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Communion Meditations (2012)

He Knows

Originally scheduled for February 26

One of the most comforting things about Jesus Christ is that he knows how we feel. We do not worship the God who has no experience with the human condition; we worship a God who voluntarily became a man, being born like the rest of us. He grew, he lived and he died just like the rest of us. But it's more than that:

·         Do you remember that Simon of Cyrene carried the cross for him? He knows what it's like to have to ask someone else to carry the load for you.

·         If you recall, they offered Jesus drugged wine to dull the pain. He knows what it's like to have pain beyond explaining.

·         Most of us are law-abiding citizens; some of us, however, know what it's like to tangle with the authorities — and we know what it's like to get no sympathy at all. They crucified Jesus between two thieves; even one of them gave him a hard time.

·         We like a good laugh — but only if people are laughing with this, not at us. He knew what it was like to be mocked and laughed at while dying.

·         Perhaps the worst thing of all was this: the religious authorities of his day, who were supposed to be the most godly people imaginable, treated him as if he were contagious vermin.

Perhaps you know someone who deserves such treatment; but you also know someone who did not deserve it — and got it anyway. We hear much of the sacrifice of Christ but little of the injustice done to him.

We are told to examine ourselves before taking communion. Sometimes we get the idea that we can't bring any problem to Jesus if we know we are at fault; if the problem is our sin, we feel we can't really bring that up. It is precisely because of our sin that the sacrifice of Christ was necessary. If your self-examination takes you down the trail of repentance, then it's likely that's where he wanted you to go. He paid the price; not just in death but in mockery. By that price you are redeemed. So then, as you take the cup and eat the bread, remember what it cost for you to be forgiven.

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