Luke 22:19 And [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
As a child, my favorite food was bread. Riding in the shopping cart, I usually asked to eat the top crust. Occasionally mum treated us, by swinging by the bakery for a hot crusty loaf on our way home for lunch. Now I’m sensitive to wheat, and cannot have it. I do however, enjoy the most important bread — the bread of life — Jesus. He is the only bread that satisfies our hungry souls! I praise Him I will never be allergic to Him!
The first time I partook of Jesus’ body at our family’s church I remember a sense of condemnation, like I was taking it wrong. The feeling of unrepentant sin, or unworthiness pressed upon me. The following passage echoed through me:
1 Corinthians 11:27-29 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
So how do we know if we’re taking it right? It always seemed to happen so fast. I felt I didn’t have enough time to ask the Lord if I’d been ignoring some prodding of the Holy Spirit lately.
If the conviction is specific, it’s a good indication it’s from the Lord. Jesus is the way, and leads us along paths of righteousness. (Psalm 23:3) He does not come to make us feel bad in general about being a dirty sinner. (John 3:17)
A general feeling of condemnation can be answered with positive confession, “Right, I’m not perfect. I’m not worthy. I’m not sinless, but that’s precisely why I needed/need Jesus blood to wash me, and His body that was bruised, so I could be healed.” We know Jesus spilt blood covers our sins, washing us white as snow. The Father no longer see our sins, but Jesus who covers us. (1 Peter 1:2, Colossians 3:3, Galatians 3:27)
At the same time, that healthy fear/reverence/love of the Lord kicks in. We don’t want to trample the blood of Christ by continued willful disobedience. (Hebrews 10:29) So we ask God to search our hearts. (Psalm 139:23-24)
As today’s verse indicates, we need to remember Christ, and what He completed in full, and guaranteed for us.
1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
As Christians we should be constantly ready for Christ’s return. Daily searching of our hearts by the Spirit is necessary. Constant connection through prayer, in response to His Word, facilitates the Holy Spirit’s leading. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
In the Old Testament, God’s people had to consecrate themselves, by physically washing, before approaching the LORD. (Hebrews 9:13-21) A similar spiritual concept applies to us today, in regard to approaching the Lord’s Supper. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians, judgement in the form of weakness and sickness was falling on people who misused the Lord’s Supper. He described this as a grace, “being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:32)
The new covenant cost Jesus His life. The severity of His sacrifice arrests us, and joy abounds.
Partaking in the Lord’s Supper isn’t what heals us. Christ does. So let’s eat, remember and rejoice!
Oh LORD, our Bread of Life, bruised for our healing. You cleanse us from all wickedness. Our response is a ‘contrite heart’, godly sorrow that leads to repentance. We surrender completely to You. You are our reason to rejoice, for You save us from ourselves. ~Amen.
God truly sustains us. He is enough, see To Fast Or Not To Fast…
2 Corinthians 5:21
2 Corinthians 7:10
1 Peter 3:18