Christians around the world take communion. Some take it every time they go to church (Catholics, Lutherans, Christian Church among others). Others take it monthly and some just at Easter or Christmas. Since Jesus said to observe communion as a remembrance of Him and what his death on the cross meant, I question why some churches only take communion occasionally. Do we only need to remember that sacrifice for us from time to time?
Through communion we are celebrating the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. That is why we need to realize that communion is not just a ritual we go through each week, but it is a reminder—and a celebration of all that the death and resurrection of Jesus really means.
As we take communion each week, we need to look three different ways:
We look back.
When Jesus shared that Last Supper with His disciples He told them, “‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me”. Luke 22:19. This should not be a hurried “Oh yeah, Jesus died for me” kind of remembering. We should take time to reflect on what that death on the cross cost Him. The agony in the garden as He asked if possible this death could be avoided. The human side of Him must have experienced such distress that we cannot imagine because He knew the painful suffering that was ahead of Him. We do not totally understand what He was feeling as He cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” but it indicates there was also a moment when God the Father turned His back on Jesus. We cannot even begin to understand what that would have been like?
We look inside.
Taking communion is a sacred thing. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11:28-29 tells us “that is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ. ” When we take communion we need to look inside, reflecting on the meaning of the ordinance and confessing personal sin. Do we really understand what communion means, and are we taking it for that purpose? Are we actually walking out our faith and living in active relationship with God, allowing Him to do His sanctifying work in our lives? If so, communion is a sobering celebration of Christ and His church. If not, we make a mockery of the ordinance.
We look ahead.
Jesus told His disciples to “Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it. For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again. “ The second return of Jesus—not as a suffering servant—but as victorious Lord of all is the hope of the Christian. When we take communion we need to gain hope as we realize that the death and resurrection of Jesus means ultimate victory for us—victory over sin in this life and victory over death in the life to come. But more than that, it means that someday we will have the joy of seeing Jesus face to face.
“We shall behold Him!!!!”