Notes On Mark’s Gospel (119)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Our Sure and Certain Hope (Chapter 14 vv12-26)

The blood of Christ (vv24-26), fulfils God’s covenant to his people, resulting in their being heirs (Romans 8.17). By which we inherit all that this blood purchased for us. In the Old Testament the covenant was written with the blood of animals announcing the promises, but Jesus’ blood conveys to us the complete fulfilment of the promises, the actual purchase of our redemption. The purchase of that freedom we spoke of in yesterday’s note. The freedom to follow Christ, not to entangle people in obedience to cultic legal codes, but the freedom live out fully the mandates of God’s law. If as a Church we are to achieve, and maintain healthy spiritual vigour and be spiritually effective and dynamic, thus fulfilling our God-given mission in this world? Then we must be removed from all the devices of man-made legalism, additions, and be allowed both individually and corporately to live and work as those who have been set free by the cross. A people set free from all human regulation and entrusted to the communion of the Holy Spirit, to be guided by him through the out working of Biblical principles and commands.

The only cup left for Jesus (v25), was the cup of suffering. All the Jewish Passovers have now served their purpose and are brought to and end. There are  Christians who claim to be able celebrate the Passover today, they need very, very seriously to learn the lessons of Hebrews. To go back to that is to go back from Christ and his fulness to the types and shadows of the Old Testament, it is a departure from Christ. Any genuine Christian who has engaged in this practice needs to seriously repent and return to the Lord Christ. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is here instituted, and celebrated by the Church until, we, with Jesus drink the fruit of the vine in the heavenly Kingdom (Matthew 8.11; Luke 22.30; Revelation 19.9). When and where we shall enjoy eternally all the fullness of that which is signified in both the Passover and the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22.16-18). The sacrament was concluded with the singing of a psalm (v26). The element of forward-looking in the Lord’s Supper must ever be kept in mind, this message of hope. If you have ever suffered bereavement you will know what I mean, that sinking feeling that you are never going to see that loved one again. But in the Lord’s Supper we are reminded of a future hope and Jesus here in its institution points us to the future Kingdom when we will be with him forever. So it is a celebration of hope. We live in days of hopelessness. The Bible tells us the measure of hope a person has is the measure of life they have (Hebrews 11.1; Romans 8.24-25). No hope no life. But as Christians we have a wonderful hope and a glorious future with and through Jesus, and when we celebrate the Supper we are reminded poignantly of our great hope (Romans 5.1-5; Romans 8.1).

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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