Communion: Not Just Ritual, but a Direct Message from the Lord
Today, we’re diving into the Scriptures to explore the significance of Communion—a subject, despite being a matter of divine revelation and closeness to Jesus’s heart, is marred by widespread misconception and unscriptural views.
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11, emphasizes that the teachings on communion are not mere hand-me-downs; they are divine revelations received directly from the Lord, a testament to the incredible power of communion. This isn’t just an empty ritual tacked onto the end of services; it is a supernatural delivery system devised by God, allowing for an intimate exchange and impartation during communion.
Remembering Jesus: The Heart and History of Communion Controversies
The significance of Communion can be traced back to centuries of doctrinal disputes that even led to physical confrontations and killings, underlining the controversial nature associated with this spiritual practice.
The conflicts surrounding communion surpass other disputed subjects in the Scriptures, like speaking in tongues and laying out of hands, bringing forth the essence of remembering and re-enacting Jesus’s sacrifices, making the believer relive and connect profoundly with the occurrences at the cross.
In doing so, the believer doesn’t just reminisce; they unite with His death, burial, and resurrection, proclaiming the Lord’s death until He returns.
Beware the Enemy’s Twist: The Misconstrued Message of Communion
However, the enemy has invariably attempted to twist and manipulate this important practice intended to bring life and holy connection into a mechanism of death and an exclusive event for the select few.
The cautionary notes in the Scriptures about partaking in the bread or the cup of the Lord in an ‘unworthy manner’ have been misconstrued, leading many to feel undeserving and guilty. It’s crucial to remember the emphasis is on the ‘unworthy manner’ and not on being ‘unworthy,’ highlighting the constant battle against the accuser’s voice, making it pivotal to understand, revere, and practice communion in its true essence.
Connecting Through Communion
Communion should be a moment of profound connection with the Lord, where one remembers and cherishes the sacrifices of Jesus. Instead of becoming a tool for judgment and fear, communion should be an act of remembrance, celebration, and profound spiritual connection.
When understood correctly, the Apostle Paul’s teaching emphasizes the importance of recognizing the sanctity of the Lord’s body and the spiritual significance of the act rather than the fear of judgment.
God’s Desire for Life’s Fulfillment
Life’s uncertainties and hardships often affect our well-being, leading to a cycle of ill health and premature demise. However, this is different from what the Lord envisions for us.
His message is clear: the Lord yearns for each individual to lead a vibrant, fruitful, and comprehensive life. He doesn’t merely wish for us to survive but to thrive.
Scriptures reiterate His desire to bless us with long, rewarding lives, urging us to recognize that this existence is not just about longevity but about leading a purpose-driven, healthful, and spirited life.
Understanding Chastisement and Self-Examination
There’s a misconception regarding God’s judgment.
Under the old covenant, judgment was often equated with death, with no scope for amendment. However, with the new covenant, the narrative changes.
Now, God’s judgment or “chastisement” is aimed at restoration, not mere punishment.
The term ‘chastise’ originates from child training, emphasizing correction with compassion, like a loving parent’s gentle reprimand. It’s pivotal to introspect, examine our flaws, and recognize our dependency on Jesus.
This self-awareness and faith lead to the realization that every challenge we face—spiritual, emotional, physical, social, or financial—is surmountable with the guidance and strength that Jesus’s sacrifices provide us.
Jesus’ Ultimate Sacrifice
Jesus’ suffering encompassed all aspects of the human experience, ensuring that we, as believers, would be victors in every facet of our lives.
- Physically, He was whipped so we might experience divine health.
- Spiritually, He became sin, allowing us to possess the righteousness of God. Emotionally, His intense anxiety, signified by sweating blood, promises us peace of mind.
- Socially, He was forsaken by all so we might enjoy genuine friendships and community.
- Financially, the Bible tells us He was made poor, not destitute, but so we could be blessed with abundance.
The Significance of Communion
Communion serves as a powerful reminder of Christ’s sacrifice. As believers partake in it, they reflect upon the purity of the unleavened bread or matzah, recalling the same bread Jesus shared with His disciples. This matzah, characterized by its burnt, striped, and pierced nature, symbolizes Jesus as our burnt offering, who endured suffering for our salvation.
Communion is more than just a ritual; it’s a moment to specifically and intentionally ask the Lord for blessings, healing, and guidance, much like the woman who believed touching Jesus’ garment would heal her. In this act, believers are reminded of the new covenant, which leans not on human effort but on God’s grace.
Lord, as we partake in communion, open our hearts to grasp the significance of Your sacrifice truly. Help us not merely see it as a ritual but as a transformative reminder of Your unwavering love and the covenant You’ve established with us. May we always approach the table with reverence, understanding, and gratitude, recognizing its immense power in drawing us closer to You. Amen.
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