Yesterday we mentioned that the Lord’s Supper is supposed to be celebratory, and today’s devotional dovetails on that. Yes, it commemorates a sacrifice, what our Savior had to undergo in order to redeem us. But we need to remember that it’s also fellowship with him.
Remember what we said about the presence of God at the end of Exodus? God is omnipresent, and he completely fills the universe. Technically, there’s nowhere on earth where he’s more “present” than anywhere else. So what happened in Exodus 40, when God’s presence “filled” the tabernacle in a way that that it didn’t five minutes before? What happens in worship today? Again, the concept of radio/TV waves is pretty helpful. They surround us and go through us constantly, 24-7. But most of the time we’re completely unaware of them, until. . . when? When we turn on a device that captures those waves and translates them into something we can see and hear. God’s presence is like that: He’s all around us and in us, and worship “tunes us into” him.
Why do I bring up worship in the context of the Lord’s Supper? Well, another name for it is “Communion,” and there’s a good reason for that. When we take the elements alongside other believers, it "tunes" us into his presence like few other things, or maybe like nothing else. That’s why I was a little reluctant to use the word “symbol” when describing it. There’s nothing magical about the elements, but there’s nothing like this experience in helping us focus on him and bask in him.
On a related note, there’s a little bit of Greek that gives us real insight into Jesus’ emotions. The NIV translates the first part of vs. 15 as “I have eagerly desired. . .” and that’s as good a rendering as any. The Greek word is epithumia (where we get the word “pathos” and related words like "pathetic") and literally the text quotes Jesus as saying “With desire I have desired. . .” What’s interesting is that this is the same word used for “lust” several times in Scripture, like in Matt. 5:27-28. The word “lust” almost always has a bad connotation in English, but the same Greek word is used both for the illicit passions of an adulterer and Jesus’ desire to have this final moment of fellowship with his disciples. I think that he still has that desire today, to relate to us and enjoy us and have us enjoy him.
In fact, he might be speaking to you right now. Can you hear him?
Lord Jesus, I’m listening. I’m sorry for letting other things distract me. Please help me to focus on you, even if it’s just for a few moments.