“Take, eat; this is my body.”
Matthew 26:26 (KJV)
It has been many years now since I conducted the funeral service of my beloved father. At the reception following the memorial service for my father a friend of his gave me a photograph of my dad that I still have in my study 27 years later.
It was taken by this man as he sat in the bow of my father’s boat looking back at my dad as he steered the outboard motor along the lake where the family cottage was. Every detail of the photo spoke of my dad and I really enjoy looking at it and remembering that special man in my life.
When Jesus walked this earth photographic cameras were not around. It is likely that it was in the early 1800’s that the first permanent photograph was made. So we do not have any images of Jesus.
Isaiah 53:2 tells us “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him…” (NIV) So Jesus was not a particularly handsome person that would attract attention.
The painting of Jesus that have come down to us through the centuries that depict Him as quite attractive are clearly wrong.
However, even though cameras were not yet invented in Jesus’ day, He did leave us a photograph of Himself that gives us the detail about His appearance that He especially wanted His people to remember until He would come again. Every Sunday Christians around the world take out this photo and pass it around to each other to see Jesus as He wants to be remembered.
What is this photo? It is the bread and wine of the communion table. Jesus used what we call a metaphor to describe Himself to us. When the disciples were in the Upper Room the night of the betrayal, Jesus took bread and wine and passed it around for them to eat and drink. Then Jesus told them that whenever they ate the bread and drank the wine they were to remember Him until He came back the second time.
The point was that Jesus wanted us to remember Him as the sacrifice for our sins. He was not interested in being remembered as a glorious towering figure of history. It was His supreme desire for His people to remember Him as the One Who gave Himself for the sins of the world.
His first coming was not the time for Him to be exalted as the supreme Ruler of the universe. Rather He came as a lowly person Who lived in poverty and laboured for His daily bread like the rest of us.
When Jesus comes again He will be seen by everyone and the sight will be spectacular. Between the two comings of Jesus, He wants us to see Him as the One who bled, died, and rose again for sinners. He wants us to remember His suffering on our behalf.
When life seems to be too much for you look at this photo of Jesus and see the One Who has suffered so much for you. Remember that He has promised that He will return and end all the sorrows of this life for His people and give them an eternity of joy and peace beyond description.
Is this your hope today? Do you need to look again at this picture of Jesus and ask Him to include you in that great number He will gather to Himself forever?
He calls for all of us to come and receive the help we need for today. Come and come now.