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"Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat." Matthew 26:26
There was a meaning in every act. The bread itself is an appropriate emblem of Christ's body. Bread is food; Christ is food for our souls. Something may be learned from the manner in which bread is prepared. The wheat is crushed and broken, and then the bread is baked in the fire before it is ready for use. So Christ died, His body was bruised and broken, and He was exposed to the fire of great suffering — before He could become the food and life of our souls.
The breaking of the bread is also significant, denoting the breaking of the body of Christ on the cross. We ought never to forget, in our sweet enjoyment of the blessing of grace — what it cost our Lord to provide them for us. Whenever we sit at our Lord's table and see the bread broken — we should remember the anguish and suffering endured by our Redeemer in saving us.
The giving of the bread to the disciples had also a deep meaning. It signified the freeness of Christ's offer of Himself to men. He is ever standing, reaching out His hands with the bread of life, imploring men to take all the blessings of salvation freely.
The taking of the bread by the communicant is significant of the act of faith by which Christ Himself is received. He offers — we receive. It is not enough that Christ gave Himself on the cross for sinners, and now holds out in pierced hands the blessings of redemption. These stupendous acts of love and grace alone will not save us. There is a needed link which we must supply: we must reach out our hands and accept and take what Christ so graciously and lovingly offers to us. Then, since bread to nourish us must be eaten, we must receive Christ into our life as our soul's sustenance, feeding upon Him.