Please turn with me to 1 Cor 11:26.
It’s the first day of the new year and it’s a time when you look back on the previous year, what went well, what didn’t, what were the lessons learned. If you haven’t had a chance to reflect on last year, I encourage you to do so. Because it’s important to look back. But New Year’s Day is also a day when you look forward, you look ahead with eager anticipation of what God has in store for us in 2012.
To me, that’s a good illustration for what we are doing when we partake in the Lord’s Supper. We look backward, to our past and we see Jesus dying on a cross for our sins and his blood that was shed covers us and we are forgiven because he died the death we deserve. We live by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. But that’s only half of the picture.
1 Cor 11
26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Here is the other half of the picture. Whenever we partake in the Lord’s Supper, we are looking forward with eyes of faith and proclaiming the Lord’s death until he returns.
In the same way that on this day, we look back on the previous year and we look ahead to the new year, whenever we partake in the Lord’s Supper, we are exercising faith. Faith in the cross and the Jesus we read about in Scripture, the Servant King, the one who veils his glory, the one who humbly washes the feet of his disciples and dies on a cross at the hands of sinners. But also, faith in the return of Christ where he will be our reigning King and he will set all wrongs right and wipe away every tear from our eyes.
A life of faith is always messy. It’s fuzzy. It’s always a bit out of focus. But one day, we will see face to face. When the perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. Until that day, we look to the past and we say, thank you, Jesus for dying on the cross for me, and we also look to the future and say, Maranatha, come Lord Jesus, as we eagerly await for His return.