I think everyone of us longs to leave a legacy to our loved ones. For some, we hope to leave behind a faithful marriage that stands the test of selfishness. For others, we hope to create an atmosphere in our home that helps our kids cultivate a deep love for God and His ways. Yet, for others, we try to use the gifts and talents God gave us to build a family business that will provide for our family long after we are gone. I think legacies are important and I think they are important to Jesus.
On the night that Jesus was arrested he invites his closest friends, his disciples, to a meal. At this meal in the Upper Room, Jesus would laugh, tell great stories, reminisce, grieve, and then do something quite astounding. He gave the disciples a gift. He gave them his legacy.
The Scriptures describe it this way…
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
In that Upper Room, Jesus did not leave his favorite trinkets, a well-worn Hebrew scroll, he did not give these guys a motivational speech. He gave them himself.
In church this past weekend we celebrated Communion which reenacts and remembers this sacred event 2000 years ago. If we are not careful, we can easily miss the significance of celebrating Communion and the legacy Jesus has left us. The bread is spiritual nourishment that reminds us that Jesus gave his body in order to redeem ours. The cup is spiritual nourishment that reminds us that the blood of Jesus has washed away our sins. The bread and cup make words like forgiveness, mercy, grace, love, restoration, and redemption come to life.
However, we will never appreciate the gravity of this legacy if we do not try to understand the gravity of our sin. We will never understand the value of Jesus giving his body for us if we do not understand how worthless the idols are that we create on a daily basis.
Jesus is for us in a way that we will never fully grasp. What if the bread and the cup nourish us in such a way that we are reminded God loves us more than we can ever imagine? What if the bread and the cup invite us to serve unconditionally and with great generosity? What if, we are called to leave the same kind of legacy?