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“Communion and Community”

Remember what Jesus said when he took the cup:

Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”
(Mark 14:23–25)

Jesus’s words mean that as a result of his substitutionary sacrifice there is now a new covenant between God and us. And the basis of this relationship is Jesus’s own blood: “my blood of the covenant.” When he announces that he will not eat or drink until he meets us in the kingdom of God, Jesus is promising that he is unconditionally committed to us: “I am going to bring you into the Father’s arms. I’m going to bring you to the feast of the King.” Jesus often compares God’s kingdom to sitting at a big feast. In Matthew 8, Jesus says, “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast . . . in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus promises that we will be at this kingdom feast with him.

With these simple gestures of holding up the bread and the wine, with the simple words “This is my body . . . this is my blood,” Jesus is saying that all the earlier deliverances, the earlier sacrifices, the lambs at Passover, were pointing to himself. Just as the first Passover was observed the night before God redeemed the Israelites from slavery through the blood of the lambs, this Passover meal was eaten the night before God redeemed the world from sin and death through the blood of Jesus.

What are some things that need to happen in your heart and mind so that you can sincerely take what Jesus is offering?

Excerpt from JESUS THE KING by Timothy Keller
Reprinted by arrangement with Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2011 by Timothy Keller

And from JESUS THE KING STUDY GUIDE by Timothy Keller and Spence Shelton, Copyright (c) 2015 by Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishers.

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