While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The Lord’s Supper. Communion. The Eucharist. Each name refers to the same act of worship — the remembrance of Jesus’ death and celebration of its transforming power. Yesterday we considered the importance of the bread. Today let’s consider the significance of the cup.
Jesus used two simple elements — bread and wine — to help us remember the profound impact of His death. The wine represents the blood of Jesus that was poured out on the cross. The “poured out ” is a figure of speech used to describe death. The Old Testament sacrificial system called for the death of an animal as a substitute for the Israelites. Without the shedding of blood, there could be no forgiveness of sins (Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22).
Just as the repeated sacrifices resulted in forgiveness for the Old Testament worshipers, Jesus said that His death—one-time-for-all-time—would inaugurate a new covenant. This covenant promised fellowship with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit for all who placed their faith in Jesus. When we celebrate communion we are remembering the great work of Jesus done on our behalf. It is a time of celebration, thanksgiving, and worship.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for me on the cross. Help me live every day thankfully celebrating Your gift of love and grace. In Your name. Amen.
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