Jesus’ suffering and death is the fulfillment of the covenant that God made with our ancestors. The resurrection is the raising up of God’s servant that frees us from our sins and turns us from our evil ways. Freeing us from our sins is a much taller order than just raising someone from the dead. It puts Jesus way up there on the pay scale. He did more than just suffer and die…he did it to fulfill the promise God made to Abraham and to us.
So as I turn to the Gospel readings in Luke for today in reflection on the significance of the resurrection in my life, I find something more than I found the last time I read this story. The disciples were talking about how they had come to recognize who Jesus was when he broke the bread for the Last Supper. Here’s the part that got clearer to me. That is when he appeared in their midst. They saw him when they began to talk about how it was the brokenness of his body that made him the Son of God. They were recounting that story, for the first time, but certainly not the last. Telling that story became their mission. They set about institutionalizing the Last Supper and recounting that story over and over again in the formation of the church. The next thing that happened was just as important. Jesus asked them to recognize his humanity by giving him some food. So the disciples institutionalized that active response by organizing communities that sought to meet the bodily needs of humanity.
So it is clearer to me now that when we recognize who Christ is in the breaking of the bread, he is fully present to us. And when we see him for who he is, as the risen Son of God and also fully human, he opens our minds to understand the Scriptures. He brings peace. We repent, and we receive forgiveness. How glorious is his name! This Easter season, I have a renewed appreciation of what really happens between us and God, and certainly among us, when we receive the broken body and blood of Jesus. God is present. That is more than a miracle! That lets us get on with the work of the church. Alleluia!
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