Luke 22:19b – This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. (NLT)
According to my wife, I eat some strange things.
My wife and I come from different regions of South Carolina, and we have different eating habits. On one of our earlier dates, she was fixing my dinner plate. Out of habit, I said, "Make sure you put some pot liquor on my rice" — a saying and practice foreign to her — pot liquor being the juice in the pot with the cooked vegetables. Neither did she understand putting vegetables over white rice — until she spent a few years in the Low Country and was served white rice with every meal. Some of the things that we put together — such as grits and fried cubed steak — she had never experienced. Getting her to add vegetables on top of the gravy that she had just put on her rice was out of the question.
Since I love to eat, almost any meal that I consume is good. But I suppose that the one that Jesus served to His disciples was strange — not the bread and wine, but what He told them about it. Eating the bread was eating His body, and drinking the wine was drinking His blood. This practice accounted for the early Christians being accused of cannibalism. Some church traditions teach that the wine and bread become Jesus' blood and body when consumed.
Early churches observed the Lord's Supper every time they met. I've been more accustomed to churches that do so quarterly. Dad always gave the biblical warning to examine oneself before partaking of the elements. Paul said that "every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again." (1 Corinthians 11:26 NLT)
So what's the big deal about Communion or the Lord's Supper? Of all the meals that I might enjoy, this should be the most pleasurable because of what it represents. Other meals merely fill my belly, feed my muscles, and leave my body. This one sticks around and gives me continual spiritual nourishment. Eating the bread reminds me that Jesus was my substitute. His body was broken as He paid for the sins that I had committed, was committing, and would commit. Drinking the wine — or juice — reminds me of the blood that He shed for my sins, "for without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness." (Hebrews 9:22b NLT)
Enjoy a good meal, but don't neglect the best meal.
Prayer: Father, thank You for allowing Your Son to give His life so that we might have life. Amen.
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