Celebrating the Sacrifice

by Joanna Pierce on March 28, 2018

I saw communion as a confusing occasion growing up. I didn’t understand why everyone would get in line just to eat a piece of bread and get a drink. Didn’t they know that wasn’t a substantial snack to hold them over until lunch?

Then, as I grew older, I started questioning why there were people comfortable drinking out of the same cup of wine as 50+ other people, but wouldn’t share a soda with just one person outside of church. Or, how leavened and unleavened bread were used in observance of this ceremony. Did they just get what was on sale?

And, imagine my further alarm, when in Sunday school I learned the wine symbolized the blood of Jesus, and the bread, His body. When I partook of communion I was drinking His blood and eating His flesh. Had I become a cannibal? Panic ensued.

As a child, you misunderstand quite a bit about the importance of communion and what it actually represents in the church. I’m not saying any of my observations were 100% accurate or 100% in alignment with Scripture—it’s just what I experienced. But, as a young adult, I went to the Scriptures to find out communion’s true meaning:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26–28, KJV).

Jesus told His disciples to participate in communion to remember Him (Luke 22:19). So, what are we remembering?

We’re to remember how He suffered the absolute worst punishment and pain anyone could possibly endure by being beaten and crucified. We’re to remember how He was stripped naked, shattering any shred of dignity while He hung on the cross. We’re to remember the blood that flowed from Calvary’s hill. We’re to remember His sacrifice.

Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind: past, present, and future. He gave His life for you and me so we could experience victory over sin, sickness, bondage, depression, and everything else—you fill in the blank. We’re to remember the great, and awesome love our Savior has for us.

Easter is approaching this Sunday. We’re celebrating Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. He didn’t just die on a cruel and rugged cross. He went to hell and took back the keys to death, hell, and the grave (Revelation 1:18). After three days, He arose into Heaven (I Corinthians 15:3–4). We serve a living Savior!

He did all of this so we could have life. But, it started with the breaking of His body and the shedding of His blood.

I pray when we celebrate Easter, and partake of communion, we remember His sacrifice. When we partake of the vine and the unleavened bread, let’s remember and honor the greatest love and sacrifice the world will ever know.