Communion: Remember Me, Show My Death.



"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

Communion- Remember Me, Show My Death.

Communion means union. Churches use this name for ritual, which is also called breaking of bread. Communion is unity, and it supposed to unite the members of the participants together, as well as it unites all the participants with Jesus Christ as one. The breaking of the bread represents the broken body of Jesus Christ, which shows the death of Christ. The sipping of the wine, signify the blood of Jesus, which is shed for them, which is in them now by partaking the cup, so they should live his life. They will remember that his death made it possible.

In religion, God and his people, as well as the devil and his people, are united with their respective gods, by eating their sacrifices on their alters. It is a token, ritual, ceremony, as well as spiritual. "1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?" Here, verse 18 explains that Israel were one with the alter. It is a cup (one cup) of blessing, that is symbolically equated with the shed blood of Jesus. So also, the one bread is equated with the body of Jesus. They break the bread and it is the broken fragments of the body of Christ. Everybody in the congregation take a fragment of the bread, eat, and a sip of the cup that signify that everyone partook the body and blood (One body and one blood) of Jesus Christ. Since Jesus Christ is one, and now he is in everybody by partaking his body and blood, everybody have become one,  he is in them all. The idea is that if someone see the church, his body is to be seen out, and his blood is to live inside. So, the congregation, which is the body of Jesus Christ, must show his death and remember him in life.

1. Passover Feast, Lord's Supper, Communion.

God started the Passover feast. God told Moses and Aaron that the congregation of Israel should kill the lamb without blemish, strike the blood on house posts, and eat the flesh roasted with fire. "Exodus 12:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel,.. take to them every man a lamb, ... 4 ... every man according to his eating ... 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year .. 6 .. Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it." The Lamb without blemish was Jesus Christ. Being a Jew, Jesus Christ has kept and ate the Passover, with much desire, fully knowing that he was the Passover Lamb. "Luke 22:14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. 15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: 16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." The passover was a feast of the Old Testament. Jesus Christ has joined another ordinance called 'communion' or 'breaking of bread' right behind the feast. Passover comes once a year, but communion comes often. So, the feast before the communion is called the "Lord's supper", but not as passover and it is like a pot luck or a community dinner. 'Communion' or 'breaking of bread' is not 'Lord's supper', but it follows 'Lord's supper'. But, churches will not follow that order. Churches give a convenient version of communion. They do not follow the word of God in most of the things, even in communion. Please follow the events according to scriptures. "John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,... 2 And supper being ended,... 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself." So, it was the last passover feast for Jesus, supper ended in verse 2, and Jesus begins to wash the feet of his disciples in verse 4. Then Jesus tells that Judas will betray him and so on. "John 13:18 ... but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me... 21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me... 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him." After the Lord's supper (in this case it was the passover feast) Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, then announced about the betrayal of Judas, and then is the event of 'breaking of bread' (communion). In the passover feast, the main food items were meat, bitter herbs, and bread. But communion was not eating food, but it was ceremonial and symbolical, just a broken piece of bread and a sip of wine, and that is all. But it followed the Lord's supper. Everybody shall wait for the Lord's supper, eat together and then follow up with the symbolic ceremony or ordinance of communion (breaking of bread). Please notice that apostle Paul rebukes Corinthians for not waiting to eat the supper together. "1 Corinthians 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not?" It was their food or supper. Communion is just a piece of bread and a sip of wine. 'Communion' should follow the Lord's supper. It is the order in the word of God. Lord's supper itself is not the breaking of bread or communion ordinance. The Lord's supper is their big meal, the main food of that day. They eat food before communion.

2. Passover Supper, Feet Washing, Breaking of Bread.

Just now we saw from John 13th chapter that Jesus Christ and his disciples ate the passover supper, then Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, then at the feast table told about Judas the betrayer, and then he took a bread and broke it. As it was in the feast, each of them did not take their own bread, bitter herb, and meat to eat. But Jesus took one bread and broke into twelve, or eleven (if Judas could have gone out at this time), and gave it to each of them. "Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." It was not real flesh and blood, but actually bread and wine. It was symbolic and ceremonial, and it is called "breaking of bread." Later on, it was also called "communion." This was also considered holy ceremony and the word of God says that it must be taken with reverence.

