Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Table of the Blameless

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Jesus came the first time so that we may be kept completely blameless — spirit, soul and body — when He comes again. He is preparing His Church, His people, as His bride to be holy, set apart for Him and wholly His.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
When we come to the Table of the Lord, we do not come bearing any sin. Neither does Jesus. He has already borne it all in His body and nailed it to the cross, where He declared “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The Greek word is tetelestai and means “Paid in full!” The transaction has been completed and the promise fulfilled. Everything that stood between us has been nailed to the cross where it was taken care of completely.
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)
There may have been a long list of charges against us. They are all gone, and we are now clean before Him.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Paul tells us that God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ that you may be married to another — to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God” (Romans 7:4).

The author of Hebrews teaches us, “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

With His body and blood, Jesus carried our sins to the cross — and left them there. Now we meet Him at His Table holy and blameless, cleansed of all sin. And as often as we do we proclaim that purifying work until He comes again and presents us to Himself as His glorious Church and spotless Bride.