“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way, He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” I Corinthians 11:24-25 (NASB)
Jesus instituted the celebration of the Lord’s Table or Communion during the last Passover meal he shared with the disciples the night before He died. As we read the above Scripture we see the symbolism of the communion meal, the bread which is broken is a symbol of Christ’s body which was sacrificed for us. The juice that we drink is a symbol of the blood which Jesus shed for our sins. When we take communion we are remembering all that He has done for us and expressing our gratitude for His amazing sacrifice on our behalf.
A study of the Jewish celebration of the Passover helps us to understand the significance of the bread and the wine (or juice). It was required at Passover that a lamb without any blemish or spot be chosen as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The blood of the lamb was to be placed on the lintels or doorposts of the home. Read Exodus 12 for more information on the Passover requirements. This was the Old Testament practice. The sacrifice of the body and blood of lambs could never permanently take away sin or make atonement for mankind. Jesus came to show us a better way.
The New Testament tells us in John 1:29, “The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus lived a sinless life and is the permanent sacrifice for human sin. His blood cleanses our hearts from all sin and provides forgiveness of sin and healing for our bodies.
” For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust,so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;” 1 Peter 3:18 (NASB)
Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet saw and spoke of this as well, hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
Communion is a special time of coming into “union” with Jesus. It is a holy experience and not one to take lightly. It is a grateful acknowledging of the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. There is a warning in 1 Corinthians 11:27:
“[ Examine Yourself ] Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (NKJV)
It is always recommended that one takes a moment of reflection before receiving communion. This is a good time to be sure one’s heart is right with God and others, repent as needed and ask forgiveness. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive teaching on communion. This format permits only the basic information to be shared.
Communion is one of the two Scriptural ordinances celebrated at FWC. The other is Water Baptism for all who have made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ.