All the gospels but John give an account of Jesus and the Passover meal he had with His disciples in anticipation of His time to depart this world unto the Father. Only the gospel of John gives an account of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples [John 13:4-10]. All the gospels give an account of Jesus dipping in the same dish with the disciple, who would betray Him.
At that same meal, Jesus instituted the Communion table, which is an emblem of His sacrifice for mankind. "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread and praising God, gave thanks and asked Him to bless it to their use, and when He had broken it, He gave it to His disciples and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you; For this is My blood of the new covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." -
Those who believe in Jesus and partake of what is called the 'Lord's Supper,' should have full understanding before taking it. Communion has become only a religious observance to many people; but it has a much deeper meaning [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]That deeper meaning of Communion is found in Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary. It is at Calvary that Jesus became the supreme sacrifice for the sins and curses of mankind [Isaiah 53; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24]. He took our transgressions and iniquities upon Himself after enduring 39 stripes at the hands of Roman soldiers and having to carry His own cross to the top of Mount Calvary. He was mocked, spit on, crowned with thorns, beaten to a bloody pulp, nailed to a cross and had His side pierced with a sword. "Crucifixion was one of the most disgraceful forms of death; and one of the most painful and dreaded forms of execution." Jesus took our shame and literally became a curse for us.
Primarily, the Church has centered its attention on the wine as an emblem of Jesus' blood that was shed for sin. We take the emblem of blood and say, 'Thank God, we are delivered from sin,' and that is true!...But the blood is only half of Communion. The bread is an emblem of Jesus' body that was broken for us. The emblem for His body is just as important as the emblem for His blood [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]When we receive Communion today, we are receiving the body and the blood of Jesus. We must be sure not to eat "the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] (1 Corinthians 11;27_Amp)." We must not be guilty of His body and blood and should take them in reverence and with thanksgiving.
"Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eat and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ's] body eats, and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself." - 1 Corinthians 11:28-29_AmpTo receive Communion means receiving everything Jesus' sacrifice provided for us:
- Peace of mind
- Total prosperity
In the past, we have missed the full meaning of Communion by not completely judging ourselves when we partake of it. We have been ready to receive His blood and quick to judge ourselves where sin is concerned. We judge ourselves of sin and repent of it. But what about His body? It was broken for us. It was bruised for us. The stripes laid on Jesus' back were for our healing. At Communion, we should judge ourselves where sickness is concerned as well. Jesus purchased our healing at Calvary just as He purchased our salvation. [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]Because of all that Jesus purchased for us; we should always be ready to receive what He provided, when partaking of Communion. Just as we received salvation by faith; we must [be ready to] to receive the peace, healing and total prosperity. Total prosperity includes complete wholeness [spiritual, physical, emotional, and material]; because 'the body and blood of Jesus covered every area of our existence.'
The thing I appreciate about Communion is that, when you truly understand the meaning of it; you can no longer look at it as just a religious observance that is reserved only for the first Sunday of the month [at church]. As believers in Christ, we have the liberty to take Communion as often as we choose; but when we do so, we are to remember Jesus.
"For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord's death until he comes [again]." - 1 Corinthians 11:26_AmpCommunion can be taken at home alone and included in one's daily devotional time or in the evening. It can also be taken with a small group at a home Bible study. Once you have partaken of the body and blood of Jesus say this confession [which is written in first person]:
"Father, I give You thanks for all You have provided for me in Christ Jesus. I confess this day, I am the blessed of the Lord. This covenant I entered into at the new birth is a covenant filled with Your exceeding great and precious promises; and I am a partaker of those promises now! I am healed. I am redeemed. I am delivered from the authority of darkness. I am translated into the kingdom of Your dear Son. I am the head and not the tail. I am above and not beneath. I come behind in no good thing. All that I set my hands to prospers, and I praise You Father, for the newness of life I now enjoy. In Jesus' Name, Amen." [Kenneth Copeland: How to Receive Communion]