Eating is something people do when they come back from the dead. When Jesus raised the little girl from the dead, He instructed her parents to give her something to eat. When Jesus rose from the dead, He asked for food and ate with His disciples a number of times. And John says that when the dead are raised at the Great Resurrection there will be a Great Feast, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
So one of the things this meal is telling us and teaching us is that we are alive again. This is a meal for the born again, the dead and alive again. This is a meal for every Lazarus in the history of the world. If you are in Christ, then you were dead in your sins, and you died when He died, and now you live again by His Spirit. And so naturally, you are invited to eat something. It’s what people do when they are alive again.
This helps explain why this meal is such a small meal, not a full feast: a piece of bread and small cup of wine. Why such small portions? Part of the answer is that this meal is a symbolic meal – these are signs and seals of the body and blood of Jesus, and Paul says that if you’re really hungry, you have homes to eat in. So the point isn’t that you need to eat because you’re hungry; the point is to demonstrate that you’re really alive. Look, we’re all saying with Jesus, I’m really alive.
That may seem like playing with words, but I don’t think it is at all. Because all week long, the world, the flesh, and the devil attack the people of God accusing you of your sin, accusing you of your failures, feeding you lies about the future, about your past, tempting you to despair, tempting you to fear. And at the root of all the Devil’s lies, the center of the Devil’s power is the fear of death.
And so in the face of your doubts and fears, Jesus invites you here week after week and He Himself assures you that He is alive again from the dead, and therefore if you are in Him, then you also are alive again. Death has no hold on you. And since we are alive again, we should do what people do when they are alive again. We should eat. Look, we are all saying, death has no power here, I’m alive again.
So, Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ.