Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16 NIV)
Question: were you a participant in the London Olympic Games?
How would you answer that question? Well, it would depend on what the questioner meant by use of the word participant.
Like you, I did not compete, or coach, or organize, or assist the Games in any way. I’ve never even been to London.
But the definition of participant can be broader than that. Like most of you, I participated by watching the competition and related events.
That brings us to an eternally more significant question: were you a participant in death of the Lord Jesus?
The New Testament answer is YES!
Every person bears responsibility for the sad spectacle of Jesus hanging on the cross outside Jerusalem on Passover Friday almost 2000 years ago. That is because “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 ESV).
This verse does not mean that everyone is saved through Christ’s substitutionary death; rather, that every person is responsible for His crucifixion.
My sin – your sin – nailed Him to that cross. In that sense we are participants.
But for the Christ-follower, who has embraced Christ by faith and experienced the forgiveness of sin, we have the privilege of a different participation.
When we participate in the Lord’s Supper, we are invited to connect with Him – and with each other – at a very deep spiritual level as we share in His death. It was that excruciatingly horrific death, confirmed by His subsequent resurrection, that provided our salvation to eternal life – and our spiritual bond with God and with each other.
If you have a spiritual union with God through Christ, you are a double participant: in His death, but also sharing in His life. What an awesome – and eternal – blessing!
Takeaway: Do I follow the Lord Jesus Christ’s direction, His command: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19) Is it meaningful to me? Is it a priority in my week? If not, ask the Holy Spirit to give you a passion to obey the dying request of your Lord.