APRIL 12

 

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the participation of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the participation of the body of Christ? For we being many are one loaf—1 Cor. 10: 16, 17.

 

It is one cup, though it be the juice of many grapes, even as it is one loaf,  though it be from many grams. The grains cannot maintain their individuality and their own life, if they would become bread for others; the grapes cannot maintain themselves as grapes, if they would constitute the lifegiving spirit; and thus we see the beauty of the Apostle's statement that the Lord's people are participants in the one loaf and cup. There is no other way that we can attain the new nature than by accepting the Lord's invitation to drink of His cup, and be broken with Him as members of the one loaf, and to be buried with Him in baptism into His death, and thus to attain with Him resurrection glory, honor and immortality.

 

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While the primary thought symbolized in the Memorial Supper is that of justification, its secondary thought is consecration. From this standpoint the cup symbolizes the sufferings incident to the sacrificial dying process, poured out by the Father for us to endure, and the bread represents the humanity of the Church given over unto death sacrificially. Thus in the Memorial the death of the Church as well as that of Jesus is pictured forth.

 

Parallel passages: Ex. 12: 3-14, 18, 21-28; Matt. 26: 26-28; Mark 14: 22-25; 10: 35,­ 39; Luke 12: 50; John 18: 11; 1Cor. 11: 23-34; Luke 22: 19, 20; Rom. 6: 1-11; 8: 10, 17; 12: 1; 1Cor. 15: 29-34; 2Cor. 1: 5; 4: 8; Gal. 2: 20; Phil. 3: 10; Col. 1: 24; 2Tim. 2: 10,­ 12; 1Pet. 2: 19-24; 3: 17, 18; 4: 13-19; Col. 1: 27; 1Cor. 12: 12, 13; Heb. 3: 1; 7: 26, 27; 1Pet. 2: 5, 9; Heb. 10: 4-10; 13: 10-14; 9: 13-23.

 

Questions: Have I this week fellowshipped with the Lord and the brethren  in suffering? In what ways? Under what circumstances? What helped or hindered therein? With what results?

 

THE ONE LOAF

 

1 Cor. 10: 17.

 

THE twilight hour, when all the world doth dream,

I stand amid

The ripening grain, the ripples, like the bosom of

a lake

 Beneath the evening breeze. I pluck, and idly hold

within

My hand, one golden ear, the while in swift succession

pass

Strange visions of the olden time: I see a threshing-

floor,—

The wheat by wooden flail bereft of chaff and shining

husk.

The scene is changed: I see a woman grinding at

a mill,—

Between the upper and the nether stones the grain is

crushed

Until no semblance of its former state remains, but

each

Is merged into one common whole,—a coarse and

homely meal.

Another picture,—mixed with water and with salt

a loaf,

Or flattened cake, is formed and laid upon the glow­-

ing coals.

 

And as I gaze my thoughts are lifted to a higher

plane;

I see "the members of His body," like the golden

grain,

Denuded of their glittering robes of earthly pride and

fame;

The upper and the nether stones of life's vicissitudes

Are slowly, surely, grinding rich and poor, the high,

the low,

Into one common-union,—heart and mind, and zeal

and love;

With purifying salt, life-giving water of the Word,

The mass is being drawn and held and moulded in

"one loaf."

 

Ah, then, beloved, when we drink of that memorial

cup,

And eat the symbol of His flesh, let us partake with

joy,

Nor marvel if we need that strange, transforming

power of fire,

Ere we are counted worthy to be like our Lord and

Head,

And "broken" that a hungry, fainting, dying world

be fed!

 

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