Community of the Cross

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Notes on John Stott’s
The Cross of Christ
Chapter 10: The Community of Celebration

In our discussion of the cross thus far, Stott says, we might be tempted to consider the cross to have only individual and/or cosmic effects.

This is not true.

Christ did not die merely to save individuals but to secure for Himself a people.

“…who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. ”
~Titus 2:14

Nowhere is this communal aspect of the cross better seen or understood than in the one sacramental celebration that Christ Himself instituted: The Lord’s Supper.

In the Lord’s Supper, we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'”
~I Corinthians 11:24

In the Lord’s Supper, we partake of the benefits of Christ’s death on the cross.

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”
~1 Corinthians 10:16

In the Lord’s Supper, we proclaim Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
~I Corinthians 11:26

In the Lord’s Supper, we are unified by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

“For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”
~I Corinthians 10:17

Finally, in the Lord’s Supper, we give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
~Hebrews 13:5

Conclusion:

“The Christian community is a community of the cross, for it has been brought into being by the cross, and the focus of its worship is the Lam once slain, now glorified. So the community of the cross is a community of celebration, a eucharistic community, ceaselessly offering to God through Christ the sacrifice of our praise and thanksgiving. The Christian life is an unending festival. And the festival we keep, now that our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us, is a joyful celebration of his sacrifice, together with a spiritual feasting upon it.”
~John Stott, The Cross of Christ

(See more of my notes on The Cross of Christ.)

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