Blessed and Broken

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“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Matt. 26:26).

As Jesus was instituting this Supper among His disciples, note in particular what He did with the bread. He picked it up, and then He blessed it.

In blessing that bread in this way, He, the Lord Himself, blessed this bread here in the same way. The Lord Jesus did not just establish this meal; He established it with a blessing. That blessing extends to the end of the world because the Lord promised to be with us always.

So this morning you are partaking of a meal that Jesus Christ Himself blessed. This is bread that Jesus Christ prayed over. But there is more than this. You are, the apostle Paul once declared, one loaf. The congregation of God’s people is the bread that the Lord blessed.

But then note, that having blessed the bread, He broke it and gave it to the disciples. Now this bread was obviously His body, broken on the cross. But also, just as obvious once we think of it, we are also His body, broken on the cross. I have been crucified with Christ, Paul said. We who have been baptized have been baptized into His death.

He takes, He blesses, He breaks, and He distributes. He takes you and calls you by His own name. He blesses you, and you are blessed beyond all reckoning. He breaks you—not out of malice, but because this is His way—and then He gives you to your brothers and sisters. You, in participating in this meal, are cooperating with that same action. You are saying amen.

This is why squabbles within the body of Christ are so unseemly. They contradict everything else that is being done. When Jesus breaks you, it is with a blessing just before. When you bite and tear on your own, the break still happens, but the blessing is not there. There is a breaking that does not nourish others, and one that does.

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