coming through the Christ.

The most powerful part of the passage is the connection between “word” and healing. The Living Word himself often used just a word to perform his healing.

·         In Matthew 8:8, we find a common phrase came into the English language from the Bible – when the centurion tells Jesus, “just say the word.” He knows the power of the word to heal, when that word comes from Christ.

·         Christ often speaks the word that tells us that our sins are forgiven. His opponents challenged this; he authenticated his forgiveness by healing. (Matthew 9:6, “but so that you may know…”)

·         But Peter, echoing Isaiah (1st Peter 2:24) tells us the source of our ultimate healing: the wounds of Christ. In older language, by his stripes we are healed. The ultimate source of our healing for eternity is the atonement of Christ.

In communion we can see this picture in symbolic terms.

·         When Christ says, “This is my body…” We have a picture of the Word becoming flesh. That which is immortal and invisible is shown to us in a piece of common bread.

·         When Christ says, “This is my blood…” We have another picture: it is a view of the atonement of Christ.

So here, the concept of the word becoming flesh and the atonement are combined. That combination brings forth our ultimate healing. We are to do this, as He commanded, until He returns. Our healing is not yet complete. At the ultimate healing, the Saints are raised from the dead, never to suffer again. Until then, we are given a reminder of what the Word will do, healing all things. Remember his body; remember his blood; remember, He is coming again.

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