Then he took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”–Luke. 22:19 NET (emphasis added)
Nearing His final hours, Jesus was eager to eat Passover with His disciples (Luke 22:15). He wanted to spend one last meal with them, showing them the connection between Passover and what was about to happen. So, during the meal He takes the bread and gives thanks (eucharisteo), breaks the bread and gives it to them. I say “thanks” before meals, but not like this.
The root of the Greek word eucharisteo is char, which is used in words that refer to wellbeing (a sense that life is as it should be). All sorts of words come from this root: grace, favor, beauty, thankfulness, delight, kindness, joy, debt of gratitude, etc. All is as it should be as Jesus takes the bread, looks to His Father, and thanks Him for the gift. And we begin to hear whispers of His gift to us.
Let’s look even closer! At the center of the Greek word eucharisteo is the word chara, meaning “joy”—the individual experience of wellbeing. Compounded further, charis is the word for “grace”—meaning that which brings wellbeing to all mankind, and thus the things for which we rejoice. Eucharisteo, then, is joy, wrapped in grace. It is an expressed gratitude. This thankfulness is a fullness of wellbeing, expressed to God for the gift of His presence in Christ’s body…given for us!
Jesus’ body given…a grace undeserved; a cause for joy. On the cusp of a cosmic battle between good and evil, Jesus expresses gratitude for a simple bit of bread that represents what is about to happen. He invites us to remember—and not only His sacrifice, as that comes later. He invites us to recall an expressed gratitude that all is as it should be with our world, that we indeed have cause for joy!
ACTION: What do we do with this gift? Only you can truly answer that question for yourself. Only you can ponder the wealth of your own gratitude that uncovers joy in your heart. Only you can receive this incredible gift, broken and given, for you…and remember this joy, wrapped in grace, expressed in gratitude.