Day 38 of 40-Day Devotions 2020

TabletalkReader   March 11, 2020 in ASL

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(From our church-wide devotion book at Pinedale Christian Church, "You 2.0”)

Jesus spent his last meeting with His disciples sharing the Passover meal. This would not have been an uncommon practice or the first time this scene had occurred. However, on this occasion, He shared with them a very specific, powerful new practice – one packed with meaning and purpose that still impacts us as followers today. 

I do not think the disciples came close to understanding the meaning and purpose Jesus had just given them. The Passover meal was a remembrance of how God delivered the Jewish people from captivity in Egypt. Those enslaved families smeared the blood of a sacrificed lamb on the door-post of their homes. When the Death Angel (the 10th plague) passed over, the blood protected the firstborn of the family from being taken. During that “Last Supper,” Jesus was preparing the disciples for His death, where He would shed His own blood for the deliverance of all who would believe and accept His gift. Jesus told the disciples twice during the meal to REMEMBER Him whenever they would partake of the bread and cup going forward. 

The Christian Church practices the sharing of communion during Worship every Sunday and at other special times. Some worry that this familiarity will lessen the meaning or turn the practice into a “going through the motions” routine. Bob Russell once answered the question like this: “Is every week too often for communion? Well, if a couple falls in love, once a week isn’t too often to be together. If we love the Lord, once a week isn’t too often to commune with Him. In fact, it’s helpful in keeping that love relationship alive.” 

When we examine Jesus’ instructions to the disciples, we see the vast richness and purpose of communion. Every opportunity we have to participate in the sharing of communion should bring a flood of thoughts and emotions to mind. Jesus took the simple meal and taught much. For instance: 

• A Striking Memorial to Christ’s earthly ministry. This is not the typical memorial to an individual, like a statue, park, library, or monument. Instead, it is a simple practice to repeat over and over to remind us of His death on the cross for our sake. 

• The practice is to be shared with others. This creates fellowship, not just with God, but with His people also. 

• The symbolism of the one called “Bread of Life” and “Living Water” establishes this practice for His followers, who should stand out like a neon sign of His promised Grace. 

The disciples would soon become witnesses to the events of the crucifixion. It would not have been possible for them to forget the sacrifice made, nor should it be for us. The word that Jesus spoke to them during the meal, “Do this in remembrance of me,” must have played like a continuous loop in their minds - over and over and over again - with each loop adding clarity to the meaning of His death, burial, and resurrection. 

Jesus’s instructions to the disciples were, “DO THIS.” That requires action and involvement, and the application and practice of their Faith. Paul instructs that as we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are boldly proclaiming Jesus the Savior. The act meant to bring shame and humiliation was instead used to reveal the supreme revelation of divine love. Jesus was going away but promised to return again. This simple meal reminds us of the glorious Hope that is only found through Jesus. 

We should never tire in our practice of sharing and participating in the loaf and the cup. Regardless of the season of life we are in, whether in the valley or on a mountain-top, a time of emotional drain or exhilaration, the table is the meeting place where we can see God the Father in all of His glory (Jesus) and feel His presence (Holy Spirit) and experience a peace that passes all understanding. What a privilege, Thank you, Father!

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