• johned@aibi.ph

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Eternity No. 1, 4th June 2002 - "He took..and blessed.and broke..and gave.."

(Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." {27} Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. {28} "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. {29} "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."

Self-Giving: Jesus took the bread, symbolizing his own flesh, and "took, and blessed, and broke and gave"... just as Jesus in his own life was taken of God, blessed by God (and during the blessing the bread was uplifted high), then He would be broken by God, and then given by God as the life of the world in Pentecost - Jesus in us the hope of glory. Think of that loaf of bread - imagine you are that loaf of bread - "Jesus has chosen me! Jesus is lifting me up on high! Jesus is blessing me! He must have something very important for me to do, I must be the loaf that will be preserved forever, the most important loaf of bread ever baked! What's this He is tearing me to bits, He is breaking me, and He's giving me away to a bunch of fishermen..what can this mean?"

And yet that loaf of bread was right - it was special, it was the most important loaf of bread ever baked. But it was torn apart, just as Jesus was torn apart, and we in His service, can also for a season, be torn apart. However, in the mercy of God, it is only three days from betrayal to resurrection. The tearing apart is always limited by grace. God is never cruel. And its not punishment either. Its the release of the life that is within you. "Take eat, this is my body". "Drink from it all of you - even the betrayer.. This is My substance, My blood.My life. I'm not being torn apart for nothing, I'm being torn apart to bring forgiveness and life and a new way of relating to God, a new agreement between God and man, a new covenant".

The cross was an awful agony that resulted in unimaginable glory. It is as the bread is broken and the wine drunk to the last drop that the world is blessed. The total utter self-giving of Christ meant His very body, and life and dignity and rights to justice and fairness had to be all given up if the world was to have eternal life. And He put us first, He let go of personal rights, and suffered shame and death and injustice - He gave every last drop of His being on one awful day and lay crushed and dead, lifeless and useless, a corpse, a mute testimony to the victory of evil over the apparently "stupid idealists of the world". What good could come from such an injustice, from such a waste?

His life ended as an absurd mockery of all that was good. For two days. Two dark days. Then on the third day - there was an explosion of life and glory and suddenly what seemed a stupid, cruel and pointless event was a victory, an unimaginable victory, over death and all the power of the enemy. "He is not here - He is risen". The life, hidden in the death, burst forth and still bursts forth. The seed died, and the plant rose up - big and strong,and became the Church.

Self-giving at some point will turn into self-sacrifice and involve the cross. At some point Jesus will take us, bless us, break us, and give our life to the world. Then after we think its all over, Jesus will cause us to rise "from the dead" both literally at the last trumpet, but often metaphorically as well, in this life, as life and ministry is restored. In November 1998 Eternity Online Magazine finally ran out of funds and "died". It was a sad end to what was the best ministry I had ever engaged in. In November 2001 I was asked to help with the Asian Internet Bible Institute which is now a reality. And much of the Eternity Online Magazine material has been able to be used - but in a much better way. God has resurrected, God has given new life. "Jesus took, and blessed, and broke and gave.."

Blessings in Jesus,

John Edmiston


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