In today’s carb-conscious world, I fear we’re starting to lose sight of one unshakeable truth: bread is awesome.
It can be used to make sandwiches, desserts (bread pudding), salads (Panzanella), stuffing, and French toast, to name but a few applications. It is often crumbled up and used as a breading or a crunchy topping for a dish. Bread comes in all shapes and sizes, from the delicate, oily focaccia to hearty, durable ciabatta to sweet, buttery brioche.
Yet for all the reasons bread is great, none tops this one: it’s a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
As He and the disciples were eating the Last Supper, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. As He handed it to His disciples, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26)
This surely had to be an odd moment for the disciples; what could Jesus possibly mean? Why was He calling this grain His body, then handing it to them to eat. With no context for what communion would become, the disciples must’ve been bewildered at this development!
But this was Jesus’ way of saying, “Remember my sacrifice.” He was about to commit the boldest act in human history, and Jesus wanted the disciples to never lose sight of He’d done for them. Luke 22:20 notes that Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
As much as this gift was to the disciples then, I think it takes on even more importance now. While we have the Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, and other means to connect to God, eating the bread and drinking from the cup are our only physical association with Him. As humans, we’re obsessed with what we can experience with our senses: what we can touch, see, feel, taste, and smell.
The bread was Jesus’ way of acknowledging our desire for physical connection. He gave us a reminder that we could experience and use to remember not only all that He’s done for us, but the love that He has for us. This is an amazing blessing!
I want to challenge you this week. Maybe you do this already, but I fear most don’t (I’ll fully admit it; sometimes I lose sight of what communion is all about and go through the motions). As you next take communion, think about Jesus’ body, which was pierced and mutilated for you. And think about the love it took for Him to allow that to happen.
When you do, I think communion will take on a whole new significance.