Journey to the Cross
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
from “What Wondrous Love Is This,” American Folk Hymn
I received a tradition from the Lord, which I also handed on to you: on the night on which he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread. After giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this to remember me.” He did the same thing with the cup, after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.” Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you broadcast the death of the Lord until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
It’s been almost 2000 years, and Christians are still remembering Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross by taking communion. In worship we take a piece of bread, and we drink some juice or wine, and just as Jesus said, we remember him. But Paul tells us we’re not just remembering Jesus’ death — we’re also broadcasting it.
The dictionary says one definition for broadcast is “to indicate unwittingly to another (one's next action).” In football a pass that is broadcast is much easier to intercept, because the receiver knows where it is headed. A teacher who broadcasts what is on the exam will be surprised by how well her students score.
If taking communion broadcasts our next action, that means that after sharing the Lord’s Supper we’ll be more like Jesus than we were before. We’ll live lives of service, putting others before us. We’ll love others, even ones who deny or betray us. Whenever we eat or drink, we’ll remember Jesus’ sacrifice, and we’ll pray that the Spirit will strengthen us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
Sacrificing God, you meet me at the communion table and strengthen my spiritual life to serve you more faithfully. Help me to broadcast Jesus’ death to my friends and family by becoming more and more like him. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.
from “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Isaac Watts