If you’ve ever participated in the Eucharist, you have most likely heard these words in Luke 22 : 19:
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks,
he broke it and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
I have always assumed this means we should remember Jesus’ sacrifice by physically participating in breaking bread together. Yes. 2000 years of church history cannot be wrong. Although…is that ALL Jesus meant?
Jen Hatmaker recently dropped a bomb in my personal understanding of this text as I was reading through her book Interrupted.
“Not only was Communion a symbolic ritual, it was a new prototype of discipleship. “Continuously make My sacrifice real by doing this very thing.” Become broken and poured out for hopeless people. Become a living offering, denying yourself for the salvation and restoration of humanity. Obedience to Jesus’ command is more than looking backward; it’s a present and continuous replication of His sacrifice. We don’t simply remember the meal; we become the meal.”
What Jesus meant was not only to remember his sacrifice, but to actually do what He did for us. Daily. Do this (sacrifice yourself for others) in remembrance of His sacrifice for our unworthy selves.
This is how Christ asks us to reconcile humanity to Himself. Not through our Christian podcasts, music or blog posts (gasp!!!). But through us daily laying aside our comfort for others. I’m making myself wiggle in my seat, and I think you might be too. This truth is uncomfortable. And scary.
A long list of concerns arose rather quickly in my mind as this truth came to life. Will I be OK? Will God take care of me? Like a good Christian girl, I tried to comfort myself with some cushy promise from scripture. Instead, there was this.
2 Corinthians 4 : 8-12
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying in the body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake,
so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.”
Awesome. Affliction, confusion, persecution, being given over to death. Sign me up! Oh wait, I already did. Good Christian girls know how to read scripture in context, thank goodness, because I found some comfort at the end of the chapter.
Our Future Hope
2 Corinthians 4 : 16-18
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
Because we have life hidden in Christ, we are being renewed inwardly each and every day. Only Christians have that promise, while the rest of the world is wasting away towards final destruction.
We have hope through Christ laying down his life for us. He defeated death so we do not need to fear what this life brings. Our eternal life is secure in him. Though we will go through trails and suffer in this life, it is not worth comparing to the life that is yet to come. We can confidently lay down our lives because of the hope we have, offering that hope to a world desperately looking for peace.