Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Stripes

We had communion at church last  Sunday morning.

That is unusual because we typically have it on Sunday night.

I am not a regular on Sunday nights (if my pastor is reading this he may even laugh out loud at that one...he and his wonderful bride like to call me an SMO--Sunday Morning Only).  Needless-to-say, it had been a while since I participated in the Lord's Supper.

The beauty of the sacrifice gets me every time.

I am humbled by what my Lord determined was the only way to save me.  The only way to allow me to enter into the gates of heaven.  The only way to be able to forgive me for my endless failures was to send His perfect Son to die in my place.  He made that decision long before I was ever a twinkle in my momma's eye.  He made that decision not just for me, but for all of us.

And Sunday we took part in the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine (ok, it was grape juice) in honor of that sacrifice.  As my pastor read this from Isaiah 53:
Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, 

 stricken by him, and afflicted.  

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,

I was reminded of everything He did for us...just so we could have peace.  Peace.  In a world where there is no real peace, He gave up His life so that we could know His Peace.  

It makes no sense to me, especially when I think of how often I fail Him.  

As we held our wafers, my pastor told us to look at it and think about what it said to us.  The holes in the cracker represented the piercing of the nails that held Him on the cross.  The stripes represented the beatings he received before He carried His cross and died for you and for me.  

I pondered this and casually flipped my cracker over to look at all of the stripes that were present on my small portion.  I was thinking of how many of those beatings belong just to me.   One side of my cracker had the stripes like you see above.  But the other side?

There were no dark stripes on the other side of my cracker. 

I flipped it  over--stripes.   Flipped it back--no stripes.  If it had not been completely inappropriate, I would have taken a picture.  I seriously contemplated it.  But I didn't.

I pondered my cracker and what it could mean.

Then I heard a gentle whisper.

"On the front side of the cross(the side of my cracker with the stripes), there are beatings.  There are nail wounds.  There is blood.  Enough blood to cover the multitude of sins this world will commit.  There are denials, lies, betrayal.   There is death.  The death of My Son and the death of what you deserve.  On the back side of the cross (the side of my cracker with no stripes)--there is nothing but white.  Pure white.  Because the blood of the cross has made you clean.  Flowing from the cross, that trail of tears and blood transforms into holy ground, pure and perfect and unstained.  My Son took your place, and because of that you live free and clear of a debt you could have never paid.  Take this, eat it and remember all that I have done because I love you."

I was overwhelmed.  The Lord's Supper is always powerful.  Add to that the privilege of hearing that gentle whisper...overwhelmed does not seem a strong enough word.  His words-a merciful reminder that no matter where I am in my walk with Him, His blood covered it all.  

He loves me as much today as He did the day He died for me.  That love is more than enough.  That love is wrapped in mercy, grace, and an unending  supply of forgiveness.  

I am more than grateful that He took those stripes for me.  And I want to live my life in such a way that it honors His pain and sacrifice.

post signature

1 comment:

  1. I Loved reading this. Absolutely loved. Thanks.