We are celebrating communion today as a congregation, remembering the Lord’s death until He comes [again]. Yeshua’s death on the cross on Passover in 30 AD was more than the Passover of the many lambs in Egypt around 1446 BC. The Passover was an [unleavened] sacrifice to deliver God’s covenanted chosen people by His sovereign authority and wisdom, long before they were ever born. All they needed to do was to believe what He told them to do, and to obey Him: each family must slay a male lamb of the first year that was without blemish, and sprinkle its blood on the sides and top of the doors at the threshold into their homes. This would protect them from the death of the first-born son in each family, which God was going to do to the Egyptians as the final judgment against Pharaoh and his nation in order for Pharaoh to let Israel go.
When YHVH gave His Law/Instruction to Moses for the Children of Israel, the Passover was to be an annual celebration in the first month of their calendar to remember this great act of God to redeem them from Egypt and from slavery, that they would be a free people to serve Him without fear from their enemies. But the Torah also included a special day each year, the Day of Atonements (Yom haKippurim in the Hebrew), on the 10th day of the seventh month. Every Israeli, every Jew, had to acknowledge that each of them, and all of them together, were sinners as the people of God who had been delivered by grace.
Yom Kippur the day of judgment: God is going to judge sinners – whether among His own people or among the “Gentiles” — who oppose Him and His people. For those who do repent and confess their opposition to His sovereignty, He will show Himself merciful. For those who harden their hearts against Him and His Kingdom, they condemn themselves to His righteous judgment and penalty.
We, too, as believers who have been saved by grace through faith in the sacrificed Passover Lamb and His blood of the New Covenant shed on the cross – which we need to apply upon our hearts and minds and eyes and ears and mouth – the entrances at the threshold of our bodily home – also need to confess that we have sinned as saved sinners justified by our faith in Yeshua/Jesus – not only for our sins before we were saved — praising Him for His forgiveness that the Father had already prepared through the Messiah’s once-for-all sacrifice for our sins – for sin, and guilt, and uncleanness — when He was crucified that Passover, becoming sin/unleavened for us on the cross, and suffering the wrath of God upon Himself for our sins which He bore. We have sinned; our fathers in the faith have sinned; the Church has sinned. God had always planned this atonement for sin from before the creation of the world. And in a humble, thankful, redeemed people, the Creator and Savior will tabernacle and dwell in their midst forever in the perfection of mutual love – both with Him, and also with one another who have been such undeserving recipients of such mercy and compassion. “Amazing love! How can it be, that thou my God shouldst die for me?”
Messiah was born into the world in darkness; Yeshua will return in glorious light! His own people [as a nation] did not receive Him when He first came; nor did the world that He made know Him. But He will come again to His people Israel who will no longer curse Him, but bless Him; and everyone will know Him, from the least to the greatest, and confess that Jesus Christ is LORD (YHVH), to the glory of the Father!
When people say they have made a mistake, they do not usually mean that they have committed a sin. And speaking of sins as just mistakes takes away any convicting sense of wrong-doing or blame, and weakens our sensitivity to all the sin that Jesus bore the wrath of God for. But even a real, unintentional “mistake” is falling short of the glory of God, and therefore is sin, missing the mark. Only God is good; only God is perfect. He makes no mistake. When we experience a personal, Holy Spirit encounter with the living, holy YHVH God, we know that He is pure, and we are defiled by our sins in this body. (Is 6:1-7; Zech 12:10 – 13:1; Rev 1:9-20)
As we fellowship with living bread in the Lord’s Supper together as brothers and sisters in the faith, let us take to heart the grace shown to us, and the high price of righteousness and justice which it cost to buy us back from the enemy of our soul and the sin which killed us. We, like the Jewish people, have done many things as believers – as children of God — which dishonor the good and holy name of our Father in Heaven, and of His beloved firstborn Son, the Lord Yeshua the Messiah. Our faith is in the God of the living, the God of resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah is the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Him will not perish but inherit everlasting life! He has given us His peace.
The Messianic roots of the Christian faith are found in the Old Testament. The flower and fruit of those roots are seen in Messiah/Christ, and through those abiding in Him, the true Vine.
So how do I thank God my Father and celebrate my 39 years as a believer? I still sin within and without every day! I was saved by grace; my sins are forgiven; I reckon myself dead to sin and alive unto God and His righteousness. All I can continue to do is recommit myself to live every moment, every thought and deed, all my strength and energy, in service of my wonderful Savior and Bridegroom, Yeshua the Messiah. I pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit for each and all of us to make that possible for us all. For what He has done for me, how could I ever do less? Even in this I will fall short of His glory, and be dependent upon and trusting in His New Covenant lovingkindness. Glory to God, and to the Lamb upon the Throne!
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, October 4, 2019, and reposted with permission.