I've been talking about the new covenant of grace that we are now under because of Jesus versus the old covenant of the law that has passed away. A wonderful way that we are to remember the new covenant is through the Lord's Supper or communion as it is commonly called. It is a special time to use physical elements to represent what Jesus has done for us, but the problem is that too many take communion with an old covenant mind-set. Instead of keeping the focus on Jesus and what He has done for us, we turn the focus back on ourselves and how sinful and worthless we are. Let's dig into the true meaning of communion, shall we?
1 Corinthians 11:24 says “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, this do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
What does Jesus tell us to remember? How worthless we are? How unqualified we are? To think of every sin we have and confess it? No, He says to remember Him. Communion should be all about remembering Jesus and what He has done for us. When we partake of the bread we should think of His body, which was beaten, bruised and broken so we could be healed (1 Peter 2:24).
When we take of the cup and drink the juice, symbolizing His blood, we should be reflecting on what His shed blood did for us. His blood was shed so we could be completely forgiven, justified, redeemed and on and on the list could go. That is what we should be remembering instead of ourselves. The law condemned but grace justifies. The law made you keep your mind on yourself to see how you didn't measure up. Grace points you to the one who has measured up for you. His grace is what we should be reflecting upon during communion.
Now I know people are thinking of verses 27 and 28, which basically says whoever takes communion unworthily is guilty and that we need to examine ourselves before we take it. We need to take those verses in the context. If we look at verses 17-22 and 27-34 (I don't have space to write them out), he is addressing the church of Corinth and issues they were having. People were taking the Lord's Supper for the wrong reasons. Some took it because they were hungry, and others took it to get drunk. I believe with saying to examine yourself he was wanting people to consider some things. Why am I taking communion? Is it because I am hungry and just want something to eat and drink, or am I taking it to remember what Jesus did for me? It isn't about examining to see if we are worthy enough to take it because none of us can ever approach God based on our worthiness and goodness. We can only approach God based on Jesus' worthiness on our behalf.
I love taking communion at our church because our pastor leads us to take it in the new covenant way it should be taken. Instead of it being a somber, condemning experience of self-reflection, we turn our focus to Jesus, the one for whom communion was instituted to reflect upon. We use that special time to commemorate Him, not ourselves, and what He has done for us. That is how the Lord's Supper is to be taken, by remembering Him, and when you have an understanding of grace and what Jesus did for us all when we did and could do nothing to earn or deserve it, that is cause for celebration. So after we take it, we get to our feet and celebrate! We sing praises to the one whose body was broken and whose blood was shed for us so that we can live freely for Him without guilt and condemnation. Thank you Jesus!
We should not have the attitude of condemnation and unworthiness when we take the Lord's Supper because it puts the focus back on ourselves. Instead of looking at ourselves and how worthless we are when we take it, we turn our focus back on the One who we are really to remember during that time and to commemorate what He has done for us. Do this in rememberance of Me are the words of 1st Corinthians, not remember yourself and how worthless you are in the natural. Remember Jesus. We take it, remembering the sacrifice He made for us. When we take the juice representing His blood, we take it by faith. Remember His precious blood that was shed so we can be completely and totally forgiven.
Amber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her AmberRiceMiller Facebook page.
Published: May 23, 2016