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In the Gates

Participating in the Lord

Abiding Principles from the Ceremonial Laws: The Ceremonial Laws in the New Covenant (6)


The Lord’s Supper offers a unique experience of participating in the Lord.

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10.16

When worshipers in the Old Covenant brought their offerings to the Lord, they gave of their own in order to please God and provide for the priests who served them. But they also ate of those offerings themselves, so that, in a very real sense, their offerings provided a common meal in which God, priests, and worshipers joined together in the Lord’s presence and glory.

The Lord’s Supper offers a similar, but vastly more powerful experience. For in the Supper of the Lord we do not bring our sacrifice to Him; rather, He gives the sacrifice of His own First-born and commands us to drink His blood and eat His flesh. The wine and bread symbolize the shed blood and battered body of our Lord Jesus. He is in these elements, as He promised, but in a spiritual and more real and permanent way than if we were merely consuming material flesh and blood, which, like all food, is consumed and passes away.

The Lord’s Supper is a true and spiritual meal, and it renews us in the grace and glory of God’s Covenant even as it points us toward the eternal banquet of the Lord which is still to come. We must prepare for it prayerfully and enter into it worthily, having confessed our sins and bowed our souls to the Lord. The ceremonial laws invite us to think of dining with the Lord and His servants, in the presence of the Lord, by means of a sacrifice approved of the Lord and beneficial to all celebrants, and to do this, as often as we will, remembering His grace and proclaiming His death to the watching world.

For a fuller study of the pattern of worship revealed in Scripture, order the book, The Highest Thing, by T. M. Moore, from our online store. These studies and brief essays will help you to see how the pattern of sound worship, which began in the Law of God, comes to complete expression in the rest of Scripture. Pastors, we’re getting ready to start the next season of The Pastors’ Fellowship. Write to me today at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information about how you join in these online discussions. Our theme for the coming series is “The Worldview of God’s Law.” There is no charge for participation, but you must reserve a place for these monthly gatherings. Subscribe to Crosfigell, the devotional newsletter of The Fellowship of Ailbe.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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