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. —1 Corinthians 11:27–28
Matthew 26 contains one of the most well known events in human history and certainly the most famous meal ever eaten, the Last Supper.
As the disciples sat together, Jesus 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’” (1 Corinthians 11:24–25).
Jesus, as He often did, was speaking symbolically. To say He was speaking literally here does not fit with the word pictures He often used. After all, Jesus said He was the Bread of Life. And didn’t He say that He was the Door?
So, do we insist that Christ is an actual loaf of bread or a door? Of course not. Nor should we insist that the bread and the contents of the cup are actually Christ’s body and blood. There is no evidence of a supernatural process that transforms the cup’s contents into Jesus’ blood and the bread into His flesh.
Therefore, as we participate in Communion, we don’t want to overly mystify what it represents. We don’t want to think of the bread as flesh and the cup as containing blood.
On the other hand, we don’t want to devalue Communion by thinking it means nothing. Clearly, the Scriptures warn us about taking part in Communion without recognizing its significance (see 1 Corinthians 11:23–30).
The bread and the cup are not holy elements in and of themselves. But they do represent something that is very holy. So it is with great respect and reverence that we come to the Communion table, recognizing it is a symbol of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross.
Copyright © 2017 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on LightSource.com.
In thanks for your gift, you can receive The Case for Miracles, BOOK
Is God still doing miracles today? Is He intervening? Is He still active in the miracle business? Why is God doing miracles? While doing research for his book, The Case for Miracles, Lee Strobel comes across this definition of a miracle: “A miracle is an event brought about by the power of God that is a temporary exception to the ordinary course of nature for the purpose of showing that God is active in history.”
This book is our thank-you gift to you when you donate to Harvest Ministries this month.