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Reminder of Sin vs. Reminder of Forgiveness

The Old Law had a memorial of guilt. The gospel has a memorial to forgiveness.The Old Law had only animal offerings that could not completely remove guilt of sin. The gospel has the perfect sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross. Consider the implications for the memorial of the Lord's Supper.

Matthew 26:28 – For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

In instituting the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said we remember His blood shed for our forgiveness. I read an interesting comparison between this and the Old Law.

The Old Law

The Law of Moses served several purposes. It guided the nation of Israel until the time that God was ready to send His Son and the New Testament. Meanwhile, it gave people the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:20 – Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Galatians 3:22,24 – The Scripture has confined all under sin … Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Under the Old Law, God instructed the people to observe an annual memorial on the Day of Atonement. In that memorial, animal sacrifices were offered and sin was remembered.

Hebrews 10:3,4 – But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

So the law showed people we are all sinners and cannot please God without an acceptable sacrifice for sins, but all it provided were animal sacrifices that could not ultimately remove sins.

The law gave a reminder of sin: it reminded us of our guilt but could not solve the problem.

The New Law

1 Corinthians 11:24,25 – We eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Jesus.

Matthew 26:28 – For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

So the Old Testament had a memorial that reminded people of their sins. But the New Testament has the Lord’s Supper that reminds us of the forgiveness of sins.

This shows clearly the difference between the two laws: If you lived under the Old Law, each year you would have a memorial reminding you of your guilt. But under the New Testament, every week we have a reminder of forgiveness. This also teaches us to appreciate the New Testament with the sacrifice of Jesus that can take away sins.

Ephesians 1:7 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

In the Lord’s Supper we remember Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for our forgiveness.

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2023;

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