By Diane Stortz
Are you a sinner or a saint? If you come to Communion today as a believer and disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, the answer is that you are both.
God gave the Passover observance to his people as a memorial under the old covenant. Passover was a time of remembering and celebrating from generation to generation how God led the Israelites, with a mighty hand, out of slavery in Egypt and into freedom. The blood of a perfect lamb on the doorpost of every Israelite home protected and saved God’s people as the angel of death passed over the land.
Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples on the night he was betrayed. As they ate, he gave the bread and wine of the meal a brand-new meaning:
Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 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 26:26-28).
The next day, the old covenant would end as Jesus, the perfect Lamb who had no sin, gave up his life to release sinners from the curse of death—and free us to become his saints.
So, if you are a believer, you are a forgiven sinner, and . . . you are a saint. Saints are Christians, the church, the body of Christ. We are saints, and we are called to be saints. First Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people.” Saints, sanctified, and holy (“set apart”) share the same root word in the Greek.
Passover was not simply for remembering the facts of the exodus from Egypt. It was also a time for those in every generation to participate in what God accomplished.
And our Communion today is not simply for remembering Jesus’ death on the cross, but a time for us to participate in what he accomplished there. Communion puts each of us at the cross—where Jesus paid our debt for sin and made us saints.
Diane Stortz is the author of A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year (Bethany House) and Bible storybooks and devotionals for children. Her newest book is I AM Devotional: 100 Devotions About the Names of God (Tommy Nelson).