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Communion Of The Blood And The Body
December 09, 2012
When we are baptized into Christ, we are baptized into His death, burial, and resurrection. A reminder of His sacrifice and suffering, but also of His resurrection from the dead, we take the Lord's Supper. The bread is to believers the body of Christ, and the fruit of the vine is the blood of Christ. We eat the bread, which becomes part of us, and realize that the body of Jesus is in us, and we in His body. We drink the cup, which becomes a part of our bodies, reminding us that we are cleansed from our sins by the blood of Christ. His blood is in our blood, and we are washed in His blood.
Communion Of The Blood and Body
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 12-09-2012
We recently talked about what Jesus means to us, what He has done for us, and how He lives in us. Today I want to talk about how Jesus is in us, and we in Him.
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.”
The apostle Paul said that the cup that we drink and the bread that we eat are the communion of the blood and body of Christ. The Greek word from which communion is translated is koinónia (koy-nohn-ee'-ah), and literally means participation, suggesting partnership. The English word, communion, means mutual participation.
Often, we think of communion as participation with other Christians, while the scriptures indicate that the true participation is with Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
The word rendered fellowship here is from the same Greek word that was translated communion earlier in our study. John writes that our communion or fellowship is with the Father and His son, Jesus Christ, and in them we have fellowship or communion with one another.
1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
Fellowship, or communion, is in the light. Where is the light?
1 John 1:5 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
This tells us that if we are participating with, or partnering with, God through Jesus Christ, we are in them. We walk in them. We fellowship them, commune with them, and that relationship, John says, puts us into partnership or participation with one another.
We take the Lord’s Supper, which we often call the Communion, to remember our Lord, what He endured, and why. It also reminds us of our relationship with Him, and with His Father.
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? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
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 shew 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.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."
Paul said that Jesus called the bread His body, and the fruit of the vine, His blood. He furthermore states that the cup is the new contract, or covenant, in His blood. This reminds us not only of the suffering and death of Jesus as our sacrificial lamb, but also that God has extended a new contract, or testament, to those who will listen to, and obey, Him.
Recall that we are in a partnership, or under contract, with God and with His son, Jesus. We see this in the King James Version as the communion or fellowship with them. The Lord’s Supper was being abused in Corinth, as it had turned into a feast for the members of the local congregation, and the real reason for the bread and fruit of the vine were being ignored. Paul told them to satisfy their hunger and thirst at home, so that they might take the Lord’s Supper properly.
Some mistake a couple of points in Paul’s discourse. First, some mistake his admonition to examine oneself in order to take the supper worthily to mean that one has to be a worthy person.
Luke 17:10 "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
None of us are worthy. What Paul was saying was to take the Lord’s Supper in a manner that befits what is taking place. It is not about satisfying hunger and thirst, but remembering Christ.
The other mistake that people make is to say that Paul was saying that food could not be eaten in a “church building”. This ridiculous charge does not fit the context. The context is remembering Jesus. Therefore, Paul told them to satisfy hunger and thirst at home, so that they could concentrate on the Lord’s Supper when they came together. It had nothing to do with physical space and everything to do with the bread and fruit of the vine as body and blood of Jesus.
As the apostle Paul wrote, it is the communion, or the partnership, with the body and blood of Christ, making us all one body. By uniting with Jesus Christ, we unite with one another. Being each of us a part of His body, makes us a part of each other.
John 17:20 "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
The Lord’s Supper reminds us of this oneness that we share with Jesus and His heavenly Father.
John 17:11 "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are."
Romans 15:5 "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
When we take the bread as the body of Christ, and the fruit of the vine as the blood of Christ, it reminds us not only of His sacrifice for us, but it reminds us of the love of God toward us, manifested in Christ Jesus. Jesus tells us to have that same love, and to be one with one another, and with Him and His heavenly Father.