1 Corinthians 11:23-34
23 I passed on to you what I received from the Lord. On the night the Lord Jesus was handed over to his enemies, he took bread. 24 When he had given thanks, he broke it. He said, “This is my body. It is given for you. Every time you eat it, do it in memory of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup. He said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do it in memory of me.” 26 When you eat the bread and drink the cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. 27 So do not eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in a way that isn’t worthy of him. If you do, you will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A person should take a careful look at himself before he eats the bread and drinks from the cup. 29 Anyone who eats and drinks must recognize the body of the Lord. If he doesn’t, God will judge him for it. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick. That is why a number of you have died. 31 We should judge ourselves. Then we would not be found guilty. 32 When the Lord judges us, he corrects us. Then we will not be judged along with the rest of the world. 33 My brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 Those who are hungry should eat at home. Then when you come together, you will not be judged. When I come, I will give you more directions.
The most striking thing here is that Jesus himself has asked us to remember him by partaking of bread representing his broken body. Jesus said it so it must be important!
The imagery of the breaking of bread resembling Jesus body is simple yet powerful. We ingest the bread and it becomes part of us. For the believer, the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross is part of our new identity. This truth shapes our lives eg. character and pursuits.
Bread in its many forms is a staple part of the diet, more often than not eaten on a daily basis. It is also readily accessible to most people.
By regularly remembering Jesus broken body on the cross by partaking of the symbolic bread helps us on many fronts:
1) Keeps us in right relationship with God ie. it's our sin that caused Jesus death so it gives us the opportunity to examine our hearts and get right with God. We all fall short – often!
2) Keeps an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving in our heart;
3) Reminds us that sin is offensive to God and not to get blasé about it ; and
4) Fills us with a sense of awe and amazement at what Jesus has done for us so that we can have a relationship with God. Communion brings us back to basics and back to God.
Dear God, each time we break bread in remembrance of you please realign my heart and bring me closer to Jesus. Amen
Written by Ainslie Woods