Luke 22:19-20 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
It all begins with the simple question, why do we need a new covenant? Funny what happens when you begin there – for there was an old covenant, God has never abandoned man nor his creation, but has been working to provide everything necessary. God didn’t bring the old covenant to an end, we did, we broke the covenant – we said we would obey the Lord, and him only would we serve, we said we would keep his commandments – always, not just most of the time. So, the instant we turned from God, the instant we transgressed the commandments and broke God’s law, we also broke the old covenant. And in order to pay the debt for breaking God’s covenant, our life was forfeit – we couldn’t even pay the debt of our sin, because our life was already owed from breaking God’s covenant.
The only thing that could be done, was to make a new covenant, but it could not be made until someone would pay the debt still owed under the old covenant. We could not pay this debt, nor could we pay the debt we owed on account of sin. So the only way for their to be a new covenant was for God to pay our debt. The old covenant must be kept, and then one without sin must die, and the only sacrifice sufficient to pay for all the sin, was God’s only begotten son.
So it was that the Son of God gave us his body and blood, that there might be a new covenant, and in this new covenant that all our debts might be paid, and all our sins forgiven. It is no small thing, this gift of God which is ours in Jesus Christ – for not only has it paid our debts, forgiven our sins, but it has also brought us life and salvation. But there is more than that, it is only because there is a new covenant, that we can come into the presence of God with confidence.
Every time we examine ourselves, every time the law shows us our sins, we find ourselves praying the prayer of the centurion – Lord, I am not worthy, to have you come under my roof, but speak but the word, and I will be healed. For by ourselves, we are not worthy – and not only are we unworthy, but we are also unprepared – for the good we would is not done, and the evil…
But God does not leave us by ourselves but our Savior comes to us, the Spirit working through the word, works faith in our hearts. For the one who is worthy and well prepared is the one who believes the word – given and shed for you for the remission for your sins. It is God who works the faith that grasps the promise of the Word, it is God who brings the word to us. God does not leave us by ourselves, but prepares us to receive this great gift.
We are worthy and well prepared when we trust in the gracious invitation of our Savior, and rely on his grace, God in Christ prepares us, makes us ready – and so we come to receive this great blessing, remembering the cost, and rejoicing in the benefits it offers and seals to us, which are the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
So we gather to encourage one another, so we gather, that God might work in us, creating a clean heart, and renewing a right spirit within us. So we gather in Jesus name, remembering his great love for us – and together we follow him on the path he has set before us.