Post 54 Notes on Communion

Communion is about the account of the institution of this ordinance given in Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19 Luke 22:20, and 1 Corinthians 11:24-26. Communion was established by Jesus.  “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28).

When did this happen that Jesus initiated communion?

Jesus uttered these words at the last meal He shared with His disciples before His death. It was the Passover, a time during which the Jews commemorated their escape from slavery in Egypt, and it was an important meal. 

Who was at this meal with Jesus? The twelve disciples were gathered with Jesus, and it was a somber time. At this point did the Disciples understand what Jesus was saying, initiating, and why?   As Jesus initiated communion, He was foretelling of His death, but He also told His disciples that one of them would betray Him. This meal would forever tell them, and us, what Jesus was about to do.  He was doing it for us.

In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Paul gives specific directives for celebrating what he calls “The Lord’s Supper.” We still to this day call communion the Lord’s supper.  Communion has been taken ever since Jesus initiated it.  We do this in remembrance of Him.

I want to say here that different churches deal with communion differently than we might.  Yet, most churches do this in remembrance of Jesus and what He did on the cross.

The Reminder: When we take communion, we are remembering Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The bread and wine are visible reminders of Christ’s love for us, His children.  We all know we need food to survive on this earth, but we live spiritually in and through Christ our Lord and Savior.

Why take Communion? It is a time to commune with our Lord, and share this wonderful and amazing “Last Supper”.  It shows us exactly what Jesus has done for us.  Each time we partake of this meal we remember all Jesus did for us and what it cost Him.  Each time we partake in this meal we are communing with people of every age past, present, and future.  It is celebrated all around the world and everyone who is a child of God is fellowshipping with us.

Examine yourself: We have been told to examine ourselves and not take communion unworthily.   We are to be in a personal relationship with the Lord so we examine ourselves to see if there is anything we need to get right with God before we take this amazing communion. You can’t fake your relationship with God, but you can change your relationship, to be honest, and should before you ever take communion. Do you have any unconfessed sin in your life?  Well, if you do, confess it so that you are right before God.

Are you thankful? Finally, we would be negligent to consume these symbols of Christ without a firmly thankful heart. Why?  Because God in all of His holiness and grace chooses to forgive our sins when we confess them and repent, and when we partake of this meal we are blessed.

What thoughts run through your mind before communion? Do you have questions before taking communion?  Do you feel possibly that your sins could not be forgiven?  Do you feel unworthy to take communion?  What runs through your mind?  We are told to examine ourselves before taking and eating this meal.  This is a time to remember what Jesus did for us.  The bread and wine are taken in communion and offer change for us until we eat it again with the Lord in heaven. Each time we take communion we are to revisit the cross and what it means to do this.

How many people refuse to take communion because they do not feel like they are worthy to do so?  However, before taking communion don’t question whether or not you are good enough but instead ask yourself if you are willing to ask for forgiveness. Jesus provides for us through his life, death, and resurrection – just like food sustains our physical existence. The blessings of Christ’s body and blood are essential to our spiritual existence.

Communion provides a way to show Jesus how much you love Him, respect Him, thank Him for all He has done for you, and to allow God to guide you in the right direction.

Proclaim Hope: Everyone needs hope in their life. Jesus has given us hope that we can spend eternity with Him. 

Jesus will come: 1 Corinthians 11:26 says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” Jesus never lies and always did and always will do as He said He would.  Our eternity is wrapped up in Him and we can stand firm on all the promises of our Lord. Be ready.

Don’t compare yourself with anyone: Avoid the impulse to compare yourself with others and don’t allow feelings of inadequacy to rob you of your joy.  No one sees the other person like God does.  During communion, proceed with an open mind and heart. Take the time to reflect on your past and present, and invite Jesus into communion with you for it is Him and Him alone who calms the storms of your life and forgives you. No one else can ever do what Jesus did for you or is doing for you.

Each moment of deliberate sin can eat away at our communion with Christ: “If we say that we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6). Moreover, when we sin against the God of perfect holiness, he will bring loving discipline as a Father to a son: “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the ones he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Heb. 12:5–6).

Sin harms our relationship with the Lord.  We need to daily search ourselves and confess anything that would harm our relationship with Him.  When we sin, we falsify our communion with Christ. However, when we genuinely repent of our sin and seek forgiveness, God is faithful to forgive us: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9).

Do you know the Lord? We cannot love that which we do not know. Moreover, as sinful creatures, we can love the idea of someone more than we love the actual person. You can’t love and know someone whom you don’t spend time with, learn from, and trust. God reveals Himself to all who truly want to know Him. 

God never promised us a rose garden for even roses have thorns.   Every genuine believer will face suffering and persecution to some extent because of Christ: “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18). Some are persecuted more than others.   “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was happening to you” (1 Pet. 4:12). Our union with Christ ensures that we will suffer, and these moments of suffering are tests of our communion with Christ.  When we go through the trials of life do we lean on Him for answers and ask Him to (in His timing) deliver us from the pain of our trials, or do we try to blame Him and complain against Him?  Wouldn’t it be better to pray than to complain?

Communion is:

A Memorial in remembrance of all Jesus has done for us and remembering the cross

It is symbolic: Bread/body, and wine/His blood

It is a covenant to do until we do it again with Him in heaven

Bread represents His body which was broken for each of us, while wine represented His blood which was shed for us

We are to examine ourselves, confess what needs to be confessed, and repent/change so that we are right with the Lord

We are not to take communion unworthily, but to search ourselves to see what we need to change

We are to proclaim His death and resurrection until He comes

We can’t take communion without remembering the cross

Communion is an honor, it is holy in the sight of God, and it is a covenant with our Lord.