Where’s the Beef?
Did you ever wonder why Jesus chose to use bread and wine to represent His body and blood in what we now call communion? Why not brisket and tomato juice? Or how about filet-o-fish and pomegranate juice?
So often we focus on the what and how that we overlook the why.
Why did Jesus instruct His followers to do this? Was it to start a new religious tradition or sacrament? That seems to be out of character for Jesus, since He Himself was often criticized for not following religious tradition.
Bread and wine were peasant foods. Bread was an everyday staple sometimes being the only solid food available for many, and wine was more available than clean drinking water. These were items that were available to almost everyone. They were everyday items unlike the foods at the special feasts.
Such is the availability of the salvation of Christ. It is for everyone, not just the special people or the upper class. It is not just for religious people, but it is available to everyone. It is for everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God who took our sins upon Himself to the cross where He died, only to rise again three days later. It is for everyone who accepts Him as their Lord and Savior.
It is not about the food that was used. Religion will argue over whether it is okay to substitute grape juice for the wine, and how often we should partake in communion. Every week? Once a month? Quarterly? Doesn’t sound much like Jesus, does it? Oh, the foolishness of man.
I think that what Jesus was trying to accomplish was to make sure that His followers kept Him and what He did for us, top of mind.
Luke 22:19 says “And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
I think that Jesus knows us all too well. He knows that we tend to focus on what we think is urgent, instead of what is important. He knows that we can get lost in our day to day circumstances.
I believe that what Jesus what simply trying to do was to get us to not forget what He did for us.
He was saying “remember Me and what I did for you at least as often as you eat”. Simple, that sounds more like Jesus to me.
Let’s make every time we put food or drink into our mouths a celebration of communion by remembering what He did for us.
It’s not the what and the how. It’s all about the why.