What Should We Think About at the Table?

We should think of Christ’s real human body when handling the bread. “Jesus Christ is both God and man, and that makes all the difference” was my mantra once when teaching Christology to teenagers. The real human body of Christ reminds us of his real human nature, of the reality of his earthly existence. Crumbs help with that in tactile ways. Adam was formed from the dust of the ground; the Second Adam’s flesh was formed from similar stuff. The dust and grit remind us of the sandaled feet of our Savior treading dusty roads or hard cobblestones. What is onerous for us now in everyday life was also hard for him—he identified with us. He was not “unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.” Dirt and dust, mud and sand troubled him as they do us, yet he suffered the indignities and disappointments without sin, pique, grumbling, or ingratitude. It’s good to be reminded that Jesus suffered without sin so he could be our spotless substitute. Like Machen, we ought to be “so thankful for the active obedience of Christ” since there is “no hope without it.”

…THE WINE in the little cup is a big deal. The fragrance of it reminds us of the pleasing aroma that Christ’s bitter death was to the Father, who received it as an acceptable offering—one we could never make. Wine (and especially grape juice) can taste sweet. If the fruit of the vine is sweet, I think “What was bitter for Him is sweet for me.” The redness of the wine points to the blood, of course. The life of the flesh is in the blood, and Christ spilled his for sinners, dying a real human death.

Similar Posts