This is powerful. This is where Jesus makes it so clear what is about to happen and why. This is where Jesus takes bread and wine and says those words that will echo throughout eternity: “Take, eat: this is my body” and, referring to the wine, “Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28)
I’ve written on the blood covenant several times, saying how it was foreshadowed as far back as Genesis when Adam and Eve sinned and God killed innocent animals in order to cover them. That was the first shedding of blood and it was God Who set up the blood standard. Leviticus 17:11 says “it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” and Hebrews 9:22 tells us that “under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins.”
This fact cannot be overstated especially because so many people just don’t get it. They still think they can “work” their way into heaven, into God’s good graces; or even buy their way into it. But sin cannot be paid for by gold or silver; or compensated for by good works; or exonerated because of family ties, lineage, or status. And Isaiah brings the point home further by telling us that all our good works are but filthy rags in God’s sight.
Once we truly understand this, it’s easy to let go and admit we are incapable of measuring up to God’s holy standards, that we have missed His mark, which is called “sin.” Then we need to personally accept Jesus’ sacrifice. And there’s joy and peace and rest in this. So why do so many continue to fight it? Because it often means changing deeply held and deeply entrenched opinions and ways of thinking. It means moving out of our comfort zone. It means changing our behavior. And perhaps most difficult of all, it means we are not in charge but God is, for we must surrender our lives to Him.
But when we look at what we’re giving up verses what we are gaining, it seems like such a simple decision for really we are trading our ashes—those mistakes, heartaches, and failures in our lives—for God’s beauty, wholeness, peace and joy. What an exchange!
Yes, what Jesus said and did at the Last Supper and at the cross will echo into eternity, and will directly affect where we spend that eternity. And it’s never too late to harken to His words. He is there waiting patiently for each of us to experience His love and forgiveness.
Until next time,