Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Is My Body, Broken For You

And when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, 
Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: 
this do in remembrance of me.
I Cor. 11: 24
Mighty Creator, the Everlasting did something He had never done, nor would again ever do in human history. Yahweh, Lord of Lords, touched stones and inscribed His thoughts. 
Man writes, but God doesn’t. God speaks. “Let there be light, and there was light.” Yet, for a great and profound mystery God reached down from above the stars and with his fingers carved into two rocks the Covenant between Himself and His son, Israel. 
After communing with the face of God for forty days, Moses embraced those precious stones understanding their eternal significance then walked down the mountain to give the law of the Covenant to His people.
The tablets were God's work, and the writing was God's writing engraved on the tablets. ...It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing ; and Moses' anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. From Ex. 32: 16-19 
What had Moses done! How could Moses have been so enraged as to fling down and shatter the miracle entrusted into his hands?  
Seventh-day Adventists teach that the significance of the Ten Commandments being written in stone rather than upon vellum was that they should, from generation to generation, stand as a witness to the perfect law of God.
However, what the Adventist theologian does not fully understand is that these tablets were not displayed to verify the accuracy of Moses, subsequent leaders and scroll copyists in teaching God’s law. The stones were never even to be read by the individual Hebrew. These tablets would soon be buried within the protective heart of the ark, placed inside the Holy of Holies and disappear from human eyes forever. A wholly unseen holy relic. 

Moses was instructed by God to record His words in a book that would be spoken to God’s people at their holy assemblies--the Torah would never be copied and given out to the masses like published books are today. 
There is a nuance within SDA teaching that by recording something on stone, Israel could remember what God spoke. The eternalness of rock would prevent the Hebrews from forgetting His commandments. 
This too is a misunderstanding of the sovereign power of God. Engraving rock neither ensures permanence (we know this by the fact that Moses destroyed them) nor safeguards His people from forgetting. God’s word. In no sense is it more secure because it is written. God’s Word stands when He speaks, the words eventually written down and even those never written.
Then what would be the purpose of God, Yahweh, writing the Ten Commandments on stone? 
Notice that Moses was not punished for defacing the irreplaceable Holy Stones touched by the very hands of God (when later he would be bitterly punished for angrily striking the rock that brought forth living water). The reason for this was because Moses had acted according to God’s will by breaking the tablets of law.
The Lawgiver placed within Moses the righteous wrath that took the tablets held them high within the sight of the wickedness and broke the stones. 
This was a foretaste and prophecy of the Savior. 
For that Rock was Christ. One day, Christ would be raised upon a tree, taking upon Himself the grievous sins of the world and the eternal consequences. 
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53: 4, 5

Millennia later, just as Moses held up the rock before Israel and split it beneath him, our Savior Jesus Christ sitting with His disciples at the last meal lifted up the bread of life...
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. I Cor. 11: 24

Jesus became the broken one, the manna from heaven and the rock of our salvation.
Today, we observe this same eternal sacrifice in our worship. Our priest, as the New Covenant Moses,  lifts high the Body of Christ, the eternal Bread of Life who because of love, healed our brokenness by being broken.
As we gaze upon the suffering passion of infinite mystery, of Emanuel, God-with-us placed upon a tree of curse and suffering: 

We behold the Alpha and the Omega
We behold the enraged Dragon of deception thrown from Heaven, 
We behold the Light of Creation dawning upon a dark and desolate world, 
We behold Adam and Eve awakened and roused from their sleep,
We behold the crushing moment when Abram lifts the knife upon his son, 
We behold swirling white Manna, like pure snowflakes falling from Heaven, 
We behold angered Moses throwing down and shattering the Ten, 
We behold the repentant King David rise from his knees with a clean heart, 
We behold Nebuchadrezzar shedding his beastly and confused mind,
We behold Elijah fade as John is revealed in the desert,
We behold the Ave Maria, gratia plena becoming the New Eve,
We behold the Revelation of Jesus Christ,
We behold a new heaven and new earth, a universe washed clean.
We are beholding the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world
Behold Him who is broken for thee!