The word for this week is: Communion
The thought for this week is: Jesus did not view his coming death as an end of his mission, but rather the means of accomplishing it.
Each of us have particular ways of remembering friends and relatives who have died. We visit their graves periodically, tell stories about them and collect pictures in albums or display pictures on the walls of our homes. We create special ways of remembering that are befitting of the person who has died. When Jesus knew he was about to die, he gave instructions ahead of time to his disciples for how they should remember him. It was through a living memorial that we still practice today. Can you recall a time when you took communion and it was especially moving or meaningful to you?
Our story begins on Thursday and Jesus has seen his last sun set. Within hours, his body will be stretched out on the cross. Within 24 hours, he will have died and be buried. On that fateful Thursday evening, Jesus was not thinking of his mission as something in the past. Rather, he was looking to the future. He did not view his coming death as an end of his mission, but rather the means of accomplishing it. Read Mark 14:12-26. As you read, notice Jesus’ words and actions. He is spending his final hours in quiet seclusion with his disciples. They are joining together for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Normally this would have been a time of celebration and joy, yet Jesus announces that one of them will betray him. During the meal, he identifies the bread as his body and the fruit of the vine as his blood of the covenant. After they have sung a traditional hymn, all things are now set in motion. His sights are now set on things beyond the grave
The next time you take communion, reflect upon those things that are especially striking to you. Then consider Jesus’ last meal with his disciples before he was crucified. Meditate and pray through the following scripture: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (I Cor. 11:26)
Prayer: Father in heaven, we praise your Holy Name. We thank you for the salvation that comes through the broken body and poured out blood of your Son. Strengthen our faith as we try to live our lives for you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
By Rory Barneche