I was sitting in worship service having just sung the song about Jesus being the Lamb of God. It speaks of the name of Jesus being worthy because of His great sacrifice for you and I at the cross. Following the song, we partook in a most intimate communion service. The ushers of the church passed around the bread, which came in the way of an unleavened wafer. It was big enough for me to break just before I partook of the emblem.
Then the ushers passed around the fruit of the vine, and I held the bread in one hand, and the fruit of the vine in the other, and I waited for the rest of the congregation to get theirs so we could partake together of this most sacred sacrament called THE LORD’S SUPPER. The very supper our Lord shared with His disciples the night before He was to be crucified.
After everyone received the elements we were ready to proceed in blessing the bread and partaking. I remember being in such a reverent attitude as I repented of my sins, and felt His washing in my soul to prepare me for this sacred honor. I got a glimpse of how the priest of the Old Testament must have felt after their outward cleansing in preparation to enter the Most Holy Place to sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat, and atone for the sins of the people as God had commanded.
As the pastor prayed over the bread, I thought in my mind the words that Jesus must have spoke according to Jewish custom, “Blessed are you oh Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” After this, we were ready to partake, and I did something I’d not done before. I broke the wafer in half. As I did, a realization of Christ brokenness on that fateful day swept over me. What agony and brokenness He must have endured.
As I broke the bread, I began to weep, and agonized over the sorrow of our sinless and perfect Lord having to suffer the ultimate humiliation for a creation that turned their backs on the God who made them. He could have called a legion of angels, but chose not too. He could have saved Himself as they taunted Him too, but He wouldn’t. He could have chose not to suffer absolute rejection by the heavenly Father when He bore the sins of the whole world, but He didn’t. Jesus absolutely bore it all, and as I was remembering Him as I partook of the bread, I could also sense my own unworthiness. At that moment, I felt something else: I felt His tremendous love and compassion in spite of my sinfulness and despair, and His desire to change those parts about me that are broken. But even more important than that, His promise to me that He was going to.
As I began to get ready to receive the fruit of the vine, and the pastor prayed, I thought of those words that Jesus must have spoken according to Jewish custom: “Blessed are You oh Lord our God, King of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.” At that moment I partook and was caught up in the emotion of the all, the spiritual implication of what was taking place weighed heavy on my heart. I began to think about how blood must have “oozed” from every pore of His body. The whipping He endured, the crown of thorns on His brow, and the nailing of His body to that Roman instrument of torture. How could one man, a perfect and divine man, endure such suffering?
When I look at my life, and I measure my messed, broken down, existence to His perfection, I just think, “How could there be any hope for me? When I want to do right, it seems I’m drawn to the wrong.” Then I force myself to realize, that’s why it took a perfect sacrifice. The sins of humanity run deep. A thorough cleanup job was necessary. When Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED!” it was done! I don’t totally understand it, and our finite mind can’t comprehend it, but it’s not meant too. Spiritual things can’t be discerned and understood through natural means. But as we receive it, and believe it by faith, the peace of God allows our spirit to bear witness with the Holy Spirit, that what Jesus did at the cross did a thorough and complete Job, and sacred communion is a way to allow us to get a glimpse of just how deep Jesus’ love and sacrifice is on our behalf.
Written by Randy Gene Foncree on Thursday, February 8, 2008