Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holy Communion….err… Lord’s Supper?

Do this in remembrance of Me!

Let’s check your Algebra first! What is (a-b)3?

You know one of the biggest problem with human kind is that they forget! Events are lost in the mists of time and becomes history.

Let me share with you a story about a teacher who noticed that his students always seemed to struggled with algebra. One day he thought of an idea; he gave his students a red square card, and instructed them to keep it in their wallet, and every time they saw that card they should remind themselves all the algebraic formulas.

His students started to follow this method and pretty soon the students could remember all the algebraic formulas; even when they were woken up in the middle of the night, they can recite all the algebraic formulas. As time went by, these students started to teach other students using this method.

Eventually with the success of this method, the red card got quite famous, and many legends started around it as well.  Some people even started believing that if you had a red card in your wallet the spirit of the old master would come into you and teach you algebra. People started to revere the ‘Red Card’. As a result, many people now had a red card, but no one knew algebraic formulas.

Many years passed by, and one day a small boy was reading the story about this famous teacher and his method to teach algebra to his students. He marveled and decided to follow this method to learn algebra. But there was a problem. The child lived in a far far away country where they knew only to make black and white color papers. He struggled and tried everything he could, to make a red color card, but failed. Being determined to learn algebra, he instead made a Black color square card and kept it in his wallet. Every time he saw the black card, he reminded himself the algebraic equations. And pretty soon he was much better in algebra than all those people who were revering the red card but never practiced algebra.

What do you say? Do you think the students who revered the red card were the real followers of the master or the one with black card?

Let’s now see what Jesus taught His disciples: 

John 6:53-54 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 

Matthew 26:26-28 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

To know what happened in John 6 let me give you a little bit of context. Many people were following Jesus after the miracle he performed of feeding five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. He knew that they are following Him for food. So, he said to them, "I can give you food that gives eternal life", and obviously, they all wanted that bread. And then He said to them that He's the bread that came from Heaven and unless they eat His flesh and drink His blood they’ll not have eternal life (John 6:53-54). This offended them because He said that he came from Heaven. As a result, many left him.

He later explained to his disciples what he actually meant; He said that the literal flesh is in fact of no use and won't give them eternal life even if they eat it, rather it is the spirit and his teachings, that will give them life. It is in believing Him and obeying His commandments will they get eternal life.

Jesus knew that people by nature forget. So, during the Last Supper (Mathew 26:26-28) He gave his disciples a tradition; He gave them bread to eat and wine to drink and instructed them to do this in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19). 

Which means do this, every time you meet, so that you NEVER forget that it is only because of Jesus that you are saved and obedience to His commandments is the only way to eternal life.

Over time the bread and wine has become so holy and reverential that they no longer serve the purpose they were institutionalized for. People don’t even know what it’s supposed to remind them of.

I believe that someone who eats Idli and drinks Sambhar but remembers every time that it is Jesus who gives him life is more blessed than the one who eats unleavened bread and wine but don’t know why he’s doing it. What's the purpose of Red Card if you never learn algebra?

So then, every time we take that bread in our hand let us remind ourselves that it is through Jesus' sacrifice that I am saved, it is Jesus and his teachings that has life and I must strive to obey them.

By the way, there is no word Communion in the Bible, it’s only the Lord’s Supper!