“Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matthew 26:27-28).
In these words, Jesus points out the moment of His whole career that He desires that we should remember. Not His words of tenderness and wisdom; not His miracles, amazing and gracious as they were; not the flawless beauty of His character though it touches all hearts and wins the most rugged to love and the most degraded to hope, but the moment in which He gave His life is what He would impart forever on the memory of the world. And not only so, but in the rite He distinctly tells us in what aspects He would have His death remembered. Not as the tragic end of a noble career that might be hallowed by tears such as are shed over a martyr’s ashes, not as the crowning proof of love, not as the supreme act of patient forgiveness, but as a death for us in which, as by the blood of the sacrifice, is secured the forgiveness of sin.
Within just twenty-four hours of His death, Jesus steps forward and says, “I am putting away the ancient covenant, for it is antiquated. I am the true offering and sacrifice, and I am establishing a new covenant sealed in My blood. That blood, when sprinkled on your heart, will thoroughly cleanse you.” The power of Christ’s sacrifice evokes in our poor souls faith, love, and surrender. It, and it alone, knits us to God; it, and it alone, binds us to the fulfillment of the covenant. In deep, mystical reality He Himself passes into our being and becomes one with our Spirit. This is the heart of Christianity, the possession within us of the life, the immortal life of Him who died for us. We look forward to that day, after life’s weariness and lonesomeness are past, when we will be welcomed to the banqueting hall by the Lord of the feast and sit with Him and His servants who loved Him at that first table and be glad.
Adapted from In His Presence