Luke 22:19, 20 “This (bread) is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.” “…He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’”

Observation: Jesus and the disciples have just shared their last Passover. Also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they were following a centuries old custom mandated by God Himself as commemoration of that long ago night when God’s death angel had passed over the homes of devout Israelis in search of Egypt’s firstborn.

Application: Thus was born a new church tradition: communion with one another in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice of a broken body and shed blood. As Christians we are told to maintain this custom until He returns, when He says He will once again eat the Passover meal.

The phrase, “…a new church tradition” ought to chill the heart. For most of us, that really is what communion has become: a tradition. The details may differ—a wafer here, a broken cracker there, or a loaf pulled apart. Juice in this place, wine in that. But it’s tradition none-the-less. In such mists of darkness, what is it that I think I am commemorating? Do I simply remember the night that the Son of God served as a heavenly waiter? Do the wafer and wine simply remind me of a memorable evening at table, a peaceful respite preceding His arrest?

In the sheer roteness of remembrance, my heart and spirit can become dulled. Just as the long-married couple may recall the exquisite delight of the wedding bed but rarely experience it afresh, so I, if I try hard, can push through cobwebs of my mind to catch a faint glimmer of what it is I am truly to remember.

It is not the fellowship meal itself that matters. What I must press in hard on is that He died. He interrupted ancient Jewish custom of killing a blameless Passover lamb to personally become that sacrifice for me and stepped willingly forward to be butchered in my behalf. It isn’t communion I am to recall; it is sacrifice. He is like the larger-than-life action hero stepping in front of a train called sin and death that’s hurtling toward me as I lay bound on the tracks ‘round the bend. But instead of being impervious to pain like a true action figure, He died. Still, in His horrific death, I live. My life is now in Him. He is my hope of glory. My own Passover lamb, slaughtered on an altar, has rescued me from death’s certainty.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for allowing traditions of the communion ceremony to dim recollection of the very thing You call me to remember. I want always to carry within a consciousness of Your sacrifice for me. Thank you, Lord, I love You.