On the night He was betrayed, Jesus took the bread and broke it. He thanked God as He said to His disciples, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” On that same night, Jesus lifted the cup of wine, thanked His Father, and said, “This is My blood, poured out for you, for the forgiveness of sins, a token of the new and everlasting covenant. Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Read Luke 22:17-20.)
Though His betrayal was in motion, He served Communion. He reclined at the table in the presence of His enemy. Jesus knew that in a few short hours He would face rejection, torture, and execution. And with the longing and passion of His humble heart, He looked forward to getting His disciples around the table for the sake of communion.
Before His followers had a chance to be traumatized by the devil’s evil schemes, Jesus put a flag in the ground. In so many words, He said to them, “Remember this. Remember us. Remember that the enemy hasn’t taken my life; I have freely given it. Remember that though your badness once disqualified you, the Father’s goodness has saved you. This is the new covenant. Remember that though I am well aware of what lies ahead of Me on that cross, My deepest desire beforehand is to be with you, break bread with you, and remind you that My promises are true. Though schemes are being devised behind My back, I want you, My beloved ones, to see My face.
Oh, the love of Jesus.
How many times do you suppose that night replayed in the minds of the disciples? Did the impact of Jesus’ actions hold an increasingly greater place in their hearts as their faith grew over the years?
I just can’t get this phrase out of my mind: “On the night He was betrayed, He took the bread and broke it, saying this is My body, given up for you.” As if that night was one seamless Kingly piece of fabric, Jesus served, loved, and amidst the plan against His life, reminded us to remember Him.
Outside, the soldiers were receiving their orders to find and capture a rebel. Insight the King of the universe prepared to go to the Cross.
Empty accusations. Kingdom response.
As Christ followers, our call to be uncommon is a high one.
When others bewilder us with their behavior, we must remember that we too have a past. If I’m being real, I must admit that I have behaved in ways that make me cringe; sinned in ways that debunked my witness and loved in ways that make people wonder how I treat my enemies.
We all have places in our own story we would rather forget. And if we allow him to, the enemy will earmark those pages in our book, so we are reminded of them again and again. Even while you read, Jesus is writing a new chapter in your life. Again today, He tells us to forget the past—and not to dwell on it—because He is doing a new thing!
We don’t have to revisit those pages in our story unless our healing process requires that we do so.
When Jesus calls us to be noble and take the higher way in the face of conflict or accusation, we must remember that He doesn’t ask anything of us that He hasn’t already done for us. To live the uncommon life, we need to revel in the fact that Jesus constantly intercedes for us. When we thoroughly embrace the face that we’ve been thoroughly embraced, we’re more able to love the unlovely. And walk humbly and confidently through our trials.
When you feel out of sorts and critical of everyone around you, that’s the perfect time to find a quiet place, look up in the sky, and allow yourself to enjoy the love of the Lord. Talk to Him. Let Him talk to you. Use that time to clear out some of your muddled thoughts and replace them with the idea that Jesus sings over you. He’s pulling for you. He wants you to receive from Him what He so lovingly wants to give: more of Himself.
Repeatedly, the Bible tells us to remember what God has done. When we remember what God has done, we’ll be more apt to do what He would do.
A.W. Tozer penned a wonderful perspective on God’s absolute forgiveness and acceptance of us. While you read, allow yourself to be overwhelmed with gratitude that you’re loved by the God of the universe—a God in whom there is no pettiness, drama, gossip, or manipulation. Only pure, unadulterated love. Absolutely amazing. Tozer writes:
“How unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of the closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.”
Isn’t that just profound? No one can gossip enough about you to make God change His mind about you! He knows you deeply and loves you completely.
Make this biblical declaration with me:
I have been crucified with Christ, and it’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me! The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I walk in the Spirit and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. God opens my mouth with skillful and godly wisdom and in my tongue is the law of kindness. I have a tongue of the learned, a tongue of the wise; I know the word that sustains the weary; I speak, and captives are set free. Jesus said I would do even greater works than He. I will start by sanctifying the words that come out of my mouth and by praying with passion and conviction. I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine. His banner over me is love. Amen!
(*Declaration based on: Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:16, Proverbs 31:26, Isaiah 50:4, John 14:12).
*Adapted from Susie’s book, “The Uncommon Woman”