This is the communion address I shared with the Parkrose Congregation this Good Friday.
The first communion, as we practice it today, came into being at the Last Supper Jesus had with His disciples prior to heading off to the Mt of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemene, and His trial before Pilate and then His crucifixion;
His death on the cross.
At the supper with the 12 disciples,
Jesus broke the bread apart.
(as we will read in a minute,)
We can wonder even then was He feeling as He broke it, as it crumbled, as it was torn apart,
“is this what is going to happen to my actual body?”
He may have been thinking and asking His heavenly Father is there another way that you can bring your people, mankind, back into a right relationship with you.
He knew also His father would not be there to comfort Him and make the pain go away as He hung dying on the Cross.
He knew His Heavenly Father loved the world and everyone in it so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son for the purpose of redemption from Sin.
For each one of us.
We read also that when Jesus and the disciples(now 11 as Judas had gone off to betray Him) were in the Garden of Gethesemene that
“41-42 He walked away, perhaps a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed this prayer: “Father, if you are willing, please take away this cup of horror from me. But I want your will, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him, 44 for he was in such agony of spirit that he broke into a sweat of blood, with great drops falling to the ground as he prayed more and more earnestly.”
The problem Jesus had was that for this sacrifice to be valid was that He had to die as a man, totally human with all the physical pain and emotional and spiritual pain they we are all subject to.
He had to die as a human being with all the sin of each person becoming as if He had committed that sin.
Manifesting itself in Him.
He had to die in our place.
He took all our guilt on Himself.
He could have called on all the Angels to rescue Him but He had to resist that temptation.
He knew that He would not be able to be comforted and strengthened by even one angel,
as He was in the garden ,
as He sweated great drops of blood in anguish.
So we read this:
Matthew 26:26-30Living Bible
26 As they were eating, Jesus took a small loaf of bread and blessed it and broke it apart and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take it and eat it, for this is my body.”27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks for it and gave it to them and said, “Each one drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, sealing the new covenant. It is poured out to forgive the sins of multitudes. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink this wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."
So let us remember as we give thanks for this bread and the cup why we take it.
We do so in memory of what Jesus has done for us ,
and any who will receive Him,
and we give thanks that our Heavenly Father would allow His son to go through such agony,
and that Jesus was willing to obey.