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Communion 2009

I Also

Originally scheduled for June 7

If you remember the story of the centurion of Capernaum – the one whom Jesus said had “great faith” – you will remember that he said he was a man under authority. What you may have missed is that he said “I also” am a man under authority. (The NIV translates this rather poorly, but almost all other translations get it clearly.) It’s not just that he was in the army; he recognized that Jesus, too, was under authority. His faith was based on his understanding of how authority works, a concept which was very familiar to him. It is a source of great faith.

 

Whether or not the centurion truly comprehended who Jesus is, we do not know. But we do know under whose authority Jesus acted: that of God the Father. We may observe two things:

First, if you acknowledge authority, you are obliged to be obedient to it. Christ was obedient to the Father’s authority, even to the point of death.

Second, His obedience was perfect, for he and the Father are one. His will is the same as the Father’s; he therefore does his Father’s will.

 

What exactly was that will? It is God’s purpose as set forth from the beginning:

First, that the curse of sin be lifted from mankind.

Second, that sin be paid for – that God’s righteousness would be satisfied at the cross.

Third, that God’s love be shown to all mankind.

Fourth, that man be reconciled to God.

All this was accomplished at the cross.

 

At the time of Communion Christ commands your obedience to him, just as he was obedient to the Father. Just what is that obedience? That you remember his sacrifice. Given what he has done for you, is that obedience too burdensome?

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