The Power of your Holy Communion
You will have taken part in this short ceremony many times in your Christian life. Whatever you call it, the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper or Communion, you have the same elements before you, the plate of bread and the cup of wine or juice.
There are many instructions and declarations that you have heard during this time. Exhortations to look to Jesus who forgives all our sins; to surrender your life as he surrendered his; to be thankful for all Jesus has done in His finished work on the cross; to receive by faith your healing. There are many and all are good and helpful.
This morning I am taken in a direction I haven’t seen before. The direction of battle.
Jesus had been eager to eat this Passover for a long time. He was going to Jerusalem as the new Moses, the Redeemer Messiah in a final showdown with the powers of evil. Just as the angel of death would sweep over Egypt so the judgment of God was coming and Jesus’ blood would be the Lamb’s blood sprinkled on the doorposts saving and commencing the Exodus. His death would enable the great escape from the power of sin.
The Passover meal that Jesus had with the disciples is not only a dramatic re-telling of the Exodus; it is not only a prophetic display of future blessings; it is an indicator of the battle that all of us will travel in as we follow Jesus.
Here is the passage:
Luke 22: 16-38 “For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And 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.” 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. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. 24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” 35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. 36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfilment.” 38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.
The battle- lines are drawn:
The Kingdom has a King, the ruler of everything.
The sacrifice. The cup of blood, a sacrifice for a new covenant replacing the sacrificial system of the old covenant. A body given (broken).
The betrayal has a betrayer who came near in order to betray. The internal war within the camp.
The argument and the arrogance from people who had previously had their feet washed by a servant.
The trials that have already taken place and will lead to more before the weekend is over.
Satan and his purpose to sift which involves judging us for not being who we should be.
Failing faith that needs prayer.
Denials that replace the promises of commitment.
Swords for the fight.
Judged as a sinner.
This is our life’s battle. This is our Holy Communion life.
We will falter many times. But the One who made it, who perfected the Holy Communion, who battled and defeated Satan, will lead us home.
Make Him King; Thank Him for His sacrifice; Pursue integrity; Serve don’t strive with others; Hang on in the trials; Fight not flesh and blood but with the evil powers; Keep the faith; Don’t give up, back off, walk away; Choose the right sword; align with the sinner.
That is your Holy Communion. Take it today.