From the Word
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:16
Are you going to communion? This was a question I heard in the hallways of my congregation when I was growing up. As I grew older and realized what the Lord’s Supper was, I wondered why anyone would choose not to receive it.
Paul’s admonition to examine ourselves about our repentance and our faith in the words of Jesus concerning the Sacrament are indeed valuable. As a Pastor I would not want anyone to eat and drink in an unworthy manner because of the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11. Such examination is important, especially as a reminder of the wondrous gift we are receiving.
But, in a sense, the question of us coming to the Lord’s Supper puts the emphasis in the wrong place. The focus is on us, when it should be on the Sacrament. The point of our reception of the Sacrament of the Altar is on what is received.
Jesus uses the simple word “is” in His institution of the Sacrament. “This is My body.” “This is My blood.” “Is” means “is.” Any attempt to make this a metaphor or allegory needs biblical evidence for support. But every reference to the Sacrament says “is.” Nowhere are we given any reason to believe that He means anything else than “is.”
The point of the Sacrament is that Jesus gives us His body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus comes to us with His physical presence to touch us with His grace. Our participation in what He brings is a participation in the body and blood of Jesus, given and shed for us on the cross. We don’t have to go to Calvary to see the crucified Savior. The crucified Savior comes to us as we participate in His once for all sacrifice. All He did in that moment, we receive in the moment we commune with Him. In the body we receive He unites us as His body, one in faith and hope. In the blood of Jesus we are united to His blood that washes us (Revelation 7:14).
Are you going to communion? The Lord is coming to us!