Welcome to the fourth and final part of our series, taking a look at the amazing blessing of communion. Far beyond the ritual, into the reality of our union with Jesus Christ. What a fantastic journey this has been!
We’ve seen how communion is not merely a corporate ritual, but a very personal time. A time not to reflect on your sin, but to reflect Christ’s finished work personally for you. A time to see how His finished work has changed your spiritual identity.
We also saw in last week’s study how the cup of the New Covenant, goes much more in-depth on a personal level, than what we typically hear about in most communion services. The fact that Jesus Christ took your sin upon Himself and paid the penalty in your place should be life-changing, but we often don’t give it the weight or attention that such an accomplishment deserves.
Today we will fit all these puzzle pieces together to see a fantastic picture of Christ’s finished work. Let’s get started!
The Inheritance Given in Christ
Several places in scripture speak of inheritance. We are after-all, children of God, heirs in Christ, and kings in God’s kingdom. But how exactly do we inherit? There are things that Jesus died to make particular items available to us, but many of us have no idea what they are or how to receive them.
Over the last three weeks, we’ve examined what has been made available to us through the sacrifice of Jesus. And now, we are going to see how to receive and inherit those blessings. Because it does no good to be given a gift if we never make use of it.
Let’s begin with Hebrews 9:14-17:
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.”
This remarkable section of scripture tells us how to inherit the benefits which Christ has made available to us, so let’s examine it.
Jesus is the Only Way of Redemption
Verse 14 says something beautiful that often gets overlooked: that Christ offered Himself without spot to God. And He did this through the Spirit. Don’t just casually brush over this point, because this is tremendously important. To understand the Gospel of Grace, we must understand the quality of the sacrifice. Far beyond the bulls, goats, calves, and lambs offered in the Old Covenant., Jesus offered the superior and perfect sacrifice of Himself to God. Jesus did this through the Spirit. So we see that the complete trinity of God is involved here.
Sacrificing Jesus was the plan, and it was indeed the only way to accomplish such a complex and complete redemption.
We can see that the sacrifice of Christ purges our conscience from dead works. That’s a very interesting phrasing! As we recall our study from last week regarding the Cup of the New Covenant, we see how Jesus has indeed put an end to the dead works of the Old Covenant Law.
Also, take notice that the verse here mentions that He has purged our conscience. This fact about our conscience is an essential concept that we should grasp. The book of Hebrews records that in the Old Covenant Law system, the people’s consciences were burdened continuously with the remembrance of sin. Verses 1 through 4 of Hebrews chapter 10, states plainly that the Old Covenant system lacked the power to remove sin and cleanse the worshippers truly. However, all is not lost, because the sacrifice of Jesus Christ accomplished what those other sacrifices couldn’t. And in this way, our consciences are purged from dead works to serve the living God. And we serve Him with a clean and good conscience. A “clean and good conscience” is not a conscience marked by sin and guilt, but a conscience made clean through Jesus Christ.
Allow yourself some time to meditate on this truth of your conscience being purged of guilt, shame, and dead works because this is a big part of your new identity in Christ.
We can see in verse 15 of our text of Hebrews 9, that there were transgressions under the first covenant. This detail confirms to us again that the sacrifices and works of the Law were insufficient. This inadequacy id not the end of the story, though, because we can also see that Jesus redeemed us from those transgressions under the Law!
Furthermore, Jesus’ sacrifice has provided an eternal inheritance for us! And this brings us to the topic that we touched on at the start of this study today. We have an inheritance given to us in Christ, but how do we make use of it?
Communion, the Key to Inheritance
Take a look at verses 16 and 17: we can see that a testament is not in force until there is the death of the testator.
Here is the crucial bit of information that we need to know, and this is why communion is the key to inheriting what Jesus has given us. Let’s explain this.
The word “testament” in verses 16 and 17, is a “will”, just like a last will and testament that a person writes, and is enforced when someone dies. When the person in question dies, their will is executed, and the family receives whatever is left for them in the will.
Again, if we recall what we learned in part one of this series, communion is very personal. It is a time to reflect on and remember the sacrifice of Jesus and what He accomplished for you personally. So how and why is this connected with inheritance in Christ? Let’s continue.
We know from Galatians 3:29 that in Christ, we are also heirs according to the same promises that God has made. And as we have just read today, we know that we have an eternal inheritance that comes into effect when the testator has died. (The testator is the one who has written the will, which is Jesus.)
We also know that Jesus has already died for us. This death obviously happened on the cross. So the only thing left it to lay claim to what is ours. How then do we claim our inheritance?
Here’s where it all ties together, take a look at 1st Corinthians 11:26:
“For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.”
My friend, each time you receive communion and properly discern the Body and Blood of Jesus personally for you as we have studied, you are claiming everything that He bought for you to have. Complete redemption for your spirit, soul, and body.
Now we see the true meaning, purpose, and power of communion. Far from the lifeless corporate ritual often practiced in many church buildings, communion is a personal declaration of your redeemed status in Christ, as you lay claim to everything He has paid for you to have.
Keep these truths with you always, my friend. And I look forward to thriving with you again next week.