“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.”-1 Peter 1:18-20
Communion, as we celebrate it today, was established by Jesus at the Passover meal that He partook of just prior to His death. He distributed the fruit of the vine and the bread to His disciples and declared that they were His blood and body and that they should be received in remembrance of Him. It was a monumental moment that Jesus intended to be a perpetual reminder of an amazing reality. Yet, for many of us it is just another Bible story.
All too often, we simply walk through the motions of communion without considering it’s deep implications. It has become a religious task, a spiritual obligation fulfilled, or another check mark on our Christian to-do list.
However, the fruit of the vine and the bread were not given out as appetizers intended to tide them over until mealtime. They were emblems of Christ’s suffering. They were intended to remind us of the ransom Christ paid for each of us.
The word ransom is defined as a payment demanded for the release of a prisoner. According to Romans 3:23 we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. We were born imprisoned by sin:
“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right.”-Romans 6:20
We were prisoners! Held in the destructive grasp of sin and destined for death-eternal separation from God. In Isaiah 59:2 the prophet declared:
“It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.”
There was a price to paid for our sin. Romans 6:23 reminds us that the wages of sin is death. Each one of us has racked up a sin debt. A debt that we have a tendency to forget about.
I’m fairly certain that a majority of people in our country frown upon desecrating our devaluing emblems of our freedom-burning the flag, mocking the national anthem, or desecrating a war memorial. Why? Because they represent not simply our freedom but they are a reminder of a price that was paid for our freedom, by brave men and women that laid down their lives so that we could continue to enjoy being free.
We are quick to criticize those who are defiant towards these precious emblems, but what about those people who are simply indifferent towards them. They see a flag burning, but it doesn’t really move them, they stand to sing the national anthem but don’t even know all the words let alone their meaning, nor have they ever taken the time to visit a war memorial.
We take our freedom for granted. We have become a culture that has grown to believe that we are entitled to freedom and want to exercise every right that comes with it, but refuse to consider or acknowledge that their must be a price paid for it.
There was a hefty price paid for the freedom we enjoy in this country, but there was an even greater price paid for our spiritual freedom.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church