Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Holy Communion: Healing of Body and Soul1 Corinthians 11: 23-30
Corinthians Chapter 11 is an account of the Last Supper, in which Jesus Christ shares his final meal with his disciples. As we all know, it is at the Last Supper that Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion. The Last Supper took place during the week of Passover, a holiday observed to remember the escape of the Israelites from Egypt. During this supper, Jesus uses elements from the Passover meal to symbolize his death. Jesus predicted that one of his disciples would betray him. Each of his followers inquired, “Is it I master?” Jesus replied that the disciple who had dipped his hand into the bowl would betray him. It becomes known that Judas Iscariot would betray Jesus. After this, Jesus took the bread, broke it into pieces and blessed it, and gave it to his apostles saying, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Then Jesus took the wine and shared it with his disciples saying, “this is my blood of the new covenant, shed for many for the remission of sins.” The bread represents the body of our Lord while the wine represents his blood which was shed in order for the new covenant. Jesus took the ultimate sacrifice in order to save us from all deceit and sin. Jesus had revealed that he would become the Passover lamb of God.
As Christians in today's day and age we are faced with temptations at every turn, while our specific temptations may be unique to us, mankind has been faced with temptations since our creation. In the beginning, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and disregarded God’s authority. Rather than following God’s will, they followed their own. They ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which God had forbidden, with this betrayal sin came into the world. Jesus Christ was sent to this world to cleanse us of this sin. Partaking in the Holy Communion cleanses us of our sins and heals our body and soul. As Jesus says “Do this in remembrance of me”, he instructs us to partake in his body and blood, officially instituting Holy Communion. Every Sunday we partake in Holy Communion but we often disregard the magnitude of what we are doing. We are not simply echoing back the lines the priest recites, rather we are partaking in the holiest sacrament. The purpose of Holy Communion is to cleanse and heal our body and soul. Although Jesus was unblemished by sin, he was willing to die in our place. Receiving his body and blood allows us to remember all he has done for us. This sacrament is a symbol of God’s covenant with both the church and its members. We are united through God’s love.
When we take communion, it is a reminder of Jesus eating with the sinners, tax collectors, lepers, Pharisees, and Gentiles. God welcomes everyone to the table and provides us with the grace to repent and receive forgiveness. The Last Supper exemplifies the forgiving and understanding nature of our great Lord. Although Jesus knew Judas would betray him, he still gave him another chance. It is never too late to return to God and ask him for cleansing or forgiveness. As humans, we often struggle to distinguish right from wrong. While we yearn to be faithful Christians, we are overcome by temptation and sin. We are given a chance at redemption, through holy communion.
Communion is an integral component of Christian worship and is a symbol of our Lord’s death and resurrection. It is a reminder for us to wait for Jesus’ glorious return and remember what he did on our behalf. When receiving communion, it should be taken with the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and the communicant. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:27 “So then, 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.” When taking the holy communion, one must truly confess their sins in order to prepare their heart for worship. Those who deny repentance, and refuse to acknowledge their sin harbor hatred in their hearts. They refuse reconciliation with God and others, which defeats the purpose of this holy sacrament. As Christians, we live a spiritual life, through Christ’s presence in us. Christ empowers us to receive the divine nature and follow God’s word.
Thank you, Lord Almighty, for providing us with redemption and righteousness, and to partake of your most precious body and blood. You are the Bread of Life and have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Allow us to live according to your will, and lead a righteous and upright life.
Thought for the Day
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still, you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
Sunil George, Staten Island Marthoma church