GRATITUDE THAT LEADS TO RESURRECTION
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them” (Luke 24:30 NIV).
It’s same to assume this verse is part of the story of the Last Supper, right? Things are not as they appear, however! While the circumstances are very similar, the timing is very different. This moment happened after Jesus was resurrected. The day after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to many of his disciples, but they did not recognize him. It took this moment back around the table, breaking bread together, before they suddenly realized who was in the room.
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Luke 24:31 NIV).
Why recognize him now? Something about the way this moment unfolded proved to them that Jesus had risen from the dead. This was a repeat of the scene from four nights before. Take, eat. Remember me. “Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body’” (Matthew 26:26 NIV).
Last time, Jesus had been burdened by the knowledge of what was to come, and the dinner was no light social affair—it was full of heavy foreboding. This time sparks with the energy of triumph. His body was broken, yes. But now it is given to sustain and give life. Something about this act of sharing gives life and hope.
As Jesus took the bread, his first act was to thank God for it. What was in that prayer? Relief for a painful journey completed? Excitement for the Kingdom of God at hand? One thing is certain: he was grateful. At the heart of resurrection is gratitude.
He was grateful before the cross when he was in Jerusalem surrounded by the accolades of the crowds and the religious glamour of teaching in the Temple at Passover. He was just as grateful after the pain of betrayal, abandonment, humiliation, excruciating torture, and death.
He again shared bread with the very men that turned their backs on him. He offered bread but this act was more than sharing bread. His offer told his disciples that his sacrifice was still for them. He still offers his body. He still includes them.
Praying like Jesus means that we have a heart of gratitude for the work God is doing in our lives, no matter what season we are in. Resurrection is coming.
QUESTIONS FOR CONTEMPLATION
- Do you recognize the work of the risen Savior in your life?
- Are there places in your life that are pre-resurrection that you can be grateful for?
- Are there things that God has already resurrected that you can thank him for?
- Ask God to resurrect dead places in your life: dreams, memories, dormant gifts, relationships.
- Thank God for his resurrection power.