This is a victory meal, and we eat this meal in the presence of our enemies. And just to make it clear what we’re talking about, we mean our enemies inside and outside. We mean the sins that still so easily entangle the saints of God: the fear, the anger, the bitterness, the complaining, the lies, the lust, the envy in our hearts as well as the social norms and institutionalized forms of those sins all around us: the enemies of God organizing their various rebellions to His law and His Christ. And add to this the downstream effects of sin: the creation groaning with violence, our bodies groaning with the curse, and death itself staring every one of us in the face. And the Lord invites us here week after week to celebrate victory over them all.
And what this means is that this meal is rightly celebrated by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. You cannot celebrate victory over your sin, victory over the evils that pervade our society, victory over death itself – you cannot celebrate victory over these enemies without faith. This is what faith is: believing what you cannot see, what is not yet here, but which God has promised us. And this last point really is important. The world around us likes to talk about faith and believing, but they just mean hoping for something they think would be really great but which they have no real substantial reason for thinking will actually come to pass.
But Christian faith is believing the Word of God, believing the promise of God. We are not believing vague feelings or hopes. Christians believe in Christ. Christian faith holds fast to what Christ has said. And this is our victory that overcomes the world: our faith. This is not because we have exceptionally strong faith. This is because we have an exceptionally strong Christ. So this is the basis of our faith, and this is the basis for our victory meal. We sit here together sharing the certainty of sin’s destruction, the certainty of all our enemies put beneath the feet of Jesus, and death itself swallowed up in victory.
So come and welcome to Jesus Christ.