Lesson 16: A Humanitarian by Giving Us His Supper
Study Guide Pages 123-130
The wife hangs her head. She feels sick inside. She had just failed her husband miserably. It wasn’t the first time either. She is so disappointed with herself. She’s kicking herself, wondering how he can forgive her – again.
Her husband is hurt. But he is also forgiving. He tells his wife that he forgives her. However, no matter how many times he says it, she still hangs her head. It’s obvious she’s having a hard time believing it. So, he gives her a big hug. “You are my wife. I love you. I forgive you,” he whispers in her ear. Tears roll down her cheek as she tightly hugs him back. “I love you, too.” Now she is convinced he has forgiven her.
In a way, this is what God does for us in the sacrament. Scripture never says that the sacrament is about our renewing our covenant with God. On the contrary, it says it is all about God reassuring us that, because of Jesus, he forgives us. When Jesus instituted it, he said,
This cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you.Luke 22:20
When Jesus describes it as the new testament, his disciples would immediately know what he was talking about. They were familiar with Jeremiah 31, which explains the new testament or covenant. There, the Lord himself describes the heart of the new covenant—the forgiveness of sins. The Lord said, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (v. 34).
God can forgive us because the new covenant is based entirely on what Jesus did for us. This is what makes it new. The old covenant contained a lot of “ifs. If you follow the commandments, you will be blessed. But that didn’t work because no one can consistently and continuously keep the commandments. So God sent his Son to keep them for us. Not only did Jesus do that, but he also paid for our sins with his death. Because of what Jesus did for us, God forgives us. And the sacrament is like God hugging us to reassure us of his forgiveness. It is truly his new testament, his new covenant. It truly is a source of great comfort.
Key Bible Verses
On the night that he was betrayed, Jesus gave his disciples the incredible gift of his supper—the new testament, covenant.
This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah explained the purpose and the promise of the new covenant.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Questions to Consider
- The new covenant of the Lord’s Supper doesn’t contain any “ifs.” Why is this so important to understand?
- What does God “forget” in the sacrament? What do we “remember”?
- In giving us this meal, how does God demonstrate himself to the Ultimate Humanitarian?
- Agree/disagree: We should not receive the sacrament if we have sinned that day.
- Agree/disagree: When we receive the sacrament, we earn the forgiveness of sins.
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