Cannibals for Christ?

May 3, 2013 admin

bust of Augustus501px-Bust_of_augustusIs 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? (1Corinthians 10:16).

When Octavian Caesar assumed the title Augustus (the illustrious one), he was asserting religious, rather than a political status.

Result: the Roman Empire’s worship of its leader intensified its ideological collision course with the newborn Christian faith.

First century Christians refused to declare the common Roman oath Kaiser kurios – Caesar is Lord – and some paid for that stand with their lives.The believers were content to submit to the governing authorities as informed by apostolic teaching (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13,14), but worshiped only Jesus as Lord.

Accordingly, they were wrongly charged with being disloyal, even subversive towards Caesar.

Another piece of misinformation with which they contended, was the charge of being cannibalistic: Christ’s followers were rumoured to meet secretly to eat of a human body and drink its blood.

Although misunderstood by the culture, the Lord’s Supper continued to be at the center of the worship of Christ-followers, an expression of their fellowship – or koinonia – with the Triune God through the Lord Jesus, and their koinonia together.

As in the 1st century, Christ-followers in the 21st century recognize the double-edged truth of Christ’s crucifixion: we are responsible for His death in that our sin – and hatred toward God – nailed Him to that cross.

But the consequence of our salvation by faith in His finished work at Calvary, is that we participate in the Lord’s Supper as those who are His people, His Body.

Takeaway: Lord, increase my desire and commitment to worship the Lord Jesus as He has instructed.