The Holy Communion
Passover is a yearly festival
during which the Israelites celebrate God's deliverance of his people from a
land of bondage. It is a day for the Jewish community to remember how the blood
of the slaughtered lamb saved them from the smiting hand of God that killed all
the first-born of Egypt.
Today, Christ the Passover lamb has been slain and his blood has spared us of
eternal death. We, the spiritual chosen people of God, must also commemorate
Christ's saving grace by partaking in the new Passover–the Holy Communion.
"In Remembrance of Me"
Also known as the Lord's Supper,
the Holy Communion is a sacrament instituted by the Lord Jesus himself during
his last Passover meal with his disciples. "The Lord Jesus, on the night
he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and
said, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the
same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This
cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in
remembrance of me'"(1 Corinthians -25).
During the Holy Communion, we
meditate on and proclaim the immense grace of our Savior shown by his personal
sacrifice. The sacrament is also an occasion for us to renew our determination
to love the Lord more by giving our lives to serve him.
Fellowship with Christ
The Lord Jesus said,
"Whoever eats my þesh and drinks my blood has
eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my þesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats
my þesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in
him" (John -56).
The Holy Communion is a
fellowship through which God bestows his life on the participants. After the
thanksgiving prayer, the bread and grape juice become the body and blood of the
Lord in the Spirit. By partaking of this sacrament, believers join with the
Lord Jesus Christ and with one another in the spirit and share the fullness of
life that the Lord has promised.
The Meaning of the Holy Communion
The "one bread" used in
the Holy Communion signifies that Jesus has only one body and all the believers
are members of that one body. Therefore, the bread we partake of during the
Holy Communion is a participation in the body of Christ. Eating this bread
demonstrates the unity and fellowship with the Lord Jesus and with other
The "unleavened bread"
represents the holiness of Jesus; it is a reminder that the church, as the body
of Christ, must strive to be holy and blameless. We must keep our thoughts,
speech, and daily conduct pure. The church as a whole must also uphold her
integrity and pledge her allegiance to the Truth of God.
The cup we receive is the cup of
the new covenant established by the blood of Christ. This new covenant is a
sign that we have become God's chosen people through Jesus Christ and that we
are to abide by his commandments. Having been cleansed by Christ's precious
blood in baptism, we may communicate directly with the Heavenly Father through
prayer without the mediation of priests. We also have the wonderful privilege
of entering his eternal Kingdom in the future.
Partaking of the Holy Communion
The elements of the Holy
Communion consist of one bread, made without yeast,
and grape juice. The worker administering the sacrament (usually an elder,
deacon, or preacher) gives thanks for the bread in the name of the Lord Jesus,
breaks it and distributes it to the congregation, which says a silent prayer
before partaking of it. The grape juice is also received in a like manner. All
the bread and grape juice must be consumed on the same day.
To partake of the Holy Communion,
we need to have been baptized in the true church and must not have committed
any serious sin. The Holy Communion is to be received in a thoughtful and
worthy manner. During the Communion, we should examine ourselves, repent of our
sins, and remove any grudges against others.
Real Flesh and Blood?
Jesus said that those who eat his þesh and drink his blood will have eternal life. Are we to
take his words literally? Do we actually eat and drink the þesh
and blood of Christ during the Holy Communion?
Flesh and blood represent a
person's life. To partake of Jesus' þesh and blood
means to partake of his spiritual life, rather than his physical body.
the presence of the Holy Spirit, the bread and juice used during the Communion
become the spiritual þesh and blood of Jesus. The
Lord Jesus called himself, in figurative terms, the bread from heaven and the
living water. By eating this "spiritual food" and drinking this
"spiritual drink" (see 1 Corinthians 10:3-4), we share the life of
Jesus Christ. Our communion with Christ through the sacrament keeps us from
becoming weary or thirsty on the heavenly journey. And on the last day, Jesus
Christ will resurrect us and give us his everlasting life.