"Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me"
We have all heard stories of people who have been rescued from burning buildings or snatched from twisted and burning heaps of wreckage along the interstate by some brave and caring individual. It seems that the hearts and souls of those who were rescued were knit to their savior, as Jonathan's soul was knit to David's, when he slew Israel's giant enemy. In many cases, some sense of appreciation or gratitude for life seems to move the would be victim to stay in touch and communicate with their rescuer. I remember the movie, "Saving Private Ryan", and the last words of Tom Hanks was something like, "Make it count". The soldier that he and others gave their lives for was seen visiting his grave and remembering his death all of his life. Surely, this kind of thankfulness, appreciation, love and communion is manifested among the Lord's people as they meet together to remember their Savior, who saved them, not from burning buildings or burning wreckage, but from a burning and eternal place of torment.
Many of the early disciples knew Jesus personally in the days of His earthly ministry. As the infant church gathered together to break the bread, they remembered their friend who walked with them, talked with them, taught them, healed them, and ultimately died for their transgressions. As the bread was crushed and broken in their hands, their minds and hearts were upon the body of their friend whose body was crushed and broken for their sin. Oh, that we might break the bread with such affection today!
It is difficult to tell just how frequently they observed their Lord's body in this way. At Troas, they came together to break bread upon the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). In another place we read where they, "continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart"(Acts 2:46). As we read such passages, we find their fellowship so closely knit that it is difficult to tell where the Lord's supper ended and their regular meals began. Much of the time, their circumstance required the early Christians to meet in their own homes to worship together and break the bread. As they brake the bread from "house to house" I can almost hear them say: "I want to observe the master's death at my house". To them, it was a blessed privilege to observe such a service in the confines of their personal dwellings. What a testimony it must have been to their immediate family and their neighbors as they worshiped the Lord and brake the bread and told the story of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Every baptized believer should joyfully anticipate that special time when the saints of God gather together and remember Jesus in that sacred ordinance of "the breaking of bread".
Symbolically, the manna in the wilderness represented the body of Christ, his life, his doctrine, his suffering, his body broken for the sins of His people. This "manna" in the wilderness provided sustenance and strength for the Lord's people. As we journey through the wilderness of this world, the doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was. As the manna was sweet in taste and sustaining to the natural body so is this "living bread" to the hungry soul. We enjoy the sweetness of his fruits, His word, His doctrine and ordinances; those meats which includes in them all happiness. They looked for this manna daily and so should we for He strengthens our soul and causes us to rejoice!
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