Do you ever find yourself jolted when you recognize a new connection between the Old and New Testament? Over the last few years the idea that the Bible tells one story has become more pervasive in popular theology. As Tim Keller states in Counterfeit Gods (pg. 36):
We usually read the Bible as a series of disconnected stories, each with a ‘moral’ for how we should live our lives. It is not. Rather, it comprises a single story, telling us how the human race got into its present condition, and how God through Jesus Christ has come and will come to put things right.
More and more Bible teachers are emphasizing the intricate connections that weave the various stories together, demonstrating that only a sovereign God could create this tapestry of truth. Today I was struck by a connection so obvious I honestly don’t know how I’ve missed it all these years.
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Matt 26:26
With these words, Jesus ushers in the New Covenant, so that we as believers receive all the blessings of life in Christ. But these words are remarkably similar to others used in Genesis, when Eve listened to the serpent’s suggestions:
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. Genesis 3:6
But rather than bringing life, Adam and Eve experienced death and through Adam all men died.
What a striking contrast: two hands held out offering food. One is the food that brings death and the other the one that brings death.
But oh, how wide a gulf separates these two offerings, and only Christ’s sacrifice of himself could build a bridge from one to the other.
The pandemic has robbed us of many things, one of them being some of the shared joy and frequency of communion. Many churches initially stopped celebrating communion all together for sanitary reasons, and some resumed with the individually packaged sets that most of us struggle to open. But even in these difficult times, how precious is the hand held out with the offer of life: Take and eat.