Note from JesusDear Beloved,
On the night I was betrayed, I shared in what you call The Last Supper. I gathered with My closest disciples around a table to share the Passover meal. And I used this setting as the background to institute a regular meal for disciples to use to remember Me and to be joined together as My body. This meal became a centerpiece of early Christian gatherings on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). This special meal is known to you by several names — The Supper, The Lord’s Supper, Communion, Holy Communion, The Eucharist, and The Feast. No matter what you call this meal, it has been practiced by Christians from the beginning of My church.
From the beginning, My followers had a tendency to drift from My original intentions. I wanted them to share together in loving unity, to proclaim My story, to examine their hearts, to remember My death, to celebrate My resurrection, to give thanks for the gift I gave them, and to anticipate My return. Some looked at taking the bread and wine as almost magical. Some felt if they could just eat the bread and drink the wine in this special feast, then some supernatural power was at work in them to make them holy.
I warned about this misconception when I taught the crowds after I had fed the 5,000 and walked on the water to My disciples (see the second set of verses below). More than just eating My body and drinking My blood metaphorically in communion, they needed to eat Me — My “flesh.” They needed to take My teaching, lifestyle, and love for others into their lives and let Me sustain them. I wanted My early disciples, and you today as My disciple, to realize that The Supper is not magical but transforming. I am present in The Supper to give you life through the sacrifice of My life. You must commit to taking Me in and letting Me reign over all your heart as your example, teacher, and Lord.
Paul (in the first set of verses) warns the Corinthians that there was nothing magical in communion. Instead, the meaning and significance of communion come from a disciple’s faith to receive Me and his or her commitment to follow Me.
The Israelites shared in spiritual food and drink in the wilderness, but that supernatural food did not keep them from sinning or from being judged:They [the Israelites] were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
(1 Corinthians 10:2-5 NIV)The goal of My Supper is not to see who can eat the most magical food and drink the most supernatural drink! On the other hand, those who come to My Table committed to live for Me will find supernatural sustenance in My holy meal. So Paul warns the Corinthians not to think of The Supper as magical. My Supper is to be a supernatural meal that sustains those who seek to avoid idolatry, who care for each other in My church, who recognize My Supper as a recommitment to live for Me, and who not only give thanks for the Father’s grace in sending Me but also share that grace with others.Verses to LiveMy resurrection from the dead has great power, yet simply taking the Lord’s Supper won’t do things for you. You must live by My wisdom and truth.I [Paul] wouldn’t want you to be ignorant of our history, brothers and sisters. Our ancestors [the Israelites] were once safeguarded under a miraculous cloud in the wilderness and brought safely through the sea. Enveloped in water by cloud and by sea, they were, you might say, ritually cleansed into Moses through baptism. Together they were sustained supernaturally: they all ate the same spiritual food, manna; and they all drank the same spiritual water, flowing from a spiritual rock that was always with them, for the rock was the Anointed One, our Liberating King. Despite all of this, they were punished in the wilderness because God was unhappy with most of them.
Look at what happened to them as an example; it’s right there in the Scriptures so that we won’t make the same mistakes and hunger after evil as they did. So here’s my advice: don’t degrade yourselves by worshiping anything less than the living God as some of them did. Remember it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and then rose up in dance and play.” We must be careful not to engage in sexual sins as some of them did. In one day, 23,000 died because of sin. None of us must test the limits of the Lord’s patience. Some of the Israelites did, and serpents bit them and killed them. You need to stop your groaning and whining. Remember the story. Some of them complained, and the messenger of death came for them and destroyed them. All these things happened for a reason: to sound a warning. They were written down and passed down to us to teach us. They were meant especially for us because the beginning of the end is happening in our time. So let even the most confident believers remember their examples and be very careful not to fall as some of them did.
Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward. So then, my beloved friends, run from idolatry in any form. As wise as I know you are, understand clearly what I am saying and determine the right course of action. When we give thanks and share the cup of blessing, are we not sharing in the blood of the Anointed One? When we give thanks and break bread, are we not sharing in His body? Because there is one bread, we, though many, are also one body since we all share one bread. Look no further than Israel and the temple practices, and you’ll see what I mean. Isn’t it true that those who eat sacrificial foods are communing at the altar, sharing its benefits? So what does all this mean? I’m not suggesting that idol food itself has any special qualities or that an idol itself possesses any special powers, but I am saying that the outsiders’ sacrifices are actually offered to demons, not to God. So if you feast upon this food, you are feasting with demons —I don’t want you involved with demons! You can’t hold the holy cup of the Lord in one hand and the cup of demons in the other. You can’t share in the Lord’s table while picking off the altar of demons. Are we trying to provoke the Lord Jesus? Do we think it’s a good idea to stir up His jealousy? Do we have ridiculous delusions about matching or even surpassing His power?
(1 Corinthians 10:1-22)
Some of the Jews began to grumble quietly against Him [Jesus] because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
Crowd:Isn’t Jesus the son of Joseph? We know His parents! We know where He came from, so how can He claim to have “come down from heaven”?Jesus:Stop grumbling under your breaths. If the Father Who sent Me does not draw you, then there’s no way you can come to Me. But I will resurrect everyone who does come on the last day. Among the prophets, it’s written, “Everyone will be taught of God.” So everyone who has heard and learned from the Father finds Me. No one has seen the Father, except the One sent from God. He has seen the Father. I am telling you the truth: the one who accepts these things has eternal life. I am the bread that gives life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died as you know. But there is another bread that comes from heaven; if you eat this bread, you will not die. I am the living bread that has come down from heaven to rescue those who eat it. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. The bread that I will give breathes life into the cosmos. This bread is My flesh.The low whispers of some of Jesus’ detractors turned into an out-and-out debate.
Crowd:What is He talking about? How is He able to give us His flesh to eat?Jesus:I tell you the truth; unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you will not know life. If you eat My flesh and drink My blood, then you will have eternal life and I will raise you up at the end of time. My flesh and blood provide true nourishment. If you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you will abide in Me and I will abide in you. The Father of life Who sent Me has given life to Me; and as you eat My flesh, I will give life to you. This is bread that came down from heaven; I am not like the manna that your fathers ate and then died! If you eat this bread, your life will never end.He spoke these words in the synagogue as part of His teaching mission in Capernaum. Many disciples heard what He said, and they had questions of their own.
Disciples:How are we supposed to understand all of this? It is a hard teaching.Jesus was aware that even His disciples were murmuring about this.
Jesus:Has My teaching offended you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascend to return to where He came from? The Spirit brings life. The flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have been teaching you are spirit and life, but some of you do not believe.From the first day Jesus began to call disciples, He knew those who did not have genuine faith. He knew, too, who would betray Him.
Jesus:This is why I have been telling you that no one comes to Me without the Father’s blessing and guidance.After hearing these teachings, many of His disciples walked away and no longer followed Jesus.
Jesus (to the twelve):Do you want to walk away too?Simon Peter:Lord, if we were to go, whom would we follow? You speak the words that give everlasting life. We believe and recognize that You are the Holy One sent by God.(John 6:41-69)Response in PrayerFather in heaven, Holy Communion is precious to me. But after reading what Paul wrote the Corinthians and what Jesus said in today’s verses, I am convicted that I have sometimes approached The Supper as something mandatory and magical, not as a commitment to live for Jesus and not as a way to love my brothers and sisters as Jesus did. I pray for the Holy Spirit to transform me to be like Jesus. Father, please give me clarity of mind as I seek to live the righteous character and gracious compassion of Jesus with my brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Beyond Magic: Supernatural!
Source: Passion for Praise