Summary: Common, everyday things often take on special meanings. A letter becomes a treasure when it is the last one from a loved one. In similar fashion, Jesus took common, ordinary elements—unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine—and made them special.
Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.
Note to the reader:
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Cape Town, South Africa.
Communion Meditation: Common Everyday Things
Common, everyday things often take on special meanings. A letter becomes a treasure when it is the last one from a loved one. A handshake becomes significant when it brings two enemies together as friends. An old photo could bring back happy memories. A kiss symbolizes love and commitment.
In similar fashion, Jesus took common, ordinary elements—unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine—and made them special. These elements were a part of the Jewish celebration of Passover and even today still are. They are easily accessible, inexpensive, and simple. However, to the Christian, the bread and the cup will always be meaningful and special. They remind us of the Lord’s body broken for us and his blood shed for us.
Jesus instituted something new in the Passover feast. While they were eating, He took bread and gave it a special meaning. Then taking the cup of wine, He gave it a special meaning too. Jesus said the bread was His body (Matt. 26:26) and the wine was His blood of the New Covenant (Matt 26:28)
When Jesus took the bread, He was taking the most basic necessity of daily nourishment for our bodies. His body, offered for us on the cross, symbolised the absolute necessity for our spiritual nourishment as disciples of Christ. Jesus is “the bread of life” (John 6:48)
The cup signifies the “blood of the covenant” (Matt 26:28) a reference to the death of Jesus by which the new covenant was established.
One can imagine how thrilled the early Christians were to meet together around the Lord’s table on the first day of the week. They came together using common everyday things, but with a new meaning. Christ had died for them and for us. His blood was “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (vs 28). Jesus had said, "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19) and surely they would have celebrated the memory of Jesus and what he had done for mankind!
W. A. Chriswell once wrote that the Lord’s Supper is, first of all, a memorial to the atoning death of our Savior. He said, “There is many kinds of memorials on the earth. If you have ever been to Washington, D. C., you have seen there the tall, monolithic marble monument to the Father of our country—the Washington Monument. In Egypt, you can see many towering obelisks. Sometimes a monument will take the form of a mausoleum. In India, you will see the most beautiful mausoleum in the world—the Taj Mahal—built by Shah Jahan in memory of a beloved wife.
“But our Lord did not create a monument out of marble to bring to us the memory of our Saviour’s suffering in our behalf. In fact, this memorial is not in the form of any kind of structure. He did it in a primeval, fundamental, and basic way—by eating and drinking—and this simple memorial is to be repeated again and again and again. The broken bread recalls for us His torn body, and the crimson of the cup reminds us of the blood poured out upon the earth for the remission of sins.”* (Morgan, R. J. 2000. Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) . Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville).
The Communion/Lord’s Supper kept the memory of Christ alive for many early Christians and it still does today, for Christians everywhere. ***