Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?
Thoughts for Today:Paul makes the connection between believers sharing in the Lord's Supper and the Israelite practice of making peace offerings to the Lord. During the ceremony, a part of the meat offered in sacrifice would burn on the altar, and rise to the Lord in smoke. Of the remainder, the priest would be allocated his portion, with the balance taken home by those making the offering to be shared with their families. Each received their portions -- God, the priest, and the Israelite family -- and in doing so, they became both a part of one another, and one with God.
Communion works the same way. When we participate in the bread and the cup, we become part of Jesus, He becomes part of us, and as we commune together, we are also becoming a part of one another. So whether at the communion table, or before the Jerusalem altar, there is a high degree of formality, symbolism, and similarity in the practices. It's also a really great thought to have in mind the next time we participate in communion -- an overall awareness that God loves us so much He wants us to become one with Him.
Questions to Ponder:Our passage today illustrates the love of God. He has always pursued a relationship with us. He desires communion (oneness), not separation. Have you been walking in fellowship with Him lately? Is it time to re-connect? God has provided the body and blood of His Son -- will you join Him at His table?