Altars and Tables

Written by Mr. Daniel C. Coleman on February 2nd 2019.

"He sacrificed for their sins once and for all when he offered himself." (Hebrews 7:27b NIV, 1985)

Often, recalling the simple difference between scriptual words can prove illuminating.  For example, consider the words "altar" and "table."  After the pattern of the Old Testament, "altar" refers to the physical location where a sacrifice is made.  On the other hand, "table" describes the place where one partakes of a meal, usually with others.

Following the Old Testament type, we should probably view the cross figuratively as the altar where Christ sacrificed Himself for His people.  Quite differently, the eucharist is appropriately described as the Lord's Table.  Sacrifices are made at an altar; meals are shared at a table.  Wonderfully, altars are no longer needed in Christian liturgical celebration, for "He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself" (Hebrews 7:27b).

Equally wonderfully, tables persist as liturgical furniture until "He comes," because we share -- commune, participate in -- the continuing benefits of His body and blood when we receive the Lord's Supper at His table (I Corinthians 10:16).

Come, partake of the feast!

Posted in Lord's Table Meditations

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