That night Jesus took a loaf of bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples to eat. He told them that this bread represented His body which would be broken for our sins.
Then He took a cup of wine, blessed it and shared it with the disciples telling them that this represented the blood that would be shed by Him for the remission of our sins.
He told of one that would betray Him and I'm sure that no one there but Jesus understood the meaning and the depth of what was going on.
I wouldn't have understood it. I'm sure that I would have been confused and feeling the need to ask more questions that Jesus could answer at that moment. I'm also sure that the significance of everything would have flown right over my head.
Fast forward to this past Sunday night. Sanctuary Church of God where my family and I go to church. We are having communion service and this is the first time that my family has shared in this service with this church since joining a few short months ago.
We enter the sanctuary and in the front is a table. It is lined with white linen table cloths. There are silver candelabras with blue and white candles in them.
There are four trays set up, 2 with bread, 2 with grape juice.
There are six chairs to one side and six chairs to the other side and one chair in the middle....this one is draped in purple. On the table in front of that middle chair lays a Bible, a crown of thorns and a dove.
The lights are low and service begins.
There are songs of worship and praise. There are many tears of love and adoration to our Savior.
The evangelist for the night begins to tell us the significance of the things before us and he also shares what we must work out within ourselves, with Christ to be ready to partake of the meal.
He speaks with authority and compassion. Even the babies are quiet.
He asks us to stand and in his hands he holds a trumpet.
He shares that when a king is ready to make an entrance, a trumpet is blown. He tells us that as he blows the trumpet, we will welcome the King to the meal. He then tells us it is customary to applaud as the King makes His way to the seat of honor.
He blows the trumpet and the Spirit of the Lord descends like I've never felt Him before.
We begin to applaud. I can't see anything. Partly because of the tears and partly because I feel unworthy to even look upon the place where He 'sits'.
As the applause dies down, the evangelist then starts at one side of the church taking groups of 12 to come sit at the table with the King and partake of the meal.
Yes, this does last for quite a while.....and still, even the babies are quiet.
It comes time for me and my family to take our turn. As I sit at the table, I still cannot bring myself to look at that middle chair draped in purple. I feel so filthy and so unworthy. As I partake of the bread, I can hardly breath, much less chew and swallow. The grape juice, which should bring some relief to my choking throat, I barely feel go down.
Still, all I can do is softly cry and slowly I come to a very tiny bit of a realization of how awesome the sacrifice of my Savior was for me.
Across the church, from the front to the balcony, the groups of 12 come, pray and partake of something bigger than we are....a meal with the One Who gave up everything for us and just wants us to give up everything for Him.
Is He asking too much of you?
Is He asking too much of me?
"There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."
John 15:13, NLT