Communion Exhortation - 2/17/08

Text: Colossians 2:6-15

You are the branch of God’s planting, rooted in Christ. Here at this table we celebrate and symbolize our union in the vine of Christ. Wine is the fruit of the vine, and Jesus saves the best to give us in the last and Newest Covenant, produced from the water of the Old Covenant. Wine from water at Cana was a sign of the real fruit Jesus gives: we partake of His death and resurrection by faith. We must die for our sins, and in Christ we die.

This is the emphasis of the Old Covenant. Our body of death is cut away from us in circumcision. We are spared death when the Angel of death passes over us at Passover, seeing the blood of the Lamb. The feast celebrated at the same time as Passover emphasizes the unleavened bread, that all sin has been removed. The signs emphasize death, sin, and getting rid of sin.

Our new covenant signs communicate both death and resurrection, just like the old covenant signs did. But the new covenant emphasizes resurrection and life. The sign of baptism communicates not just washing away dirt of sin, but also cleansing and reminds us that water is the source of life. Our bread is leavened, not because sin has returned, but because we rise, like the bread does, and the kingdom of heaven is like yeast that works all through the loaf. We continue to proclaim the Lord’s death in the broken bread and poured wine, but the wine also communicates life and joy of resurrection in Christ.

Not only is your debt cancelled, your chains broken, but you are rooted in Christ, nourished and flourishing on his tree. So commune and fellowship with Christ, root and branch, with Christ Himself and all the other branches on the tree – the Church gathered here, those gathered around the world, and those already enjoying His immediate presence in glory. We come proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes. Let us survey the wondrous cross, where God defeated His enemies, where our burden was removed. Let us commune with Christ without that burden, with the triumphant joy He meant to restore to us.

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