Monday, March 1, 2010

Jesus is a tee-totaller... for now

A friend of mine says that the first thing he's going to ask Jesus when he gets to heaven is for a taste of the wine He made out of water at the wedding in Cana.
Not sure why he thinks there was any of it left, but hey. Jesus was a good guy to have around at a party. He wasn't so good at funerals. The Pharisees hated the fact that He ate and drank with tax collectors and prostitutes."The friend of sinners," they called him, and He wore the insult like a medal. "Guilty by association!" was their verdict,but He defended his actions with his mission. "The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

If you're given to legalism this blog has already got your blood boiling, and if you're given to licence, it's got you feeling smug. Let's be aware of our bent, and do what's good for the gospel without ignoring our conscience. That said, my aim in this blog is not to be contentious about alcohol.

It's actually something I saw this past few days in Luke's account of the Lord's Supper. A meal within a meal, Jesus explains how his death would fulfill all that the Jewish people celebrated in the Passover meal. He was the True Passover Lamb whose blood would be shed as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. His body would be broken so that we could be reconciled to God and made whole. And every time his disciples eat the bread and drink the wine they participate in the benefits of His broken body and shed blood. Common, earth-shattering and easily forgotten truths.

And then a less common truth. "I will not drink of this wine until I drink it with you in my Father's kingdom." What? The man accused of being a 'wine-bibber' abstaining from wine? So it seems. The Bridegroom fasting in heaven for the wedding feast with His bride. Has he lost His appetite because of His longing? Yearning for the night when His union with a sinless Bride will mean we enjoy a final intimacy much sweeter, more heady and intoxicating than wine itself?

For now we know a sweet and fleeting intimacy with Him. On that day we will finally abide in Him and feast with Him. What choice and vintage wine is He keeping in store for that indescribable night?

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