“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19, NIV)

It’s funny to me how some of the songs we learned when we were children are not fully understood until we are much further along in our spiritual journey. Take for instance the song “Jesus Loves Me This I Know.” When I was taught that song as a child, I grasped that the Bible said that Jesus loves me. But today can I say that I understand how fully Christ loves me? That he loves me enough to have sacrificed His life for me?

As the daughter of a single mom, I understand a little about the concept of sacrifice. My mother lives a life of sacrifice. While we were growing up, she postponed getting things for herself so that my sister and I never had to do without basic necessities or many of the things we merely wanted. She abandoned the culture’s notion that we had to have the “latest and greatest” car, clothes, and electronics and instead heeded the calling to not be a slave to the lender and to purchase only what she had enough cash for, protecting our family from the stress of debt. She also saved money so that my sister and I could earn a college education without having to take on student loans.

But even with all those sacrifices in mind, the depth of Jesus’s sacrifice still isn’t easy for me to grasp. He loved me enough to follow through with the toughest instruction ever given: To die on a cross, a criminal’s death, even though He was blameless.

As I try to wrap my mind around that, I start to see the many levels of pain involved. My body cringes as I envision the physical steps that Jesus took while carrying the burdensome cross. My mind starts to throb with the mental strain of His knowing exactly what was about to happen to Him and knowing that He had to go through with it because there were prophecies to be fulfilled: He was the sacrificial Lamb. My heart aches at the emotional weight of having His death witnessed by His family and friends, as well as His enemies.

And after it was done, He didn’t want us to forget about the sacrifice that was made on behalf of each of us. So He gave us communion as a way of remembering. He asked that each time we drink of the cup and eat of the bread that we would “do this in remembrance” of Him.

But sadly, I often let this beautiful ceremony of remembrance become common. It’s hard to make my mind walk down that road with Jesus and make my heart feel the full extent of what He went through on my behalf. I am tempted to close off my mind and my heart to seeing and feeling that pain. But it’s necessary to remind me of the weight of my sin. And to help me understand how much He truly loves me.