Lord's Day Liturgy

Seeking Death

Paul told the Corinthians that “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Sometimes I’ve wondered why focus on the death instead of the resurrection. Of course the resurrection is included, because there is no “he comes” after the death unless He’s alive again. But the Lord’s Supper proclaims His death in particular.

The reason the Father sent the Son was to die. When Jesus told His mother that His time hadn’t come yet, He did go ahead and make some tasty wine, but it was His blood that gives us a taste of abundant life. He had no doubt about His purpose. It’s how He told others to recognize Him: when He was lifted up (John 3:14; 8:28; 12:32-33). It’s how He knew that forgiveness could be applied: when He bore our sins on the tree.

The gold that he was seeking was death. The primary thing that he was going to do was to die. He was going to do other things equally definite and objective; we might almost say equally external and material. But from first to last the most definite fact is that he is going to die. (G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, Location 3102)

This is why He did not use His miracle-doing power to escape His hour, the power of darkness (Luke 22:53). This hour was His goal and glory (John 12:27).

Which means that He had His mind set on death so that we could have our minds set on the things of the Spirit. He condemned sin in the flesh so that we could could live the rest of our time in the flesh un-condemned and dead to sin.