Summary: The passion of the Christ will cause to reflect on twelve things when it come to the Holy Communion. Part Four of our series entitled “the Passion of the Christ: Curious?
Reflections on the Lord’s Supper
22While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body."
23Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.
24"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them. 25"I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God."
Mark 14:22-25 (NIV)
In Luke 22:19 (NIV) “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
In Matthew 26:26 (NIV) “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV) “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day…”
Jesus would want us to consider these twelve things:
1. THE BODY: His body was beaten, broken for us: “This is my body given for you.” Lk.22:19. The enormity of willing sacrifice – his very real physical body undergoing tremendous pain, entering our hellish existence and He says “for you.” Sense Jesus saying “greater love has no one than this, that he laid down his life for his friends.”
2. THE MEAL : He wants to strengthen us: “Jesus took bread” Mk.14:22. Jesus chose bread. Lo-carb dieters may not appreciate it, but he took bread, pointing the need to depend on Him for life, for energy. This body given for us is for our daily bread, strengthening us, not a snack food but food that fills. Sense Jesus wanting to us to depend on him for life, daily strength?
3. RELATIONSHIP: He invites us into intimacy, “gave thanks and broke it, and gave it.” Mk. 14:22 Custom of the time – invitation to hospitality, task of head of household to break bread and invitation to enjoy his generosity, love, companionship, to be blessed. Today when people want to talk, relate – they say “coffee” or go for a meal. See picture of meal – sharing, joking, great time, enjoyment of another (no fists flying) and part of it all is eating. Sense the invitation of God into His generosity as he offers bread to us?
4. BETRAYAL: He offers the meal to betrayers: “Jesus took bread…gave it to his disciples.” Mk.14:22. Remember who he gave the meal to? Was it not Judas who betrayed him for money? Was it not Peter who denied him 3 times at his neediest hour? Was it to perfect folks that he offered this meal to? Have you felt you have gone too far from God’s grace? Sense the power of forgiveness of sins offered to us?
5. FORGIVENESS: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Mt.26:26 Just in case we missed this fact, Jesus tells us explicitly the purpose of the blood poured out on the cross – “for the forgiveness of sins.” The blood of the covenant- language signifies God’s guarantee that He will never go back on His word, that forgiveness of sins is offered to us and available 24/7, if we eat of Him, drink of Him, depend on Him, having faith in Him. Stake your life on this! It is God’s solemn vow to us, an unbreakable promise, the sacrifice on the cross is FOR US. Sense the completeness of His forgiveness for you?
6. AGONY: His sacrifice was very GREAT. “Christ died for our sins” 1 Cor.15:3. He was the scapegoat, blamed for our sins, and holy justice demanded a price to be paid and God willed it that the Son will pay the price. The righteous suffered for the unrighteous. "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us." (2 Corinthians 5:21) The record states darkness fell over the land from the sixth to the ninth hour, presumably as the father caused the Son to drink the full cup of his wrath, the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all (see Is.53). God the father turned away from the Son, agony of alienation from the One who had been with Him in eternity, was too much.
7. THE FUTURE: He wants us to remember this world’s MISERIES WILL END. "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God." Mk.14:25. Jesus paints the picture of something new will occur because of the cross. There is a resurrection, it will not be a tragic end. There will be vindication, a new Kingdom, a comeback, a feast called “wedding supper of the Lamb” (Rev.19:9). So Jesus will endured the cross, for He saw the joy ahead, and he will wait for the bride (Heb.12:2). Sense the weight of this passing dying world of pain on you, see the future. Remember Jesus said these words to Peter who denied him “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust God; trust also in me…I go and prepare a place for you” (see context of John 14).