Paid In Full

The Law possessed only a dim outline of the benefits Christ would bring and did not actually reproduce them. Consequently it was incapable of perfecting the souls of those who offered their regular annual sacrifices. For if it had, surely the sacrifices would have been discontinued–– on the grounds that the worshippers, having been really cleansed, would have had no further consciousness of sins. In practice, however, the sacrifices amounted to an annual reminder of sins; for the blood of bulls and goats cannot really remove the guilt of sin. Hebrews 10:1-4 (J.B. Phillips)

Reflect on that last line “the sacrifices amounted to an annual reminder of sins.” Going to the tabernacle another sacrificed lamb would be a powerful reminder that you’re still a sinner… year after year. Yet when Jesus came He focused the attention, not to the remembrance of sin, but to the remembrance of Him—remembrance of our needed Savior. In Luke 22:19 as He took the bread and gave thanks He said “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

This is still true today. It is very easy to focus on our own, or another’s sin. But as is emphasized in Hebrews all of us are quite incapable of keeping rules, regulations, pledges and promises. Bottomline is that we are but failures–– having fallen “quite short of the glory of God.” However, the great news of Jesus, as He said in John 3:17: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” A continual sacrifice is not how we are to remember our sin, rather we are to remember our great, loving and so very adequate Savior. Rather than focusing on the sinners we are, to focus on the Savior we have! Our Lord requests we do this very thing in the celebration of communion. Communion, where we remember and reflect that the price for our rescue from sin has been paid. His sinless blood has been shed. The work is finished! “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

Some will say that I Corinthians 11 would suggest that in Communion, without focusing on the sinner we are heading in a dangerous direction… “an unworthy manner.’ The greatest danger is to not give worth to what was done, what He has done, specifically on the Cross by Jesus, taking our sin upon Himself because of His great love for us. Communion, ought to be a great time to remember once again that our Lord paid an inestimable price for our salvation. A price He completely paid-in-full. When we correctly reflect with gratitude the finished work of Calvary, the bread and cup of communion become a great celebration of thanks and worship to our God who is worthy of our praise.