Easter Sunday – a wonderful day when we celebrate that Jesus died and rose again. For the final week of our 'Devoted' series we look at how the early church was devoted to the breaking of bread or as it is now often called, the Lord’s Supper or Communion. This wasn't a ritual for them, rather they did it because they were devoted to Jesus.
The best place to start is to look at that final meal that Jesus had with His disciples. Jesus took a regular part of the meal, the bread and made an amazing statement. As Luke 22:19 says:
...He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Jesus took the cup of wine, again a regular part of the meal and spoke about it. Luke 22:20:
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."
The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus was doing. When Jesus was arrested and then crucified, the disciples were scattered and afraid. But then on the third day Jesus rose again. Death could not hold Him. Jesus had overcome sin and death for our sake. He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. After His resurrection He appeared to many people and the words He had spoken now made sense.
As people responded to Jesus in obedience, as they repented of their sins and received forgiveness through Him, they were brought into a new community. These new believers saw how Jesus had brought together people from all different backgrounds and how they were bound to one another. They were unable to exclude those who had believed in Christ, but nor could they include those who had not. As they took the same simple elements that Jesus had on that night, they knew that once and for all their sins were forgiven, that they had new life and peace with God.
As we join in the Lord’s Supper we are declaring that we are also a new community brought together by Jesus. His sacrifice for our sin has brought us peace with God and peace with each other. As we take the elements we are remembering what Jesus has done and declaring our devotion to our Lord and Saviour.
I pray that you find the joy, peace and forgiveness that there is for you in Jesus as you humble yourself and in repentance respond to His sacrifice and live in the newness of life that He has for you.