Today’s Reading: John 13:18-20(NIV)
18 [Jesus said,] “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill Scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. 20 I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me.”
Today is the first Sunday of the month. All around the world United Methodist Christians will gather to worship and share the bread and cup together. This is the time to remember Christ’s last supper with His disciples. It is a grace-filled moment, as we celebrate God’s awesome gift of salvation. We will gather at His table today, holding mustard-seed faith in the palms of our cupped hands, knowing He can and will make all things new. It is very hard for me to comprehend the physical and emotional suffering that Jesus endured on the cross. Yet, I wonder which hurt Him more – the nails driven through His flesh or the intense spiritual pain caused by knowing that someone who shares His bread at the table will turn away.
Have you ever broken God’s heart?
I’ve managed to break a few hearts in my life. I have said and done things that have unintentionally hurt others. There were times when I chose to act out in self-righteous indignation, causing another human heart to suffer. These are some moments in life that I will regret until the day I die. Still, there is nothing I can do to remove those set-in stains of hateful words or actions. It’s as if my sin has become part of my genetic DNA, ingrained in my heart like the unique fingerprints I bear. We wear our sin well, and there is no amount of concealing cover-up to hide it from the face of our Lord.
This is the reason why Jesus came. The Father knew only One perfect sacrifice could adequately cover all my hateful words, thoughts and actions. He knew that I would need His Son’s blood to cover my heart. It may have been Judas who ratted out the Lord that night in the Upper Room; yet, I knew I was the one at the table kicking up my heels while eating Christ’s meal.
How could He love me this much?
If I had been the only one at the table with Jesus that night, He would have died just for me. There was no doubt that all of us, at some point, will betray the Lord. Whether it is out of pure selfishness or our refusal to trust and obey His Word, Jesus loves us so much He took humanity’s sin, so that we might wear stain-free robes. It is only through the blood of Christ that I will one day live in a perfect body, in the Father’s holy presence. It is only through Christ that I can be finally free from the mistakes I’ve made.
Today is the day we wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb. Do not miss this awesome opportunity to come clean before Christ. He knows what you’ve done; Christ knows what you’re thinking. Jesus knows where you’ve been, and He knows where you are going. Christ welcomes you today with open arms and nail-scarred hands to His table of mercy and grace. Jesus is waiting for you to come join Him there.
Come to Christ’s table today. Experience for yourself the grace and mercy that is yours, if you will only repent, confess and believe.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding
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