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…Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood be for my soul the highest good!

Picture the scene.
The date is approximately 1600 B.C. The Israelites are living in Egypt, suffering as slaves
at the hands of brutal taskmasters. Pharaoh had refused to let the Israelites leave his country though God has commanded him to do so, and He had sent nine plagues to try to lead him to comply.

Now the Lord resolved to send one more plague. He revealed that on that very night every firstborn in Egypt would die, “from the firstborn son of Pharaoh … to the firstborn son of the slave girl…and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again” (Exodus 11:5-6, NIV).

Would the families of the Israelites suffer the same fate? No. For the Lord had a plan to deliver them. He told Moses to have each Israelite family take a lamb from their flock, a one-year-old male without defect. At the end of four days the animal was to be killed and some of its blood brushed on the doorframes of their houses. The meat was then to be roasted and eaten in a special meal with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

When the Lord came that night to carry out the tenth plague, if He saw the lamb’s blood on the doorframes of the Israelites’ homes, He held back His hand from striking them and passed over them.

Fast forward to Maundy Thursday, the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion. He was gathered with His disciples in the upper room celebrating the Passover in remembrance of the gracious deliverance God had worked for His people. During supper He took a piece of unleavened bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to the disciples, saying: “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24, NIV). Next He took a cup of wine, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:25, NIV).

As we compare these two events—separated in time by some sixteen centuries—we discover some important and soul-refreshing heavenly truths!

By the one-year-old lamb which the Israelites were to kill—which had no defects, whose blood they were to put on their doorframes, and for whose sake the Lord passed over their homes—God was picturing His holy Lamb whose blood would be shed on the cross and for whose sake He has forgiven our sins and remembers them no more.

And just as the Israelites had been freed from their cruel Egyptian taskmasters, so we have been freed from the dominion of the cruel taskmaster, Satan, through Christ our Passover Lamb who was sacrificed for us. Because of Him—and through faith in His blood—death can no longer hold us in its grip. The prison house of hell holds no terror for us, as Jesus assures us: “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36, NIV).

Further, we understand the deep significance of the Lord’s Supper and the priceless treasure it is. Jesus instituted this meal to provide us with the personal assurance that all the above is unmistakably true… for me personally! I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of my sins. I have been reconciled to my heavenly Father. I have been freed from the power of Satan, from the grip of death, and from hell itself!

May each of us then treasure the Lord’s Supper and receive it penitently and joyfully. As often as we partake of it, let us draw comfort, knowing our Savior will use it to convey His precious gift of forgiveness, to bolster our faith, to increase our love for Him, to confirm our hope of heaven, and to give strength for our walk as His disciples—till the glorious day when we eat and drink it with Him anew in His Father’s kingdom.

What higher gift can we inherit? It is faith’s bond and solid base; It is the strength of heart and spirit, The covenant of hope and grace. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood Be for my soul the highest good!
(TLH #315:9)