Welcome to part 5, of the our Back to Basics series, the aim of this series is to give you an insight into why Christians believe what they do and why they do some of the things they do. This week we’ll be looking at what communion means to Christians…
Why does my church call it The Lords Supper?
The word communion refers to an act sharing or participation. However it can also be referred to as “The Lord’s Supper” which can be found in the Gospels of Matthew 26, Mark 14 and Luke 22. This meal is known and named after the last dinner that Jesus had with his disciples, during Passover, the night before he died on the cross. In Luke’s account we read,
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”Luke 22:14-20
Today your communion may be bread or wafers, your ‘wine’ may be alcoholic or grape juice, these change from church to church and no one church is right about the foods used. What matters is the obedience in doing as Jesus instructed us.
So what does communion mean for Christians?
As Jesus says, Christians are to continue the communion meal to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and it’s significance for our own lives. We are no longer required to offer burnt sacrifices to God to atone for our sin because Jesus did this once and for all at the cross.
Every time the gathered church partakes in communion, we have the privilege to remember and thank Christ for what he did. He was physically broken so we could have intimacy with God, that we could receive physical healing and forgiveness of all our sins, not once but for eternity.
This tangible reminder of God’s love for us allows us to remember how personal the cross is to us. Whether you take it within a church service or during a time of worship with family, communion offers a time to reflect on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
John Piper, the founder of Desiring God, when speaking on why we celebrate the Lord supper today says that,
“The mental action of the Lord’s Supper is foundationally remembering. Not imagining. Not dreaming. Not channelling. Not listening. Not going into neutral. It is a conscious directing of the mind back into history to Jesus and what we know about him from the Bible. The Lord’s Supper roots us, time after time, in the nitty-gritty of history. Bread and Cup. Body and blood. Execution and death.”
If you would like a deeper look at the history of the traditional Jewish Passover meal and how the Lord’s Supper brought change, why not check out the video below?
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