Jesus instituted a memorial meal with his intimate followers just before he died. ‘Do this in remembrance of me,’ he said, over the simple elements of bread and wine he shared with his friends. And as his friends we still do this, 2,000 years later.
It was about remembering, but also about Jesus himself, for the bread symbolised his life, and the wine his blood – the giving up of that perfect and complete life on the cross. And not just death, but death in our place: he died so we don’t have to.
Hard to fathom, but deeply true: humans are biased towards what the Bible calls sin – wrong ideas, attitudes, and behaviour which spoil our relationships and wreck all that God planned for his creation in the beginning. That damage is what Jesus came to put right (we call him Saviour), by his life, his teaching, all that he did in his short life, and most of all by his death.
Wrongs on the scale of our sin deserve the death penalty. But Jesus, who came from God the Father, and was himself God the Son, willingly took our place. He died, taking our deserved penalty on himself – but then as well, he rose from the dead, and that changed everything.
When we believe in Jesus, and accept him as our Lord (doing what he says), new possibilities open up, for by our belief we access his new resurrection life. Jesus comes to live within us, in the Holy Spirit – the life of God himself resident within us. Our job is to work out the implications of that new life, wherever we happen to be and whatever our circumstances. We don’t do this unaided, of course, for God works with us, and is in us.
Nevertheless, there much to discourage us. And even if we begin, there is every encouragement to stop. It isn’t always comfortable, nor in our own short-term and narrow interests. We need reminding repeatedly of Jesus, whose life it is we are working out, and this we do at our worship services of Holy Communion, twice a month, once in the morning and once in the evening. This ‘sacrament’ is called in some other Christian denominations ‘The Eucharist’ or The Lord’s Table’.
The Lord’s Table is open to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ… and in that love desire and seek to please him by the way they live in his footsteps, under his guidance, in his strength, and for the glory of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.