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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Unworthy Communion

Mat 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

Mark tells us in his gospel (chapter 15) that the chief priests, the elders, the scribes, and the whole council bound Jesus, had a little meeting and decided they had enough to convince Pilate He was worthy of death. Judas, the betrayer, had been there, watching and listening to all of these things with growing horror. The devil who had entered him and manipulated him by now had left him, I believe. The enemy had retreated so that Judas could realize what he had done. You know, I believe this is what happens when someone murders a loved one and then kills themselves. The devil that drove them to such lengths by inflaming their passions and rage retreats enough for them to see rationally what they have done and in horror, they condemn themselves, just as he knew they would, and take their own life.

Judas stands there, hearing them find Him guilty and sentencing Him to death. He hears how they have tried to get false witnesses to lie and accuse Him of blasphemy, but Judas knew the truth for he had been with Jesus long enough to know better. This situation was quickly getting out of hand from what Judas expected. When Judas understood that Jesus was going to die, he regretted and cared after the fact that this should happen and the part he had played in this awful thing. He felt remorse and regret. There was a repentance and regret that this was how it had happened, and wished he'd handled it differently. This is a change of purpose, not of heart. He returns with the 30 pieces of silver to the elders and chief priests and confessed that he had missed the mark, he had made a serious error, because he had betrayed someone who was guilty of nothing wrong. The Scripture doesn't say, but I wonder if he stepped out of this crowd in front of Jesus and everybody and tried to give the money back? Or did he get their attention and ease off to the side for a minute and try to change this by giving it back? Scripture isn't clear on this. But, either way, it was too little, too late. They would not listen. He went out and hung himself, ending his life.

One thing that troubles me here about this and will require prayer. Jesus did not warn Judas. He warned His own, what was to come. He told them all about the need for the Comforter, how the devil had asked to sift Peter like wheat. He revealed He had prayed for him that his faith not fail. He warned His own they would be scattered when He was smitten, and that He would not fail them or forsake them. He wanted them to have peace. These things were not said until after Judas left to betray Him. Jesus handed Judas the bread at the passover dinner, dipped it in sauce and handed, offered it to him. This represented the Bread of Life-the Body of the Lord, and Paul warns in
1Co_11:27 that anyone who eat this Bread and drink this cup of the Lord irreverently, unworthily, (and these both imply the condition of the heart at the time) shall be guilty of the Body and blood of the Lord.

One translation adds "dishonoring the body and blood of the Lord". Another says "he will be responsible for the (breaking) of the body and (shedding) the blood of the Lord." He's guilty of sinning against the Body and Blood of the Lord. Interestingly enough, the Complete Jewish Bible puts it this way: "he will be guilty of desecrating the body and blood of the Lord!" He's making criminal use of the body and blood of the Lord. Profaning it. Held responsible for it. If this is taken carelessly, this eating of the bread and drinking of the cup of the Lord, that person will have to answer for sin against the body and blood of the Lord. This also has a very personal application, as well. We sit down with this Holy Bible, which is the Bread of Life, the Word that was once flesh and dwelt among us, remember the flesh of Jesus Christ was always secondary to the Word. He made no provision for the flesh, other than what was necessary to keep the body functioning until the ministry God gave Him was complete. What an indictment against myself. Oh, Lord help us. Deliver us from SELF! Please! We sit down with this Bread of Life, and It is anointed (dipped-the word in the Greek is baptiso-immersed, baptized) in water, representing the Spirit of God who has been sent to teach us, and we dare to handle this Word irreverently, carelessly, we will be held responsible, we will be guilty of profaning the Body and blood of the Lord.

Paul warns again in 1Co_11:29 "He that eats and drinks unworthily (irreverently or carelessly, casually) will eat and drink damnation (judgment, condemnation) to himself, not making the distinction or understanding the danger he places himself in. Simply put, he's eating and drinking God's judgment upon himself or herself. The Word will either justify or condemn us. Depends on what we do with It.

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