So yesterday I cut you all short one chapter. I had thought it was up untilGenesis 6, but it actually included 7 as well. Good thing, because what we find in Genesis is the continuation of the story of Noah. We cannot just see the story of Noah as a cute children’s message, because in it we find a clear covenant that God has made with us. God makes a covenant with us, this is something we need to spend some time on, because Jesus’ coming to the earth is also a covenant that God makes with us. Also, we find ourselves introduced to Abram in chapter 11 of Genesis with whom God is going to make a covenant that is remembered to this day.
The covenant with Noah is seen in Genesis 9:9 where God says to Noah: “I am establishing my covenant with you and with your descendants after you.” That’s pretty clear. But what is a covenant? Simply stated it is an agreement between two parties. In this covenant, which is an unconditional covenant, the agreement is the following as seen in vs.11: never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood. It is an unconditional covenant because God does not say that only if you obey me, Noah, will I spare you and all humanity. No, God simply says, I will never cut you off again like I did in this flood.
When Abraham comes along we will see a conditional covenant where God says I will do this for you Abraham if you and your people will respond to me in a way that I want them to respond. Jesus’ act upon the cross is also an unconditional covenant. Jesus’ dying for our sins was not based upon our obedience. In fact, quite the opposite is true. In spite of our disobedience, “even while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8), God died for us and was raised again from the dead.
Let’s look at John where we find eucharistic language in regards to who Jesus is. We begin with Jesus feeding the 5,000 with elements that a child gives him. Look at John 6 where Jesus is given the elements and then in vs.11 we find this formula: Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, distributed them. This is the same formula that we find in Matthew, Mark, and Luke when Jesus is at the last supper and with his disciples and when he gives the bread out. When we use the term eucharistic it simply means in Greek, blessing. When Jesus “gives thanks” over the bread in vs.11 in the Greek it is the term eucharisteo. Our communion that we take part in together is a reflection of the thanksgiving that we have because Jesus is present in our midst.
Later in this chapter we have Jesus talk about him being the bread of life and how we must eat his flesh if we are to participate in his kingdom. While as Protestants we don’t believe that Jesus is physically present in the bread and in the juice, we do believe that he is truly present in a spiritual way. This is key, when we take commuion it is not just a memorial for all that Jesus has done. It is a time to recognize that Jesus is present in our midst during communion in a way that he is not present when communion is not being serve. Too many double negatives, but Jesus is present in a unique way during communion. Let’s leave it at that.