Welcome to Becomning Closer! 

Communion Meditations (2015)

What I Have Written, I Have Written

Originally scheduled for June 28

Pontius Pilate would be almost unknown to history were it not for the crucifixion of Jesus, the Christ. By all accounts he was a shrewd politician, well-versed in the Roman methods of keeping a conquered province under control. Indeed, his instincts concerning Jesus revealed a great deal about Roman methods. He knew quite well the man was innocent, and attempted to give the Jewish hierarchy some symbolic satisfaction without too great an injustice. He was a merciful man — until it got risky. Like many bureaucrats sense, he did not have the ability to risk it all by doing the right thing no matter what the cost. But even after things got a little out of hand he was not averse to twisting the knife. He knew that Roman law required that the crucifixion’s victim have a little placard which described his crime. Pilate knew that being “King of the Jews” was not really a crime — but once it was on that little placard it could not be altered. It was his way of striking back at the chief priests.

He probably didn’t realize that God is in the habit of using these little foibles of man to work his works in an unexpected way. For example, in John 11:49-52, we find the high priest prophesying that it is good for the people that one man should die for them. As high priest he was making that prophecy on behalf of God — but he didn’t know it. He thought he was making a political argument. Why is it that this happens? It is because even in the worst of times, God is sovereign. What man considers expedient, God can make it useful for his eternal purposes.

Consider, if you will, the sacrifice which is made for Passover. Passover celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from Egypt. Later in the Old Testament, Egypt is often used as a symbol for sin. So it is seen as a picture of God’s delivering the Jewish people from their sins. Interestingly, the sacrifice in Passover is a relatively minor element. Like much of the ceremonial law in the Old Testament, you see quite a bit about how the sacrifices to be prepared, what kind of animal is eligible for the sacrifice and so on. In the Lord’s supper, however, the sacrifice is the center of thought. In the Old Testament we have the sacrifice of a lamb, by man. In the New Testament we have the sacrifice of The Lamb Of God for the benefit of man.

It is not just simply an adaptation of whatever was at hand. This is something God planned from the beginning. He is drawing for the Jewish people of the picture of the sacrifice to come. When it arrives, they must discover that God had a meaning hidden in Passover, showing the sacrifice of The Lamb. The meaning is hidden — in plain sight. It is not until the sacrifice of Christ that it becomes clear what God really had in mind. It is God’s way of telling us that no matter how smart we are, we’re not going to be able to figure out everything in advance. It also lets us know, however, that God in his sovereignty has everything planned and will work all things together for the good of those who love him.

So, as you take the bread in the cup this morning, remember that you are seeing the sovereignty of God — awesome, regal and overpowering — displayed for you in these simple elements.  Our God reigns, and even in the simplest of things once his children to recognize this. Remember that the sacrifice of Christ led to the establishment of the church — and your salvation.

Previous     Home     Next