20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table[a] with the twelve disciples.[b] 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”
22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”
23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”
25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”
And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”
26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”
27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant[c] between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
As the body of Christ, we periodically take communion together to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. His body was broken, His blood spilled out so that we, God’s children could once again walk with Him in His earthly Kingdom, as Adam and Eve once did, and worship Him for all eternity in His heavenly Kingdom. But that wasn’t all Jesus died for. During His ministry, He taught His disciples the two greatest commandments; love God and love others. He also told them, before He ascended into heaven, that their purpose on this earth was to make disciples.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
When we realize how much the Father loves us, we are compelled to love Him in return. Learning to love our neighbors as ourselves is often more of a challenge! Applying this love, however, by laying down our lives as a living sacrifice, is the most difficult task for us. It requires a daily surrendering of our desires, our wants, and our “entitlements” so that we can invest our time and talents in making more disciples.
Sadly, the body of Christ often gets this process backwards. After someone is saved from the fiery pits of hell, we often encourage them to join a ministry team, volunteer at an outreach event, or serve on Sunday morning. All of these are good things, but the greatest and first thing we should do is take these new disciples under our wing and teach them how to love God & love others. THEN, we should help them discover Gods specific purpose for their lives (which is making more disciples).
This process is lengthy. It requires an exorbitant amount of time, energy, grace and perseverance…most of which we, the church, are not willing to give. How our selfishness must grieve the Holy Spirit. How our stubbornness must break the Father’s heart. How our lack of sacrifice for others must pain the nail scarred hands of Jesus.
The next time we eat the bread and drink the wine, we should be willing to count the cost of what it truly means to be a Christian/disciple/follower of Jesus. Otherwise, we are in danger of becoming just like that other disciple -who betrayed Jesus.
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
“The only aim of this life is that the Son of God may be manifested, and all dictation to God vanishes. Our Lord never dictated to His Father, and we are not here to dictate to God; we are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. When we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine to feed and nourish others.”