23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Dear God, why did Jesus leave us with what we call “The Last Supper” or “Eucharist”? Or I guess a better way to look at it would be to ask what would be different if he hadn’t said what he said and did what he did in the breaking of the bread and pouring of the wine on that last night before his crucifixion.
I discovered something interesting today. Well, maybe I knew it before, but if I did I’ve forgotten it. When wanting to see the recording of the last supper, I wanted to see how John portrayed the breaking of bread and pouring of wine in his gospel. He gives us chapters and chapters describing that last meal, starting in chapter 13. But much to my surprise, he didn’t mention it at all! That really surprised me. Why did he not think to include that part all those years later? Had he stopped doing the eucharist at that time in his life? I found it odd that something so important to the modern church was completely passed over (pun intended) by one of the core disciples/apostles.
But back to my question. What would be different if Jesus hadn’t left us with the eucharist? Well, let’s look at what Paul said: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (Verse 26) Then in the subsequent verses he gets into the state of our hearts when we take the bread and wine, but I think this is the part that’s important. It makes me wonder if we didn’t regularly go through this act of physical remembrance of Jesus’s body being broken and his blood being spilled would we forget what he really did and just let his life morph into being of no more significance than the great prophets?
Father, help me to never water down the significance of Jesus’s sacrifice and the subsequent power he/you displayed through his resurrection. Help me to keep my heart pure and ready to participate in the eucharist whenever the opportunity presents itself to me. And help me to “proclaim [Jesus’s] death (and resurrection) until he comes.”
In Jesus’s name I pray,