Those of us who are Christians and attend Christian churches, know that taking Communion is a sacred act and is essential for the born-again Christian life. But how deeply are we really touched by the fact that we have the chance to partake in the Communion of the holy body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ? How deeply do we understand the significance of this act?
There is no way for me to know what experiences you have had in this matter, but unfortunately, 99% of the Christians that were interviewed in regard to Communion, have about the same testimony, including myself: all are afraid to be punished with sickness or worse after taking Communion, if by any chance, they committed a sin that might have been overlooked in asking God to forgive them for.
It is very sad, but the most common message preached from the pulpit before the Lord's Supper in most churches, sounds something like this:
“Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup, to make sure "He is worthy" to do it, as the Bible says: “...whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27). “So, if any of you are having an issue with another person, or have committed a sin and have not gotten it resolved, if you don't want to be punished with sickness in your body or even premature death, it is better for you to not partake.”
Furthermore, in some denominations, if someone is not a member and baptized in the same denomination, they are not allowed to partake in Communion at all.
Does any of this sound familiar? If yes, then please carefully read the rest of this article.
Some time ago, I found a series of messages entitled “The Holy Communion.” Because the title sounded interesting, I started to listen to them. The result was amazing, as it revolutionized my whole perception about what Communion really means. It also gave me a better understanding of why so many Christians are sick, hopeless and some are even dying prematurely, as they don't believe they can pray and receive healing.
Unfortunately, the majority of Christians these days, only consider that what Lord Jesus won for us on the cross, is just the forgiveness of sin so that we can be saved. Aren't we serving the Almighty God? Isn't He the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, as the Bible says? I have seen many people healed, including myself, over the years, as fervent prayers were lifted to the Throne of God, by faith. So there is no way for any “cessationist doctrine” to convince me that the Gifts of The Holy Spirit stopped and God is not healing people anymore.
James 5:14-15Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders (the mature Christians) of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up (heal them). If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
Jesus Christ took our sicknesses, pains, sorrows, stress, traumas, fears & anxieties upon His body on the cross. There are no pains or sufferings excluded from what He suffered for us. This means that if He took them, we don't have to take or keep them anymore. This is great news.
Isaiah 53:4-5Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah prophesied how Jesus would die, paying for all our sins, securing our salvation along with healing of all our sicknesses and pains. The words "are healed" is “present tense,” meaning it was active at the moment when Isaiah was writing (between 470-460 B.C.), which was before Jesus was even incarnated into a human being.
At the time when Peter wrote about being "healed by Jesus' stripes", in his first Letter, Jesus was already crucified and risen, so from that time on, our healingalready took place. We just have to access it, to receive it, posses it. How? By faith!
1 Peter 2:24... He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.
So let's go back to the verses that Paul wrote in:
1 Corinthians 11:23-32For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying,“This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will beguilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.For those who eat and drinkwithout discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is whymanyamong youare weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
Did these particular verses say anything about having “un-confessed sin or sins?” “The person” is not called “unworthy,” but “the manner” of “partaking in Communion.” So what does this mean?
If the person that is partaking from the body and the blood of Christ, “ is not discerning the body of Christ,” meaning that “the partaking person is not believing in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and in what He accomplished through it,” then "the taking of Communion” is done in an “unworthy manner.”
Also, if taking Communion is done “without the faith” that Jesus said we should do it in remembrance of Him, of what He did for us on the cross, then it has become "only a ritual."
The Lord Jesus makes available to us, ”all” that He accomplishedin our behalf, through Communion. Now that we realize the fullness of what Jesus suffered for each of us; each pain, each sickness, each disease, do we really want all that to be in vain? Don't we want to start to possess all that He has made available for us?
