Let's first read Paul's instructions to the church about communion. Then we can talk more in depth about what communion is all about.
“For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NLT
One of the things that stands out to me is the phrase "do this in remembrance of me" ....
Are you good at remembering things?
Remembering can sometimes be difficult. I believe that is why Jesus put such an emphasis on remembering his death. If we aren't intentional about it we are likely to forget.
So let's take a look at exactly what Paul’s letter is telling us to remember.
1. The body of Christ. Beaten broken bruised whipped demolished. Why? for us. Our healing. He took our place. Jesus’ death was brutal. He was killed by a Roman government that was very good at making people suffer. Their goal wasn't just to execute but to humiliate. And Jesus broken body represents the healing, both physically and spiritually, we have access to through him.
2. The blood of Christ. Forgiveness. The ultimate cleansing. Anything wrong that was ever done by anyone was covered and made right from the perfect blood that flowed from Jesus veins. We received a new starting place by the blood Jesus shed for us. It also served as a replacement for the Old Testament way of doing things.
So communion is a symbolic representation of what Jesus did for us on the cross. The greatest thing ever done in history. And he simply asks us not to forget. He even gives us the steps to remember.
There is also a pretty intense warning about communion in the bible.
“So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself.”
1 Corinthians 11:27-29 NLT
So let's do that now. Examine our lives.
Maybe you are reading this, and you have never accepted Christ's sacrifice and you want to accept that for the first time. If that's you I want you to take time right now to ask him.
Everyone else I encourage you to take the next few moments to examine your life and if there is any sin in your life you haven't dealt with give it to God and take care of it. If that's you and you have un-dealt-with sin I want you too take the time, talk to God and make it right.
Pastor Mychal Semprun
Urban Hope Church, College Pastor