I love the Communion sacrament, I love the fact that we share in something that connects us with the early church followers… something ancient and yet fresh and alive. My wife and I led Communion yesterday and I was just going to read from 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 and serve the bread and wine. Until I started to read a line I have read countless times before and my heart exploded with passion of a simple truth revealed. The line was found in verse 23…
The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed.
This night, one that Jesus earnestly desired to be with his band of brothers; would become one of deep betrayal. Jesus knew of his suffering to come, he knew the beatings and the cross were close, but the first blow, the first insult was not by a Roman guard or a Jewish religious leader… it was one of his twelve.
Yet on the night he was betrayed…he chose them, he chose love.
Jesus sat down and ate with betrayers and deserters… with men who fell asleep when he needed them to pray. Knowing all this, Jesus still wanted to be with them, such was his love for them. The courage of the twelve would leave them, their concern for their own safety outweighing their love for the Master, demonstrating how fragile the human heart is. Their actions reveal my own heart as well...how many times in my life have I deserted my Lord in the name of connivance and comfort? The short answer is…too many.
On the night he was betrayed…the Master would not leave them… or us.
Betrayals, beatings, insults, the bruising of fists or words, none of it deterred Jesus from loving humanity. Everyday the Messiah chooses us… He earnestly desires to be with us, sharing communion, the rich relationship that restores weak, sinful, human hearts… making us His own.
This is the Lord, my Messiah, my King, I proclaim!
Seems so often it can be those closest to us that can give the hardest blows, but like Christ, we must forgive and continue to love them. We also must also have our gazes fixed on Christ, Him first. He is our foundation. Other things/people can fail us (even if our loved ones don't mean to), but He never will.