In Jesus’ ministry, one of the common accusations leveled against Him by His enemies is that He feasted with tax collectors & sinners. In their mind, to eat with such sinners tainted the Rabbi from Nazareth. How could he share a meal with such vile low-lifes?
These teachers of Israel missed one of the brightest glories of the OT sacrificial system. In the offering of bulls & goats, God was covenantally feasting with the sinners who offered up the sacrifices. The beasts slain to cover Adam and Eve. The clean oxen which Noah offered after safely landing on Mt Ararat, underneath the brilliant rainbow of God’s promise. The divided beasts which Abram offered and which God’s glory passed through. The Passover feast on the eve of the Exodus from Egypt. All of these made clear that though man was utterly corrupt, God was in pursuit, gathering up sinners, pulling them out of their sin, that they might feast at His table.
As we gather around this table, God is still the God who feasts with sinners. This is a meal for those who have sinned greatly but have received even greater forgiveness through Christ. Yes, Christ feasted with the tax collectors & sinners, but by Him they were summoned to forsake the empty tables of sinful indulgence that they might enjoy the bounty of God’s mercy.
That God feasts with sinners is still offensive to those who hate God. It’s distasteful to them to find that forgiveness & social acceptance isn’t something which an earthly court can dish out. Once more, God offends the world with the glory of His mercy through the body & blood of Christ. Murderers, adulterers, thieves, and liars are welcome. Sinners one & all can come here, can come to Christ, and be assured that through Him and Him alone, God feasts with forgiven sinners.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…