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July 7, 2015

THE EMBLEMS

by Leslie John

Leslie M. John

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me”. (Luke 22:19)

 Lord Jesus Christ was scourged and was insulted with crown of thorns on His head. A superscription which read as “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” was set up over his head. He was the Messiah but Jews did not realize the fact; rather they mocked Him and crucified on the cross. To add up to the insult they crucified the righteous and innocent Jesus in the midst of two others who were thieves.

Yet, it pleased the Father to bruise Him for our sake and for three long dark hours our sin that Lord Jesus was bearing on behalf of us was judged on the cross. It was at this time that He cried with loud voice “Eli, Eli Lama Sabakthani” which means “My God, my God why have you forsaken me”. It was the only one occasion when the Son addressed His Father as “My God, my God” because the Father forsook Him during the period when our sin on Jesus was being judged.

Some believe that the bread and the wine will transform to the actual body of Christ and His blood although the bread and the wine retain their original appearance, odor, and taste.

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:53-54)

In essence we worship Lord Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth with all our heart, and with all our soul with all our mind. It is not the bread and the wine in the cup that deserve our worship but the one who gave them to us to remember Him. The bread and the wine in the cup do not transform to the actual body and blood of Jesus but they are emblems that we take and by eating and drinking of them we remember His crucifixion. Belief that these emblems turn to the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ is equivalent to believing that Jesus was re-crucified; and we never want to crucify Jesus repeatedly.

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63)

The intent behind looking at the brazen serpent, which Moses had made, was lost when the children of Israel worshipped it during the period of King Hezekiah. They made an idol of it. King Hezekiah removed in his period the high places, broke the images, cut down the groves and broke into pieces the brass serpent, which Moses had made. He broke it because the children of Israel burnt incense to it. King Hezekiah called the brass serpent as “Nehustan”, which means “it is mere piece of brass!” (Ref. 2 Kings 18:4). It is sad that many turn Lord’s supper into idolatry rather than remembering the crucifixion of Jesus who died for us only once and did not or does not die repeatedly.

“Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27)

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”. (Hebrews 10:10)

We are asked to remember the Lord Jesus Christ’s death as often as we can. Lord Jesus Christ suffered death on behalf of us. He was buried and His body did not suffer corruption. He was raised on the third day and appeared unto many for forty days and then He ascended into heaven. He is now seated on the right hand of the Majesty and pleading on our behalf. He is coming back soon and we are given the hope of seeing Him when He comes again in the clouds. We, the believers in Christ, will be with Him for ever and ever.

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18)

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