1 Corinthians 11:24, “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
What an incredible picture. The eternal Son of God became a man. He was preparing Himself and His followers for the horrible day that would follow: the suffering and death of Jesus of Nazareth. What was this strange meal all about? It was about giving thanks to the Lord in the midst of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Jesus gave thanks and lifted up the jewish cup of salvation, or the cup of thanksgiving. He was giving a thank offering to the Lord. He was introducing the eucharistic meal. Eucharist comes from the greek word eucharisteo, which Jesus used in His prayer. It means to give thanks. He was thanking God for the fulfillment of God’s sovereign plan. He was about to die for the sins of mankind. Here is a short explanation from Vincent’s Word Book:
“In post-apostolic and patristic writers, Eucharist was the technical term for the Lord’s Supper as a sacrifice of thanksgiving for all the gifts of God, especially for the ” unspeakable gift,” Jesus Christ. By some of the fathers of the second century the term was sometimes applied to the consecrated elements. The formula of thanksgiving cited in ” The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” is, for the cup first, ‘We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus, Thy servant: to Thee be the glory forever.” And for the bread: ” We give thanks to Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou hast made known to us through Jesus Thy servant: to Thee be the glory forever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and, gathered together, became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy Kingdom, for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever.”
This communion meal is the very foundation for our life of eucharisteo, or life of thanksgiving. We see Christ in all of our whole life. He is there in our trials, our suffering, our healing, and our restoration. Receiving communion gives us a chance to center our lives and to regain our focus. It is by communion with God through giving thanks that we are able to see all of His blessings that literally overflow our lives.