Sunday I did a communion meditation and was asked by a few people to write it up and share it, so here it is slightly modified.
This past weekend (July 11-12) was the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Kursk. I’m sure most of you have never heard of it and if you have then you, like me, are a history nerd! This titanic battle in 1943 was one of the decisive battles of the Eastern Front in World War Two. The cream of the German armored forces were smashed and from that point on there was no doubt that Germany was going to lose the war. It took another two years and countless of dead of wounded, but from July 12th to the end of the war the Germans did nothing but retreat on the Eastern Front.
So what’s this got to do with the Lord’s Supper? Just this. When Jesus met with his disciples on the night before he was crucified there was a spiritual battle that took place; a battle far more decisive than Kursk or any other battle you can think of.
Jesus has predicted his betrayal and death and Peter wants to know who’s going to do it. So he urges John to ask Jesus and John does so. Jesus tells him it’s the one I give this bread too and then he hands it to Judas. And then the Apostle John writes these amazing words:
27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” John 13:27 (ESV)
Think about this scene for just a moment. Across a plain old table God in human flesh – Jesus – is facing Satan in human flesh – Judas. Remember Judas was not demon possessed for he was possessed by Satan himself. So in that brief moment the Son of God and Satan stood face to face looking each other right in the eyes.
It’s chilling and remarkable. Even more remarkable is how Jesus treated Judas with nothing but respect. Judas leaves, betrays the Lord, and the next day Jesus dies. To all outward appearances evil wins.
But three days later God had the last word when Christ rose from the dead and lives forever.
The Lord’s Supper is about the unseen and unseeable spiritual realities that surround us every day. We live in a world that is racked by a massive spiritual war. A war where God wins not through brute force but through weaknesses. Jesus triumphed over the world, the flesh and the devil through weakness. We are called to do exactly the same thing.
Let us give thanks to God for his salvation that grants us his unseen presence every moment of our lives all thanks to the victory Jesus purchased for us through his death, burial and resurrection.