Question: What is the Significance of Holy Communion?
Some people regard the Holy Communion as a ceremony performed to commemorate the Lord’s death. Is the Holy Communion really from God or is it just a ceremony established by men to remember the Lord’s death?
According to Paul, “Eating the Lord’s Supper” is from the Lord. Although the Lord said, “Do this in remembrance of me”, it only refers to the attitude we ought to have. The spiritual blessings He gives us through His bread and cup far exceed what we can get in a mere ceremony.
Is it correct to say that the Holy Communion is nothing more than an occasion to remember the Lord’s death?
While the Holy Communion is an occasion to remember and proclaim the Lord’s death, it also consists of essential spiritual functions for believers.
By partaking of the Holy Communion:
1. We unite with the Lord in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 10:16; the Greek word for “communion” in 1Cor 16:16 is Koinônia, meaning fellowship; Jn 6:56); and we also unite with one another (1Cor 10:17).
2. We receive eternal life (Jn 6:53-54).
3. We will be raised on the last day (Jn 6:54).
If the Holy Communion is from the Lord, why is it held in remembrance of Him?
The Lord provided the bread and cup of the Holy Communion for us – not the other way around. We must prepare them according to the Lord’s instruction (Mt 26:17-19). Jesus is the Lord of the Holy Communion. He said, “Take and eat,” “drink it” (Mt 26:26-27). The only thing we can do is to approach Him with a thankful heart and accept His providence.
When we drink the Lord’s cup, does it mean forgiveness of sins?
The cup of grape juice signifies the new covenant. This is to say, the Lord’s blood is in the new covenant which He shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. But, it does not mean that when we drink the cup, we will be forgiven, rather, it shows that the new covenant was founded with the blood which is the proof of the covenant of forgiveness (Heb 9:20).
What is the significance of Holy Communion to the new covenant?
The night the Holy Communion was established, marked the end of the old covenant and the beginning of the new covenant. Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup is the covenant in my blood.” (Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25) “This is my blood of the covenant.” (Mt 26:27; Mk 14:24). Neither the old covenant was founded on better promises (Heb 8:6) of which Jesus is the mediator (Heb 8:6; 9:5). The blood He shed for many became the foundation of the new covenant (Heb 9:20). Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Heb 9:22).
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