In Deuteronomy, the central commands were to remember and give thanks, and those were the key ingredients in obedience. And God promised that He would bless Israel in every way for that kind of grateful obedience. He would bless them in their families, in the land, with good weather, fruitful harvest, safety from enemies and wild animals, plenty of food and wine, and growing populations and influence over other nations. This is what we call Deuteronomic blessing: blessing that begins in the heart but touches everything. These are spiritual blessings that impact everything.
And Jesus put this meal at the center of the new covenant with the central commands to remember and give thanks in order to restore those Deuteronomic blessings to the world. What was offered to Israel in types and shadows in a small land in Palestine is now on offer to every nation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is why Paul can tell Gentile kids in Ephesus that honoring their parents comes with the promise of long life in the land. Covenant faithfulness reaps covenant fruitfulness.
And it really is not faith or humility to deny this. Some Christians think it sounds more faithful or humble to say that if you obey, all you can expect is hardship and difficulty and suffering in this life but Heaven when you die. But this is not what Jesus said. He said that all who have given up families and houses and lands for His sake will receive a hundred fold in this life with persecutions and eternal life. We do not deny persecution, but we also must not deny the blessings that Jesus promised.
So here we proclaim Christ crucified and risen for the death of all your sin and the resurrection and renewal of you and all things. Do you remember? Then give thanks with open hands and open hearts. This is not a vending machine. This is not a health and wealth gospel. But it is real covenant gospel. It is good news for us and good news for the world. The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.
Photo by Valentina Ivanova on Unsplash
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