In our churches, the foot washing is observed as a ceremony. A little knowledge in the eastern culture will help us to be more effective in life, than to be ceremonial white sepulchers. If we are wealthy enough to have a servant in our home, if we take a journey in a dusty path, as we reach home, me may sit in a bench and the servant wash your tired dusty feet. If you are not wealthy, you wash your feet yourself. It is symbolical. It is reversal here that the master wash the feet of his disciple, instead of the disciple wash the feet of the master. They did not come from outside, but were sitting in supper. It is not usual. "John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord;" Here, Jesus Christ washed the feet of his disciples and told them to wash the feet of each other, even the feet of their servants. We can very easily take this to observe it as a ceremony, as our churches do it. In churches, they are not washing dirty feet, but the feet are clean wrapped up in socks and shoes. There is nothing to clean. But the truth of the matter is this. Jesus Christ teaches two things here. 1. He says that most of you are clean, except the feet (walk of life), but some of them are not clean at all (like Judas, no use to wash their feet, they are dirty all over). The washing refers to correcting their sins in life, but not the dust on their feet. 2. It is not just to wash the feet, but it is the servitude. You are a servant, help each other, even masters serve servants, and it is what you must do in life. 

3. It is Holy Ceremony, Be Worthy to Partake.

"1 Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." First Apostle Paul explains how Jesus Christ has conduct the ceremony. The blood is to remember him, that is, the life is in the blood and so we must remember Jesus Christ through our life, but not only through our memory. Then the broken bread is to remember his cruel death, that he died to become the author of salvation. These are strong commitments, but not to simply go through the motions of a ceremony. Further, there is a caution to examine ourselves whether we are worthy to participate the ceremony, because there is a price to pay, if we take it unworthily. One side, it gives us a way to be united with Christ that is a holy privilege, but at the same time, we take it lightly. "Acts 2:42.. they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Apostle's doctrine is the same doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. This doctrine is very important for the truth and for Christian life. Most churches have lost the presence of Jesus Christ, since they have rejected the doctrine of Jesus Christ for their own church denominational doctrine. As the word of God says, we must continue steadfastly in these things. The fellowship comes in the Lord's supper. They ate together, by even by sharing, to have closer fellowship, So, the church continue steadfastly in apostle's doctrine, Lord's supper (food & fellowship), breaking of bread (communion), and prayers.

4. Judas Iscariot was out before 'Breaking of Bread'

"John 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night." Jesus Christ ate the passover meal (latter it is called Lord's supper) with his disciples. The betrayer was exposed and he was gone out. Then only the next portion, which is the 'breaking of bread' begins. "Mark 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. 22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." Judas was exposed in verse 21, even though other disciples couldn't recognize it. Then Judas Iscariot was sent out and it was not recorded by Mark, which we see in John 13:27-30. Apostle Paul also warned about partaking in the 'communion', which may bring sickness, even death in 1 Corinthians 11:29-30. After sending Judas away, Jesus Christ gave the bread and wine to his disciple, as his broken body and shed blood, which makes a sacrament for the church to continue, until he comes back. In Acts 2:46&47 we see, "46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Breaking of the bread has done in small groups, from house to house so that fellowship, union, oneness in heart with Jesus Christ, are the key. So, it is fit to be called 'communion' with the Lord Jesus Christ. They are such as should be saved.

5. Was the Bread and Blood Symbol or Real?

Jesus Christ almost always spoke to the Jews, Scribes, and Pharisees, in parables. But he has revealed the mysteries to his close disciples. "Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." So, his speech confused everybody, because he was speaking in parables, figure of speech, stories, etc. Even some of his followers also are confused. "John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." Notice, that verses 10&11 reveals that he will reveal the mysteries to whom they are supposed to be revealed. Here what he says is that the ceremonial ordinance as well as their life will make them one, to live in one spirit, nesting together as God the Father and God the Son are ONE. We must not take 'Communion' for ceremony only, but we must also live his life as one with him.

Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
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