Communion is the symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper; the final Passover feast that Jesus celebrated with His disciples. It would be the last time they would share this traditional meal together because His crucifixion was so very near. It is here that the gospel of Luke gives us insight, And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood" (Luke 22:19-20). Just as Jesus instructed the disciples saying, "Do this in remembrance of Me," we are to do the same. We are to remember the price Jesus paid to buy our redemption, free us from bondage to sin, and secure our heavenly inheritance.

The Communion Table +

Therefore, the communion table is a time of remembrance. It memorializes the sacrifice Jesus made for the sake of our sin. He gave Himself for us that we may be "justified by his blood," and "saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life," (Romans 5:9-10). His broken, wounded, and blood-stained body is what saves us from the wrath of God. This is why we are instructed to remember what He has done on our behalf. It is so we never forget the horror our sin caused; the innocent Son of God died in our place. "For [God] hath made [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Communion, also known as the Holy Communion, Eucharist, or The Last Supper represents the sacrificial act of Jesus as He offered Himself for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus commands us to remember this quintessential event by the breaking and sharing of bread and the cup together as a body of believers; therefore, it is a corporate remembrance of Him.

The bread further pictures the death of Jesus Christ in that according to the Law of Moses the Passover bread must be unleavened, meaning it was flat bread similar to a wafer. No yeast was used in its mixture because yeast permeates the dough and causes it to rise. Through biblical imagery, yeast is often associated with sin and its permeating effects on mankind. Sin grows and corrupts individuals, but Jesus lived a sinless life and the unleavened bread represented His sinlessness.

Later, through rabbinic law, the bread was also pierced which would inhibit any possible leavening within the dough so when it was baked, it would make the cracker-like bread that is still used today. Jesus’ body was also pierced; His head was pierced by thorns; His hands and feet with nails; His side was pierced with a spear. His body was broken, beaten, abused, and then nailed to a cross. No other person has experienced such cruelty! The prophet, Isaiah, rightly proclaimed, "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

Jesus also gave the disciples the image of the cup to represent His blood. He said it was poured out for you, and through His blood a New Covenant was inaugurated. Jewish covenants were confirmed through blood sacrifices. Jesus acted as the sacrificial lamb that did away with the Old Covenant of the Law and secured the New Covenant of grace with His own flesh and blood.

Today, we no longer live under the burden of the Old Covenant of the Law. There are no more animal sacrifices because "[Jesus] has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross," (Colossians 2:14). This is why John the Baptist said of Jesus, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). He is the mediator of the New Covenant. His blood was spent for our redemption so that we may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15). What a wonderful Savior!

It is for these reasons that we remember the Person of Jesus Christ as we come to the communion table. He is the eternal God-man who "humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8), and willingly canceled our sin debt.

We observe this time together with reverence and awe for the redemptive Work of Jesus Christ, and as a testimony to the power of His life-giving grace. "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes," (1 Corinthians 11:26).

Remember, too, that one day we will share the cup together with Him in the Kingdom of God.

Communion Study

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