While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Matthew 26:26-30
It’s interesting that Jesus chose food as the lingering symbol of His death. Most people are remembered with a memorial service and a final resting place. The resurrected Christ had neither.
Why food? Well, food is readily available. Most of us encounter it several times a day. Unless we choose, we are never really without food.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus prays, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Our physical life depends on nutrition and nourishment.
After His 40 day fast in the desert, the Devil tempted Jesus by asking Him to turn stones into bread. Quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, Jesus replied, “'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).
Jesus went further by telling the Jews, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:50-51). Just as our physical life depends on physical food, our spiritual life depends on Christ’s sacrifice. Our goal is not necessarily to take communion every day, but to recognize that our wellbeing, physically and spiritually, is tied to Christ.
Food is also personal. When we eat something, it literally becomes part of us. “You are what you eat,” you know. Jesus’ hope for us was never that we would try hard enough and live up to His example. Our hope comes from that fact that Jesus is present in us. The only way that we can truly live a Christian life is for Jesus to live His life through us. Our job is to avoid getting in His way. As we surrender ourselves, our plans, and our ways to Him, He is able to come shining through.
For today, I want to encourage you to do something that’s perhaps a bit unorthodox. When you pick up your sandwich and drink a soda or sweet tea, thank Him for providing all that you need to live – physically and spiritually. This won’t replace an official communion service, but it is a daily reminder of how good God is to us – all the way around.