Since realizing these major truths, the partaking of “the holy body and blood of Jesus Christ,” has become something very special to me every single time I take Communion. I give thanks to my Lord, because each “partaking with His body and blood,” is getting me closer to my complete healing and restoration. I have fought rheumatism for many, many years, and now having realized what is available to me through Communion, I am feeling better and better. As a matter of fact, I haven not felt more physically healthier in years. I suffered with all kinds of pains and sicknesses for so long, but finally I had enough! My Lord Jesus suffered for me in every area. I surely do not want to waste that! I wish He never had to suffer in my place, but since He already did, I want to please Him, by taking the advantage of what He did for me.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin came into this world and through the curse of sin, sickness came also. Originally, Adam and Eve had dominion over the earth but in disobeying God, they forfeited their dominion over to Satan. In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus says that Satan,"comes only to steal, kill and destroy”(John 10:10).
So, when the devil attacks again with sickness symptoms, of which we KNOW that Jesus healed us from, we refuse the lie and we fight against it. A great way to do this, is to stand on the promises of the Lord. Two great ones to proclaim are the verses fromIsaiah 53:5and1 Peter 2:24. God keeps His promises! What the Scripture says is valid for us all now and even those yet to be born again, through the Holy Spirit. So, our healing will stay and the sickness symptoms have to go in the name of Jesus Christ, the Name above all names! Many, many people have gotten major healings by taking Communion and believing and receiving healing in Jesus Name.
Matthew also mentions, what Isaiah wrote in the 53rd chapter of his book, after he shows thatJesus healed all those who came or were brought to Him.
Matthew 8:16-17When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word andhealed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:"He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases."
When we partake Communion, after we swallow the piece of bread, once inside of us, it becomes Jesus' body. The Lord Jesus said: "This is my body, which is for you.” His body goes into each cell of our bodies and set's them free of any disease, if we believe. Also when He took the cup, Jesus said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” When we receive from the cup, it becomes the blood of The Son of God, into our bodies and has the power to cleanse us of any sin and restore any damaged cell, so our physical and spiritual bodies will be rejuvenated.
In the book ofLeviticus 17:11,14: “The life of every living thing is in the blood,” so the very"life" of the Son of the Living Godenters into our bodies and brings back to life all that is dormant or is not functioning right anymore.
We are going through a gradual process of healing,ifwe know(if we realize and grasp) what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us, andifwe believeit is for us today.ifwe askand believe then wecanreceive.
Also, we need the understanding of the truth, that the curse thatwasupon us, because of past sins, hasno more powerto keep us in bondage. We are free and can grow in the Lord, knowing that we are truly free in Christ Jesus and the devilcannotcontinue to condemn us based on our past.
Galatians 3:13But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the Scripture says, “Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God's curse.”
John 1:7“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.”
When Jesus Christ is the Lord of our lives, and we remain in Him and His words remain in us; then we are willing to read & study the scripture, to meditate to the verses that we read and their application into our daily lives. When being a Christian is not just a religion, but a true way of life, we learn the nature of Jesus so that His nature can become our own.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; He bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God's glory.
1 Peter 1:18-19For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw.
So, when we have the mind, the thoughts of Christ and we believe we receive what we are asking for, we alreadypossess what we asked for("but we, however, have the mind of Christ"1 Corinthians 2:16).
Mark 11:24“For this reason I tell you: When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.”
Matthew 7:7-8“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.”
The life lived with Jesus is wonderful! We receive salvation as a free gift, because our Lord paid it in full, totally, forever for all our sins, past, present and future. BUT to keep our salvation,it costs us everything. We are required to live pure lives, fully committed in total obedience to our Heavenly Father.
God never requires something of us that we cannot do or for what He did not equip us for first. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God suffered so much, because He loves us and He wants to have us with Him in heaven for all eternity, so we then can say as Paul said:
2 Corinthians 4:16-18For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.
If Paul is calling the tribulations that he faced, “small and temporary trouble,” then we sure do not any excuse to bend under the trials of every day life. And we know that no matter how tough the troubles are that we are facing, none could be worse than what our holy and innocent Lord Jesus suffered in our place!