SECRETS OF HOLY COMMUNION
Communion has great spiritual benefits for the God-fearing person. That is why it has been commonly referred to as ‘Holy Communion’. This observance is also known as The Lord’s Supper or, more recently, as The Eucharist. The term Eucharist comes from the Greek by way of Latin meaning ‘thanksgiving’. All these terms include an aspect of the truth behind this Christian sacrament.
Jesus declared Himself as the living bread that came down from heaven (John 6:35-48). By partaking of His broken body and shed blood we can identify with, and remember, His sufferings so that we might be forgiven of our sins and not go to Hell. Some may be disturbed by this but I guarantee that Hell is a real place of fiery and eternal torment. The Word of God says so!
Communion is a public demonstration that we are, and shall always become more so, one living loaf in Christ, irrespective of race or tongue or politics around the globe (1Corinthians 10:17). This is the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
Both the Old and New Testaments are about reconciling God and mankind through the shedding of innocent blood. To set an everlasting principle in motion God shed the first blood when He provided Adam and Eve with animal skins for a covering before evicting them from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:21). (The Garden was a prototype of the Temple of God as comprehensively explained in my Kindle book accessible through my home page). The covering symbolised protection from the elements and from the wrath of a holy God.
God subsequently reckoned their son Abel righteous because he brought to the altar a sacrifice from his flocks but God despised his older brother Cain for offering garden produce. No doubt, both God and Adam had already taught Cain how to worship God but Cain decided to bring the fruits of his hard labour instead of just purchasing a lamb from Abel as God would have wished. Cain was not only rebellious but added pride to his sin. Cain had no excuse because, in those days, God talked directly with people (Genesis 4:6-15). Today we are led by the Holy Spirit and much of our work is by faith. Many of our great forebears also operated by faith (Hebrews Chapter 11).
It was only during the Reformation that Martin Luther proclaimed to a legalistic and religious world that God simply intended believers to seek repentance and that faith in Jesus Christ, not well-intentioned hard labour, would lead to salvation. In this context, it is relevant to note that Levitical priests administering offerings were forbidden to wear woollen garments because it would make them sweat symbolizing works of the flesh (Ezekiel 44:15-18).
God subsequently taught Adam’s descendants to build altars which became prototypes of the ultimate sacrifice on the cross – Jesus the Lamb of God. The Bible consistently teaches that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22).
Events and prophecies in the Old Testament foreshadowed the salvation that was to come through Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44 and Hebrews 10:7). History and world kingdoms have been unfolding under the Father’s will to set the scenes for both the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and also for His soon return. Revelation Chapter 21 tells us that in eternity, in the heavenly New Jerusalem, focus shall forever be on the Lamb that was slain. In short, the whole of world history from beginning to end and into all eternity revolves around the second member of the Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s all about Jesus, the Creator, the only begotten Son of God.
“For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).
Our appropriation of the benefits and the work of the cross is progressive. As Christians our lives are being progressively transformed to shine forth His glory more and more, and only if we choose to allow Him, of course.
“All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into his likeness in an ever greater degree of glory” (2Corinthians 3:18, Good News Bible).
How is that achieved? That is one of the wondrous secrets of Holy Communion. Watch this brief video and find out one of the crucial ways in which the Lord changes us from one glory to another. There is a spiritual transaction during communion.
But, before you do, we would do well to remember that the apostle warned us to examine ourselves first before ‘even thinking’ of taking communion, “For he that eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body” (1Corinthians 11:29). That sounds very ominous, almost like a potential reward of everlasting hellfire. This is not to say that you have to spruce yourself up to be ‘good enough’ before you come into God’s presence. The warning is for hypocrites with a bad attitude.
1Corinthians 11:29 makes it absolutely clear that there are spiritual consequences in taking communion, consequences that can be either good or bad according to the state of our hearts. Holy Communion is therefore not just a symbolic action while rehearsing a minute’s silence as we might do on days when we remember the fallen in war.
Listen to this 8-minute video about the personal spiritual benefits of taking communion: