Bread and wine represent the food of every nation; fruit of the earth and fruit of the vine. Our sustenance. How beautifully these elements portray the picture of salvation and remembrance to us.
In the Gospels, we are told of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nailed on the cross between two criminals, (or thieves), He is suffering in a gory manner for something even His closest followers don't yet understand -salvation.
In the account in Luke 23, these two criminals have two different responses. One blasphemes.
39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
The other criminal rebukes the blaspheming criminal, admits his own faults, and vocalizes his faith in the Lord Jesus' perfect life. He was a wicked man, leaving a trail of shame and destruction behind him, yet with his very dying breath, he was transformed.
40 "But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."
Then the repentant man utters the most precious words to observers in heaven and on earth.
42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
The Lord Jesus answers this man's dying request.
43 And Jesus said to him, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
That man was forgiven his debts and assured of a home in Heaven.
A few days earlier, the Lord Jesus was dining with his disciples when He gave His dying request. As he passed the bread and the wine, he asked his disciples to gather together weekly "in remembrance of Me," using those same elements.
I Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes."
The bread pictures His body broken, the wine pictures His shed blood. The Lord made it easy for us to remember His dying request, by using simple elements found in every nation, with every people group.
The Lord was gracious enough to grant that man's dying request, just as He will answer our prayers for forgiveness and salvation. There is no one too far away from the Lord, no one with sins too great. The dying thief gives hope to all.
It also gives us a few challenges to consider. The two criminals represent two types of people on earth. Which type of person are you? Are you rejecting the salvation He offers through His death? Or, have you proclaimed your faith in the Lord Jesus and accepted His death as payment for your sins?
Those that reject the Lord celebrate their lives with their own "bread" and "wine."
Proverbs 4: 17, "For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence."
Those that trust the Lord are to celebrate their eternal lives, by remembering Him with bread and wine.
The Lord Jesus remembered the criminal's dying request.
Are you remembering His?