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Communion Meditations (2006)

For Whom?

Originally delivered January 15

Modern man values “why” much more than any “who, what, when, where.”  We think we understand a thing once we can answer “why.”  But may I submit that, in the case of the Lord’s Supper, the answer to “who” also has great significance?

So let us ask:  for whom did Christ die?

· For our weaker brother (1 Corinthians 8:9-12).  It’s tempting to be impatient with those who are immature in the faith.  It’s often convenient to segregate those who have a besetting sin (drugs on the right, alcohol in the center, pornography on the left, stay in line, please).  We see them as weaker, and mind you, this might be true.  But do we see them as one for whom Christ died?  One for whom our Lord cares? 

· For the just and the unjust (1 Peter 3:18).  No one has the credentials to earn salvation;  it is a gift.  We need to remember that the gift was given for all—not just the nice.  The frauds, welfare cheats, con artists; these too are those for whom Christ died.

· For the helpless ungodly (Romans 5:6-8).  Those who are mired down in sin, who see no way out.  He is the help of all who seek Him, the joy of all who find.  There are no worthy sinners and unworthy sinners; just sinners—and His salvation.

· For you (1 Peter 2:21).  Love lifted even me.

Why, then, do we so often look for (and find) the evil in others?  One reason is this: it’s easy enough to find.  We’re all sinners, it’s just that some of us manage to hide it in a socially acceptable way.  More than that, we are often quick to assume—the beggar by the road is a fake; the politician is lying to us; those who think us weirdo right wing fundamentalists have no idea what they’re talking about.  Sin is easy to spot in others, hard to spot in ourselves.  It’s easy to outline the cure for others; hard to take our own medicine.

Do you see it?  We come together for the Lord’s Supper and our minds race over the subject of sin—for ourselves.  We linger over others.  The matter is serious, then.  Why do we do this?

The honest answer is that we are disobedient.  We call Him Savior; do we really call Him Lord?  When you drink the cup and eat the bread you proclaim His death until He comes again.  How can we proclaim that and still look down our noses at others?

There is a cure for this:  it is the love of Christ.  He demands no robot like obedience.  Rather, obedience to Christ is based on love, for He told us that if we love Him, we will do as He commands.  If your nose is shiny from looking down it, look up instead.  Love Him, deeply and sincerely, honestly and courageously.  When you do, you will see those for whom Christ died in a different way—not just sinners, but children of God.  And remember—He died for you, too.

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