Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Today is the birthday of our mother, the Church of the New Testament!

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

This night, the night of our Lord’s betrayal into the hands of sinful men, is the night in which the Church of the New Testament was brought into being. The Church of the Old Testament, the Testament of the Circumcision and Passover, gave birth to the Church of the New Testament of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The Church of the Old Testament had reached the day of parturition. The Lord fulfilled the Old Testament by sacrificing and pouring out His blood. The Old Testament, sealed temporarily with the blood of the men and boys of God’s household and with the blood of animals, needed to be constantly renewed with new blood until the day that the Lord sealed the Testament with His own shedding of His own lifeblood. Now the Old Testament was carried to completion so that no more sacrifices would be needed. Now the Lord’s own blood would be given in the Cup of the New Testament, sealing all to whom it is communicated in the Lord’s death till He comes.

And so the Lord continues to be betrayed, that is, handed over, into the hands of sinful men to seal them into His Holy Communion. First they are sealed with the renewal of the Holy Ghost in the washing of regeneration (Titus 3). Then they are fed the body and blood of the Lord Jesus so that they may be continually and regularly strengthened and renewed into the Holy Communion into which they have been baptized.

Truly this is a holy day of blessed memorial as we remember the birth of our mother and partake of the life that is poured out freely for us and the many.

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