Thankful For Being Given

We have been meditating on how Jesus was taken, blessed, broken, and given for us so that we might be taken, blessed, broken, and given for Him and others.  We conclude with thanks for the giving of His Son and the giving of His sons and daughters.

“Jesus GAVE the bread”

When you come to this table of thanksgiving, feed on Jesus.  He is the Bread that was GIVEN for you:

  • Paul said in Romans 4:24-25 that God delivered (gave) Jesus up for our trespasses, and raised Him for our justification
  • Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”
  • Jesus said that He came to “give Himself as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45
  • Philippians 2 poetically pictures Jesus emptying Himself when He served us to the point of death on the cross

If you feed on Jesus by faith, you can give thanks because you have been, are being, and will be GIVEN.

John Piper explains how our brokenness is linked to our being given:

“Since Christ is no longer on the earth, He wants His body, the church, to reveal His suffering in its suffering.  Since we are His body, our sufferings are His sufferings . . . our sufferings testify to the kind of love Christ has for the world.  This is why Paul spoke of his scars as the ‘marks of Jesus.’  In his wounds people could see Christ’s wounds: ‘I bear on my body the marks of Jesus’ (Galatians 6:17).  The point of bearing the marks of Jesus is that Jesus might be seen and His love might work powerfully in those who see.” (Desiring God, page 270).

I love that scene where the two disciples had supper with Jesus in Emmaus on the night of Resurrection Sunday.  They didn’t recognize Him, they didn’t see Him, until He broke the bread.  They ran to tell others “how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

Whether Luke or the Holy Spirit meant it or not, this serves as a fitting metaphor for us.  We are the Body of Christ, the bread that He breaks and shares with others.  Jesus makes Himself known to the world in the breaking of His Body, the people of God.

It will help us to remember that the Last Supper was a Passover meal.  Mark and Matthew both record that, as the Passover tradition prescribed, when Jesus and the disciples finished the Passover meal they sang a hymn before leaving for the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26).  The Passover tradition included singing the second part of what they called the Hallel from Psalm 115—118.  They would have sung the following words from Psalm 118:

The Lord is my strength and my song;

he has become my salvation . . .

17 I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the Lord.

18 The Lord has disciplined me severely,

but he has not given me over to death.

The brokenness we experience is like the brokenness of Jesus in that, though it feels like death, we will live, and we will be able to recount the deeds of the Lord.  As Jesus elsewhere said, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24-25).

Robert Benson sums up our message well with these words:

“If the Christ is to be seen in this world now, then what happened to the Christ must happen to us.  We who call ourselves His friends, who call ourselves His Body even, must have done to us what was done to the bread on the night that He gave it to His friends and told them what was to happen that God might be glorified.  We too must be taken, blessed, broken, and shared” (Living Prayer, page 40).

[This post is adapted from the sermon “Taken, Blessed, Broken, Shared”]

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