Memorial Day is coming up and it is important to remember those who have selflessly sacrificed for our freedom here as Americans, not becoming calloused to the ultimate sacrifice of their lives that they gave as they served.
I can only imagine a man, being a husband and father, in battle tirelessly fighting and facing fatigue of his body feeling as though he could barely go on, yet his mind being steadfast and purposed to continue to fight for the sake of his wife and children, and countless others back home. As he sees the battle progressing, he takes a minute to gather his thoughts, thinking over the precious memories with his family one last time, before running into a rain of enemy fire that would ultimately save lives and liberty, but would come at the price of his own life.
Similarly, as Christians, it’s important to not become calloused to the sacrifice that Jesus gave of Himself for us. Our great God, whose persons are Father and Husband to us, battled tirelessly with death, being utterly fatigued while slowly suffocating on the cross, yet His mind was steadfast and purposed to continue on for the sake of His bride, His Church, to be able to pay the penalty and offer the gift of abundant and eternal life and liberty in Him to all who would accept. His life was the most costly of all, and He willingly gave it up for us because He loves us that much.
We know that He rose on the third day, and that our Bridegroom, King, and high priest is alive, He’s preparing a place for us, He’s interceding for us, and He will rule on earth one day soon. So while we don’t remember His death as being the end, we do remember what He sacrificed, His broken body and blood poured out, through the act of communion, which He instituted during the last supper Passover meal with His disciples before He died.
“Now as they were eating, Jesus broke bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” (Matthew 26:26-29)
Jesus, as the leader of the Passover feast with His disciples, would have said this blessing before breaking and eating the afikomen bread that He introduced as His body broken for us (Afikomen means “that which comes after – that which makes things complete”):“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth the bread from heaven”. He then would have said this blessing before drinking of the cup of Redemption, which He introduced as His blood poured out for us, “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Nothing else would have been eaten after this, and just as it was completing all that would fill their appetites that night, it reminds us that we need not look any farther than God to fulfill us.
“The Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took break, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, “This is My body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:24-26)
With COVID, I’m not sure if you’ve been able to take communion at your church, but if you have not, I encourage you to get some crackers and juice and spend time either alone or with family and partake of that sweet experience with Him. There’s nothing magical about the physical elements, they don’t magically transform into His actual body and blood, but they do serve an important reminder, that Jesus Himself instituted, to remember His sacrifice with a physical involvement. God knew how our human senses play a part and how sweet it is to commune with Him in this way until we can partake together with Him in His Father’s kingdom.
I want to share a communion song with you that I wrote after my family and I moved up to Northern California in 2015. We had just bought our house, but all our belongings were in storage in Southern California. My husband had flown down to pack up a moving truck and bring all our stuff up and I was camping out in our vacant house with my kids. I had just put them to bed and was sitting alone in the living room in a camping chair and I got out my guitar to just sit and worship. After playing some worship songs, I started just playing and singing from my heart to God and this song is what came out of it.
The night before Jesus died, He said that He won’t drink again of this fruit of the vine until it’s with us in His Father’s kingdom, and the last words of Jesus in the Bible are, “Surely, I am coming soon.” (Revelation 22:20). With this in mind, let’s remember Him, seek Him, and live with Him reigning in us as we await His soon return.