What is the importance of remembering and meditating upon what Jesus did for us at the cross and all that he achieved for us there?
The Apostle Paul said that his most important bit of teaching is ‘that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day’ – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
Understanding why Jesus died and the enormity of what he accomplished for us through this act is incredibly important. It is impossible to cover it in a single study, but let’s make a start. Read the following story and note anything that strikes you about what Jesus said about his future suffering.
Luke 22:7-23 (The Last Supper)
What do you think the disciples felt in this story?
What do you think they understood about what Jesus was doing and saying?
The following worship song is a powerful reflection on the importance and power of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
How deep the Father’s love for us
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.
[Stuart Townend Copyright © 1995 Thankyou Music]
What strikes you about these song lyrics?
How do they deepen your appreciation of what Jesus did at the cross?
Jesus gave us a powerful practice in order to regularly remember what he has done for us at the cross. This practice has various names including ‘communion’, ‘breaking bread’ and ‘The Lord’s supper’.
Jesus mentioned 3 key parts to this act:
- To remember what he has done for us in his final sufferings.
- To break and eat bread together to signify his broken body.
- To pour out and drink wine together to signify the blood he shed.
When he first showed his disciples this act it wasn’t done as a big formal ceremony but was done simply, in an informal setting as part of a meal with his friends. He didn’t give us a set formula or any detailed instruction to follow. Just simply remember, eat bread, and drink wine.
Have you celebrated communion before?
How has this practice blessed you and helped you in your relationship with God?
Celebrate communion together as a whole Missional Community, perhaps as part of a meal together. Make sure that you have some bread and wine available (any kind of bread will do, and if you aren’t keen on wine, or are too young, then use grape juice or some other kind of red drink).
Here are a few suggestions of things you might do to help you as you remember, eat bread and drink wine.
- Ask someone to share what the cross of Christ means to them personally.
- Read a bit of the Bible that tells of what Jesus suffered and achieved on the cross.
- Sing a song together about what Jesus has done for us all on the cross.
- Ask someone to share their story of when they first understood that Jesus had died for them.
- Read a poem, show a piece of artwork, or play a video clip of something that focuses on what Jesus suffered and achieved.
- Pass a loaf of bread around the table and ask people to take some and eat it during a time of silent reflection.
- Pass the bread around the table and ask people to share what Jesus’ suffering means to them before taking and eating some.
- Pass a bottle of wine or juice around and ask people to pour themselves some or top up their glass and to think about Jesus’ blood being poured out for us.
- Pass a large cup full of wine/juice around the table and ask people to share what Jesus’ blood means to them before taking a drink.
‘For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures’
Other Bible passages:
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