FBC Williams Arizona
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Changing Hearts, Changing Lives, One Soul at a Time
What is Communion/The Lord's Supper? (Matthew 26: 20-30).
Communion is a time for reflection and remembering the events of the Last Supper that Jesus had with the disciples before He went to the cross. The night that He broke the bread and shared the cup with them fore-telling of what He must do in order to bring salvation to all mankind.
What does it mean?
On that night as Jesus spoke to the disciples He was explaining to them what was about to happen. They did not necessarily understand it all, but as the events unfolded it became clearer. Jesus came into the world for one purpose, to save mankind from eternal separation from God by offering all of us salvation through His death, burial and resurrection.
John 3:17 “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
The object of the mission of Jesus was to save. He is the only salvation for the world, there is no other! And this salvation is offered to all who will accept His completed work on the cross.The Communion table and the taking of the Lord’s supper allows us to reflect on what He did for us on the cross and what really took place there. He gave His life for all of us so that we could live. Jesus shared two things on that night, the bread and the cup.
What do the bread and the cup mean or represent? (Mark 14:22-25)
The bread: though on that night there was actual bread, a consumable food, it was also a representation of the soon to be broken body of Christ. If we are to understand how the using of bread represented what was to take place at the cross we must look at the actions of what the Lord has to do with us in order to bring change or newness to our lives.
First we must be taken, in other words removed from the world and its sinfulness. Next we must be blessed or in other words be prepared to be used. When we ask a blessing upon our food before we eat it we are asking that it be prepared and useful to our bodies as we consume it. Lastly we must be broken. One would think this sounds painful or like an act of violence but that is not the case. When the bread was broken that allowed it to be shared with all who were present. When we are broken for Christ this allows us to be given to others or in other words be able to be represent Him to all who want to understand more about Him. It allows us to be useful to more than one person and be able to provide for the needs of many.
As the bread became pieces it allowed for all to have a part of what was being offered and not just one person. So then we see that the bread as a representative of the body of Christ shows His actions on the cross. He was taken (removed), He was blessed (prepared for service) He was broken (so that others could have a part of what He offered.)
The use of the bread even still today over 2000 years later allows us to reflect on what the Lord did for us all and allows us to give thanks and be grateful of His sacrifice and that He loves us so much. The word is means represents which in turn means reminder of. In no way does it mean literal. Those who teach that the bread is the literal body of Christ, meaning that you are partaking of human flesh, are teaching falsely and creating great confusion for those who do not understand this blessed and holy observance. We become one with Christ by asking Him to enter our hearts by faith and believing in His work on the cross as the means of our salvation, not by eating Him!
The cup: it is written “when He had given thanks He gave it to them and they all drank of it.” The passing of the cup represents the shedding of the Blood of Jesus on the cross and that it brought salvation to all who would receive Jesus as Savior. Jesus said the drink from the cup was His blood. Again this means represents, not literal. He proclaimed it was shed for the remission of sins, in other words the payment or cost of the sins of all mankind.
He also said it represented the New Covenant. The word covenant means promise and in this case promise from God. We are promised by God that our acceptance of the finished and completed work of Christ on the cross is what gives us eternal salvation. This includes His death and resurrection. If we accept this by faith and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives then we have the promise of God that we have eternal salvation.
Observing Communion allows us to reflect on what Jesus did for each of us and not only gives us the opportunity to say thank you, but also to examine our lives and see if we are living in a way that honors and pleases God.
Who should take Communion?
Anyone who is saved, in other words one who has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and accepts His completed work on the Cross as full payment for their sins and that nothing we have done or can do on our own can earn this wonderful free gift. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
Dr. Andy McDaniel 2014