“He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” Luke 24:35
The two on the road to Emmaus traveled seven miles with the Lord Jesus, heard Him explain the prophesies about the Messiah, sat across the table from Him in their own home… and didn’t recognize Him. But in a key moment in time, as He broke bread and blessed it, their eyes were opened!
It has been said that in breaking the bread and offering it to them, the Lord Jesus may have exposed the nail prints in His hands, helping them to realize Who He was. Scripture doesn’t give us those specific details, but I believe it is entirely possible that they saw the marks of the sacrificed Savior that could belong to no one else!
I am sure that He expounded God’s word through the prophets in a way that no one else could have done either. I have no doubt that the impact of His very presence would have been like no other. But somehow, the Lord Jesus used the simple act of breaking bread to open their eyes, to help them see only HIM.
This thought has caused me to take another look at the Lord’s Supper, a simple feast established by the Lord Jesus with His disciples just prior to His arrest, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. He asked them to remember Him. “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you show the Lord’s death until He comes.” I Corinthians 11:25
Eating bread and drinking wine happened every day. It was as essential as breathing. The Savior wanted His disciples to think of Him in that way. As often as they broke bread to eat, lifted the cup to drink, He wanted them to remember what He sacrificed for them, what He accomplished for them, and that He was alive and returned to glory, but still present with them… always.
I recently read an interesting thought about the Lord’s Supper:
“According to marriage customs of first-century Jews, when a man decided whom he’d chosen to marry, his father would pour a cup of wine and pass it down to his son. The son would then turn to the young woman he loved, and with all the solemnity of an oath before Almighty YHWH Himself, the young man would hold out the cup of wine to the woman and ask for her hand in marriage. He would ask with these words: “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer you.” … a marriage proposal with the words Jesus used the night He instituted the Lord’s Supper: “This is the new covenant in My blood, which I offer to you.” … In other words, Jesus says to you with this cup, “I love you. I want you. I covenant Myself to you. I commit to you. This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which I offer to you. Do you love Me? Will you covenant yourself to Me?”” ~ Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way (Zondervan, 2016), pages 42, 44.
I sat there with the book in my hand and my mouth gaping open. The Son took the cup the Father gave Him. He drank it. He drained the cup of judgment against sin and offered only the cup of remembrance. In this precious feast, could He be saying, “with all that I am, with all that I have, with My own most precious, only-ever-sinless life’s blood, I pledge an irrevocable covenant to love and care and provide and eternally redeem you?” Could He be saying, “I chose you – at ultimate cost, for ever and for always to be Mine – do you choose Me in return?”
The Lord Jesus knew that the disciples were already mourning as they anticipated that He would no longer be with them. He knew that their world was about to turn upside down – for all the right reasons – but be tumultuous nonetheless! And He kept it simple. Bread and wine. As often as they ate the bread and drank the wine, He wanted to draw them back to Himself.
When the world got crazy, when the facts were dizzying and emotions ran high, the Lord Jesus wanted those very simple tokens to draw them back to Him. He wanted them to remember Him, remember Whose they were, remember what He had accomplished for them, remember that He was always present and always in control.
It would always come back to the cross.
It was only in His perfect sacrifice that they would find peace. He was the only One Who could procure it for them! Remembering that the work was FINISHED was the only thing that would bring PEACE.
With every broken piece of bread, they could remember that their Savior was broken for them so that they could be whole. With every sip of the cup they could remember that their Savior drank it all for them so they could be His.
That day in their home in Emmaus, their guest became their Host. As often as they followed the Lord’s request to keep His feast, the Lord’s Supper, He would be their Host, inviting them to His table. His provisions would always be sweet and abundant. He invited them to come and feast, remember and rest, and go away refreshed – renewed in their hearts as they spent time rejoicing in Who He is and what He had done for them!
In the Lord’s prayer, recorded in John 17, He made it clear that His desires for His disciples included all believers for all time. His invitation to them is still His invitation to us. He asks us, too, to gather at His table, respond to His covenant of redemption, provision and love, to remember Him.
He welcomes us to come aside from the craziness of life and the world spinning around us, to re-center ourselves around those simple tokens, to remember Whose we are. When even Scripture fails to penetrate our view and we still struggle to make sense of it all, He offers Himself! He speaks to us faithfully and lovingly each time, “I choose you – do you choose Me in return?” He knows those reminders will steady us, that opportunity to renew our own commitment to Him will infuse us with a fresh desire to draw closer to Him. The more we treasure that time, the more we open our hearts to receive more from Him, the more of Himself He will reveal, the deeper our love for Him will grow.
As often as we eat the bread and drink the wine, we will show the Lord’s death – His ultimate-cost offering to love and redeem and provide for us – and He will be made known to us in an ever deepening way!
It will always come back to the cross. We will see the marks of Calvary. We will see His outstretched hands and hear His voice. Our hearts will be touched and won again and again by the sacrificial love of our Savior.
Maybe the Lord’s Supper is not just what He asks of us, but something He longs to give to us – all that He is and all that He has. He longs for us to rejoice in Who He is and what He has accomplished for us – to have eyes only for Him! And perhaps there is little that delights the heart of the Father more than to hear our precious thoughts of His dear Son. His favor to us as we leave each time will be PEACE.
He will be made known to us in the breaking of the bread.
Amidst us our Beloved stands, and bids us view His pierced hands,
Points to the wounded feet and side, blest emblems of the Crucified.
What food luxurious loads the board, when at His table sits the Lord!
The wine how rich, the bread how sweet, when Jesus deigns the guests to meet!
If now, with eyes defiled and dim, we see the signs but see not Him,
O may His love the scales displace and bid us see Him face to face!
Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts, Thy present smile a heaven imparts!
Oh, lift the veil, if veil there be, let every saint Thy beauties see!
– Charles H. Spurgeon, 1866 –
Read more here! – Luke 24 – Luke 22:19-20 – John 17 – I Corinthians 11:23-26
photo credit: churchtimes.co.uk (text added)