When taking communion we must discern what we are doing. Each one of us must know what it is and why they are doing it. It is not complicated, even a very small child can understand and participate in the Lord’s supper.
Discern means to perceive or recognize something. It also means to distinguish someone or something or to tell the difference between. If a person fails to discern what they are doing when taking the Lord’s supper, communion, they won’t receive the benefits that Jesus has already paid for.
We must discern the manner in which we take the Lords Supper, and we must discern the difference between the body and the blood.
The Manner In Which You Take Communion Matters
The Lord’s supper was to be the center of worship – a time to remember Jesus – what Jesus has done and what He is going to do.
1 Corinthians 11:17-22 NKJV
“ Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.”
The Corinthians were not receiving the Lord’s supper in the correct manner (unworthy manner) and that displeased God
The manner in which the Corinthians were taking the Lord’s supper, communion, was considered unworthy because when they came together they were making the meal a time of overeating and getting drunk. What was intended to be a time of unity and reflecting on all that Jesus paid for had become a time of disunity and all about self. What was intended to be the centerpiece of worship was turned into a sinful practice .
Discern The Difference Between The Body And The Blood
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NKJV
“ For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
When we read the above verse many times we miss a lot of the meaning concerning what was really taking place at Jesus’ last meal, which was a Passover meal. It was a Passover seder, which means there was a certain order to the meal. During a seder the people would eat from the bread and drink from the cup several times, with each time having it’s own symbolism and meaning.
On the Passover table would have been a special three part container for the bread / matzah, called the unity. Earlier in the meal Jesus had taken the bread that was in the middle section (lechem onee, meaning bread of affliction) out. He had broken it in half, wrapped it up in a linen napkin and placed half of it in another special container. This special half then became the afikomen which mean “He who comes.” After the actual meal / food was eaten Jesus took the afikomen out of the container, blessed it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” After the disciples had eaten the bread Jesus picked up the third cup of wine known as the cup of redemption. As He held up this cup He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
There is a difference between the body of Jesus and the blood of Jesus. He gave both for a reason. By giving His body He provided healing, of EVERY TYPE. By giving His blood, He provided redemption. If Jesus had only given His blood that would have been enough for our salvation. We would have had a way of being restored into a right relationship with God, but we would have still lived in a world where the is sickness and disease. By giving His body He paid for our healing.
God tells us that Jesus is our Passover Lamb. As you read about the first Passover lamb (in Exodus) you will see that the benefits of the first Passover lamb ware endless (healing, strength, vitality, favor, protection, deliverance from bondage, direction / guidance, provision, a closer relationship with God…) And so it is true with our Passover Lamb, Jesus. He has already provided EVERYTHING that we need – for this life and the one to come.
The bread / matzah represents Jesus’ body. When we eat it we are to remember what He paid for with His body. Matzah is unleavened, it is striped and it is pierced. Jesus was sinless, He was striped and He was pierced. All the stripes and wounds that He received in His body was for us, for our healing – body, soul (mind, will, emotions) and spirit.
The third cup of wine at the Passover meal was the Cup of Redemption. It came with the promise of , “I well redeem you.”
One meaning of redeem means to buy back. Jesus gave Himself as the redemption price for each one of us. We were in slavery / bondage to sin/Satan but Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer, purchased us with His very own blood. However, redemption covers many needs.
Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
God tells us what an unworthy manner is (remember the Corinthians) and that we are to judge, or examine, ourselves to make sure that we are taking the Lord’s supper for the right reason.
1 Corinthians 11:27-34
“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.”
If we take the communion elements for the right reason then we will reap the many benefits that Jesus paid for, if not we won’t. God tells us that because many fail to discern and as a result many are weak, sick and some have died.
Jesus Paid It All
As we read the following verses we can truly see that Jesus paid it all – He paid for everything that concerns us. He is the Great I Am. Anything you have need of has already been paid for.
“Surely He has borne 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.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
As you take the communion elements, with your mind and heart focused on Jesus, everything that He has given you through His body and blood will become very real to you. It is in that intimate place that you are filled with an overwhelming confidence that …
JESUS IS MY REDEEMER
JESUS IS MY HEALER
JESUS IS MY PEACE
JESUS IS MY STRENGTH
JESUS IS MY SHELTER
JESUS IS MY PROTECTOR
JESUS IS MY PROVIDER
JESUS IS THE PROVIDER OF MY FAVOR
JESUS IS MY JOY
JESUS IS MY EVERYTHING!