This is My body, which is given for you (Luke 22:19 ESV).
When we come to these words marking the institution of the Lord’s Supper or communion, we would do well to take off our shoes because we are standing on holy ground. What was purposed in eternity was about to come to fruition. Everything before had pointed to this moment, and everything after would look back to it. When we touch the cross, we put our finger on the pulse of the universe. Nowhere is the heart of the Godhead revealed more clearly than on the hill of Calvary.
What Christ gave to God and to us at Calvary was Himself through His body and blood. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for someone and Christ laid down His life for us all. As we celebrate the Supper, we are taken to this place of holy love that was behind the creation of the cosmos.
As Paul writes Romans 12, he has been rehearsing God’s righteousness and faithfulness in fulfilling His promises to bless the world through Christ—all this despite the world going its own way. The “Therefore, I urge you in view of God’s mercy” is cumulative, and he is exhorting us on to certain attitudes and behaviors in response to “God’s mercy” as seen in Christ—the exact same mercy we hear in the words, “This is My body, which is given for you.”
What is the response Paul points us to? It is “to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” It’s not hard to see the correspondence. Jesus said This is My body, which is given for you, so we say to God, This is my body which is given to You. If we get that right, everything else will follow. If we hesitate or try to negotiate our way into some lesser commitment, we’re just kidding ourselves.
I was taking a group of teens canoeing one time. The water we were going to be on was going be a little faster due to the rains that had fallen. And of course, it doesn’t take much to tip a canoe over. I polled the group on the way over about their swimming ability. When I got to Tony, he told me he could swim a little. I asked him what he meant by that. He said he did real well as long as his feet were touching the bottom.
Tony couldn’t swim and understandably he didn’t want to admit that in front of the group—or knowing Tony, maybe he was just kidding himself. Either way, he wasn’t swimming. In the same way, discipleship begins with giving ourself, our entire life to God. Mistakes and sins will still happen, but they wont’ be final or fatal because we belong to Him. But if we hold something back, we’re just kidding ourselves.
Don’t hold back!