AUTHOR: Cheree Haston
“Then he lifted up a loaf, and after praying a prayer of thanksgiving to God, he gave each of his apostles a piece of bread, saying, “This loaf is my body, which is now being offered to you. Always eat it to remember me.”
Luke 22:19, TPT
Have you ever asked yourself the question “Had I known how much this would cost me, would I have still done it?”
I don’t mean mistakes or sin. I mean just the opposite: obedience.
I’ve asked myself that question more times than I can count. If I’m being totally honest, several months ago my answer was “No.” And with that answer came a wave of self inflicted guilt and shame. Not because I didn’t know my own limits, but because I’d never admitted them out loud. But that moment in the quietness of the early morning, alone with Jesus, I released my true feelings about some great pain we had faced as a family. I told Him I was grateful He had not let me see the full picture because I don’t think I could have said yes to His instruction had I known what was waiting on us.
“I serve a God who redeems my pain and causes it to go to work for my good.”
There is always something on the road between our obedience and our destiny. Maybe it’s pain, maybe it’s sacrifice or suffering, maybe it’s betrayal or separation – I don’t know. I just know you will come face to face with it and in that moment you will make a choice: retreat or march on.
Jesus had something we do not – He had full knowledge of His future. As He lifted the bread, surely pictures flashed through His mind of the suffering that was inevitable. Not only the suffering and pain of the cross, but the deep pain of betrayal. He must have known there would come a moment His Father would have to turn His eyes from Him while the sin of all mankind rested squarely on His shoulders. The loneliness of the garden, the kiss that would lead Him to Golgotha, the agony and sacrifice that would seal eternity for us all – He knew.
Yet He took the bread, lifted it and prayed a prayer…of Thanksgiving. He was thankful for what He knew was ahead. Not the pain, but thankful for the prize: you and me.
Then He gave one simple instruction: remember this often.
So what do you think of as you receive the bread and the cup? Do you think of the cross and His great love for us? Of course! We all do. But I think He’s asking us to also remember this: nothing is ever wasted. No pain, no sorrow, no disappointment, no suffering. Not only is it not wasted, it is the catalyst to our purpose and destiny. And it is worth it.
I know I do not serve a sadistic God who causes pain. No! It is against His character as a loving Father. I serve a God who redeems my pain and causes it to go to work for my good. Always.
I am not thankful for the suffering, but I am so thankful for its reward. I pray you are as well.
“We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!”
Hebrews 12:2, TPT