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On every Mission Discovery trip, we begin the morning together in God’s word. One speaker is chosen to give the word of the day so that everyone else can meditate on the Scripture. Our hope is that volunteers engage in group discussions throughout the day and in their small groups.
Since the way ministry is being done has shifted, our goal is to serve by creating resources that will help others focus on God throughout the day, and influence family and small group discussion.
Join us every weekday as we explore God’s word together. We will have speakers from all over the US and the world. Here is today’s Kickstart Devotional.
Video: Nathan Walters // The Bread and the Wine
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The Bread and the Wine
Well, it’s Good Friday and this Easter season is probably going to look a lot different than anything we’ve ever seen before. It’s going to be a lot of virtual online hanging out with churches. I know for me, my church always did this huge celebration for Easter and there’s just not a lot of that that’s going to happen.
So, today is Good Friday and traditionally this is when the church has recognized that Christ goes to the cross. Then he is resurrected on Sunday. So, traditionally a lot of people will have communion on Good Friday; and a lot of people don’t really understand that this can happen at home. We can do communion at home.
My hope is that you would gather the materials at your house and gather your family together. Together take communion because you can do that. So, I do want to step back a little bit though, because for a lot of us, we know what communion is. We know that this is bread and you know this represents the body of Christ that was broken for us. And we know that this is wine, or grape juice, or in my case sweet tea because I’m not going to the store right now to get anything.
So this is sweet tea and we’ve got to do with what we have. So we know that these two elements represent the blood in the body of Christ and that Christ’s death means the forgiveness of our sins. But the question is: what did the disciples think at the time?
When Jesus is talking about his blood and his body and how they have to take this. This was the first time this wa ever done was the last supper. Would they have understood? Would they have thought it was weird? I mean this is kind of an odd thing that Jesus is saying to do. And the answer is no, they wouldn’t have thought it was weird at all. They would have known exactly what Jesus was talking about.
We on the other hand, being separated from first-century Jewish culture don’t really understand what Jesus was talking about or how the disciples interpreted what Jesus was saying.
And so I’m going to help us out today, because I think understanding the Old Testament rituals that Jesus was following at this time, understanding those will help us understand what Jesus was really saying and give us a little bit more meaning for our communion experience.
So first off, the way that Jesus was presenting this was based off of an Old Testament ritual of two families coming together and uniting.
And so when two families would unite they would go through these rituals, and the first ritual when the two families would come together is there would be an exchange of jackets. So the jacket represented provision. So, if a family had a really bad year and their barns were empty, the other family would provide for them. They always had a spot at the table. They could always come over and eat and be one together.
The next thing that they would do is exchange swords. And the sword represented protection. So if an enemy ever were to come and attack one family the other family would take up their swords and help defend the family. So they were together with provision and protection.
And then came the exchange of rings. Now this would probably you know. You guys can probably attest to the fact that we exchanged rings in weddings so this is kind of the same thing, except back then, the ring represented authority. So, if you’ve ever watched TV I’m sure you may have seen some sort of scene somewhere where there’s a piece of paper, and there’s wax that is dripped on the paper and this guy takes his ring and dips it in the wax. That was a way of signing that paper.
It was it was like we use a signature today. But the ring represented authority. So one family could sign for the other family.
Then there would be an exchange of or addition of names. So the families would unite their names together. They would add their names to their own. And that was a way of announcing to the world that these families are now one. They’re unified.
And so if anybody wants to attack family A then family B will be right by their side to defend them. And the last thing that they would do together to represent this unity, to lock it in, is to have a meal together. And so at this meal, there would be this pronouncement.
This is the tradition: at the meal, they would take some bread and they would say, “This is my body broken for you.” One family would say this to the other. And then they would pick up the wine and they would say, “This is my blood poured out for you.” And so by doing this they were saying to each other that whatever happens to you happens to me. We are no longer separate. We are one, united family. And so Jesus, when he sits down with the disciples, he’s saying the same thing. And they would have understood this.
They would have understood that Jesus was saying this is my body broken for you and this is my blood poured out for you. And whatever happens to you happens to me. And whatever happens to me happens to you. And wherever I am, or wherever you are that’s where I am. We go together. We are no longer separated. Jesus was saying there is no division between him and us, his followers.
Jesus was saying that we belong to each other. The Church, we belong to each other. What happens to you happens to me. And I think this is really important right now as we’re sitting in this coronavirus fever and the madness of it all – to understand that even though we’re separate, even though we can’t celebrate Easter together and we have to do it virtually, we belong to each other.
We are with each other. We don’t have to fear. We have people that are with us. Not just my wife in the other room but the rest of the Church is my family and we are all unified in Christ.