A communion message reflecting on Jesus’ command to share the cup and break the bread in remembrance of Him.
When we come around to a time of communion, our attention can’t help but be drawn to the two elements. We have the bread, and we have the grape juice. But these two symbols represent something bigger, and much more important that bread and juice.
We are all familiar with the Last Supper celebrated between Jesus and his Disciples, as part of the Passover celebrations. We read that Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and giving it to his disciples told them that it was his body given for them, and that they are to do this in remembrance of him.
After that, he took the cup, and explained to the disciples that the cup is like the new covenant in his blood, which is poured out for them.
And we are told to do this in remembrance of him.
Remembrance is a time actively remembering something. It is an action, it is not a passive event. We are called to actively participate in remembering Christ.
You know, when we think of remembrance, different countries has their own version, we may recall Remembrance Day, when we pause to recall the sacrifice that our fellow Australians made for our freedom. We may go down to the cenotaph and watch as our brave soldiers march, and pause to reflect the sacrifices made, and the loses that are suffered.
In America, we honor our fallen heroes, Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington national Cemetery. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in any weather by Tomb Guard sentinels. Sentinels, all volunteers, are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), headquartered at Fort Myer, Va. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns and why? 21 steps, It alludes to the twenty one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
As I said each country has it’s own version of remembrance and Communion is much the same. It is an opportunity for us to pause on the awesome sacrifice that our Lord, our King Jesus made on that cross around 2000 years ago.
Jesus, when he was sharing his last supper with disciples, told them that the cup is the new covenant in his blood.
A covenant is a legal binding contract. When we think of it like that, we may think of something like a phone contract or a property lease. Each party receives what they want out of the deal, but remain completely separate from each other.
But a covenant with God isn’t like that. A covenant with God is all about relationship. He wants us to be in relationship with him. He longs for us to come into that relationship. God never wanted us to be separated from him.
So God made a covenant with Moses at Mount Sinai. This covenant, although it was about relationship, was about law. This covenant was a system of laws, codes, rituals and observances. And people were accountable to these laws.
We often think of this as being the 10 commandments, but actually the number of laws in total was 613. And every time the people failed to live by the standards of the Old Covenant they had to offer a sacrifice to God.
Here’s the thing, the law was never meant to save us. The law was never meant to save us. We, ourselves, could never live by the law. To live perfectly and righteously by the law was impossible. It would be the same as saying that you never make mistakes. We all make mistakes, and we all fall short of the glory of God, and we all fall short of God’s righteous standards. We all sin, and the wages of sin is death. So, God supplied a testator, Jesus was and is that testator.
The purpose of the old covenant was to show people that they were guilty before God and in need of a Saviour!
So can you imagine a life in that old covenant? A life where you had to try to live a perfect life, trying your hardest to abide by 613 difficult laws. 613 laws that were never meant to save us. 613 laws that could never fully restore our relationship with our Father God. After Jesus shed His blood, died, and rose again, He became the New testator or as we know it the New Testament and New Covenant.
So in a moment we will take communion together. And as we do, let’s remember what God did for us so that we could not only have a restored relationship with him, but that we could spend eternity with him.
To achieve this purpose, God had to send his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die as a sacrifice for our sins. God himself suffered for his people. God himself was crucified, and died a horribly painful death in our place. God himself had to be sacrificed, because only God himself could take away the curse of sin. And you know, Christianity is the only faith group where God paid the penalty of sin, to ensure that we can spend eternity with him in heaven. This is how much God loves us, that he paid the ultimate price so that we can spend eternity with him. There is no greater love than this.
When Jesus was on that cross, he said that it is finished.
What was finished?
Our debt was paid. Our debt was paid in full.
No other sacrifices were required, no more animals, no more blood, no dark cloud of guilt hanging over us because of our sin, and thank God no more shame!
We were freed from the curse and penalty of sin.
We were freed from oppression.
Death was defeated.
He made the way to eternal life.
He enabled us to have a restored relationship with our Father God.
The same God who spoke creation into being.
The same God who knew and loved you from before all creation.
And we can know him because of what Jesus did on that cross.
And Jesus commanded us to participate in communion in remembrance of what he did for us.
This bread represents Christ’s body, which was broken for us.
This grape juice represents Christ’s blood, poured out for us.
There was no greater sacrifice than this.
The church is called to oversee two ordinances: baptism and communion. People doing church online need to provide ways for believers to get baptized and participate in communion if they desire to be a church. Baptism can be tricky online, but communion is straightforward. Communion is easy because it requires very little training and it’s easy for people to share the experience online.
Every church does communion differently so I suggest to offer communion online in the same way that aligns with your church. At WHATSHOTN, communion is offered at our services a couple times a year, so our online expression of communion is also offered at those same times.
Once I’m made aware of communion being part of our local services, I send an email to my volunteers about being ready to participate from their homes. Then I post a promoted blog post on our main service page, visible for everyone who attends our service, explaining how an online viewer can participate in communion at home. Below is the full blog post. Feel free to use it.
Take Communion Online with Us
You can participate in this experience from your home. Communion (the Lord’s Supper) is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new covenant.
The elements of bread and wine/juice are symbols of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation, rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, join us online to remember his GREAT sacrifice. If you are not in the place where you consider Christ your Savior then sit back and enjoy the service like normal.
HOW TO TAKE COMMUNION ONLINE
1. Purchase Grape Juice or wine (quantity depends on size of your group)
2. Purchase Bread or Baked Crackers
Unleavened bread is the best expression of the “bread” element. Unleavened bread simply is bread baked without a rising agent (most large grocery stores stock unleavened bread), but you can select any bread or cracker of your choice.
3. Be Ready at Home with Your Elements
“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” 1 Corinthians 11:23 (KJV)
“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.” 1 Corinthians 11:24 (KJV)
Now please recite this prayer that Jesus prayed: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” Break the bread and do eat.
“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.” 1 Corinthians 11:25 (KJV)
Now please recite this prayer that Jesus prayed: “Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” Take the cup and do drink.
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 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. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” 1 Corinthians 11:26-29 (KJV)
Christians, do not make light of this Memorial Feast. “We do this in remembrance of Him.” Communion is a solemn commitment to God and is sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings with our Lord and Saviour, that should not be taken lightly, but with meditating on the good work that Christ has already done for us.
4. Share With Us
After receiving communion online, please fill out a response card (below) or email email@example.com letting us know how many in your home participated in receiving communion. Snap a quick photo and include it in your email as well.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR PERSONAL USE
Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29