“Don’t worry. I’ll always be here with you,” says the hero to his beloved—and then he dies. It’s a lovely sentiment. But even in the movies, it doesn’t take the sting out of loneliness. We know that the dying hero has just made a promise he can’t keep—the promise to remain with the one he loves after his death.
When we lose a loved one, we’re grateful for our time together here on earth. We cherish each memory, and we look forward to a blessed reunion in heaven. But in the meantime, we don’t engage in romantic fantasies about our loved ones gazing down at us from the realm of the twinkling stars above or coming to us on the gentle summer breeze.
The reason is very simple. Death doesn’t work that way. Death separates us from those we love.
Thank God there’s an exception. Before Jesus was betrayed and died, he made us a promise he can keep. He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. Then he told them that what they were taking and eating was in fact his very own body. He did the same with a cup of wine. He gave it to them, encouraged them to drink it, and told them that it was, in fact, his very own blood. He solemnly charged them to continue to do this even after he was gone. He wanted them to remember his betrayal, his sufferings and death, and his resurrection.
So the Christian church has celebrated the Lord’s Supper for almost two thousand of years.
When he instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus gave to his disciples—and to us—an amazing promise.
When he instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus gave to his disciples—and to us—an amazing promise. In every Lord’s Supper, Jesus will come to us. Each time we receive the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, Scripture says, we receive the Lord himself. Not merely his words, his memory, or his love. More than that. We receive his true body and blood. It’s the same body that was nailed to the cross for us and the same blood that flowed from his hands and side. He won complete forgiveness from God for all our sins with that body and blood.
Skeptics have always wondered how Jesus could possibly keep such a promise. But, as believers in Jesus, we know him better than that. We know he’s never yet made a promise he couldn’t keep. We trust his promise in the Lord’s Supper— the promise always to come to us, with his true body and blood, to forgive and to bless.
© 2004 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.