Saturday, October 16, 2010

Communion Meditation – The Simple Gospel Story

When preparing the communion meditation, I often go through a thought process that says, “How can I tell an interesting and unique story that will grab people’s attention and make them focus on Jesus’ death?” Today, I decided not to go down that path.

Instead, I resolved to simply remind us of the gospel story, and to recall God’s desire for what to do at this time in our worship service. This story is all we need to grasp the basics of God’s plan for mankind. This story would be enough to tell a neighbor about God’s good news. Simply put, the story goes like this:

About 6000 years ago, that is, around 4000 B.C., God created everything that we see around us in only six days. Most importantly, he created man, and he created him to be special – because he was made in God’s image. Man was destined to have a unique relationship with God, unlike any other element of His creation. The special bond between God and man exists even today.

The ultimate purpose for man is simple – it is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. To that end, God gave man some rules to live by, and the free will to choose his own path. It didn’t take long for man to violate God’s direction – and through Adam, the first man, mankind fell from a position of a guaranteed eternity with God. Man sinned, and God’s promise of death and punishment had to be carried out.

For 4000 years, man lived under a system of laws that gave him some relief from sin’s punishment, but these laws were imperfect. God had said that sin could only be forgiven through a blood atonement, so man labored under a legalistic system of rules and animal sacrifices. This was not the system under which God wanted man to live.

And so, 2000 years ago, God sent his only Son to earth. His ultimate purpose was for His Son to die – and shed his blood to be the blood sacrifice that God demanded. Jesus Christ became the one blood sacrifice to cover the sin of all men who would accept him and proclaim him as their Lord. Jesus’ blood has the power to cover the sins of men in the past, present, and future. Through it, we have the ability to undo the damage done by Adam and by our own sin.

God had promised that sin must be punished by death. And He knew that all men would sin. We were under a curse, and it seemed that there was no way out – we were doomed to die apart from God. But thanks to God’s infinite wisdom, and His new and perfect plan, He provided a way for His words to be true and for us to be saved. The death that had to occur as a penalty for our sin was taken on by Jesus himself. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Simply put, because of Jesus and that moment on the cross, we can look forward to eternal life. The story gets even better, because Jesus Christ, after dying a horrible death on the cross, was raised back to life after three days - to show that God is stronger than even death itself.

Finally, God asked us to remember this story - the sacrifice and death of His Son – each week, so that we would never forget what He did for us.

It’s that simple.