The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” – 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Often we have a hard time believing that we are loved. Men and women who have a keen awareness of their flaws will wonder if anyone can really love them. So we have a need to not only hear that we are loved, but also to receive tangible assurance of that love.
If we need that assurance from our fellow human beings, how much more do we need that assurance in our relationship to God?
God knows us so well. He knows how we feel. He knows what we need. Not only does he tell us in his Word that he loves us, he also gives us personal assurance of that love.
How does he do that? He does so in what Christians call Holy Communion or The Lord’s Supper. In this special meal Jesus gives us bread that isn’t just bread. He tells us, “This is my body.” He also gives us wine to drink that isn’t just wine. He says, “This is my blood.”
Now before anyone gets grossed out, this isn’t some kind of weird cannibalism. It’s bread and wine that looks, smells, and tastes like bread and wine. Yet, in a way that we can’t perceive or comprehend, Jesus tells us that with the bread and wine, his body and blood are really present in this Supper.
Here’s why this is such a great gift. You may think, “I know that Jesus forgives all those other people out there, but I’m not really sure that he can forgive me.” In Holy Communion, Jesus comes to you personally and says, “I love you. Your sins are all forgiven. You want proof? Here’s the price I paid for you on the cross. This is my body which was sacrificed for you. This is my blood which I shed for you.”
Whenever we receive the Lord’s Supper, we remember Jesus’ saving, self-sacrificing love for us, and we personally receive not only assurance of that love, but we also receive his forgiveness.