Remember our deliverance at Communion
Jesus introduced Communion to His disciples at Passover, the festival where Jews solemnly remember their forefathers’ deliverance from slavery in Egypt to their Promised Land. Unleavened bread and wine are usually taken at Passover. In a way, Communion is like a Christian Passover, where we remember our deliverance from enslavement to sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection into God’s Kingdom.
(See Chinese versions: 简体中文 > 守圣餐纪念我们的救赎 | 繁體中文 > 守聖餐紀念我們的救贖)
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ESV … the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
John 8:34 ESV Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
Two important last suppers at Passover
For their last supper before escaping from Egypt, the Jewish slaves ate unleavened bread and lamb. They sacrificed pure lambs and smeared the blood on their doorposts, as a sign that they should be spared from the coming plague of death in Egypt. This is in essence, what the Passover commemorates.
Exodus 12:7-8,11-13 ESV “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it… It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
For His Last Supper, Jesus shared unleavened bread and wine with His disciples at Passover. In this instance, Jesus was the Lamb that God provided. He explained that the wine represented His blood that would be poured out to save us from eternal death. This is in essence, what Communion commemorates.
John 1:29 ESV …“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Matthew 26:27-28 ESV 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 covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Deliverance followed both Passovers
After the first Passover in Egypt, God completely destroyed the attacking Egyptian army as they drowned in the Red Sea. God’s people were now separated from their past oppressors. God personally led them from affliction in Egypt to a Promised Land which flowed with “milk and honey“.
Exodus 3:17 ESV and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to… a land flowing with milk and honey.”’
After the Passover in Jerusalem, Jesus’ death on the cross completely destroyed Satan’s legal right to accuse and oppress us. His forgiveness separates us from our past sins. His Spirit personally leads us on our journey to our “Promised Land”, which is His Kingdom of love, hope, peace, and joy on earth. In both instances, God personally and powerfully delivers people from oppression.
Colossians 2:13-15 NLT You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
The cup of the Lord and the cup of demons
Communion is done in remembrance of Jesus’ absolute love and commitment towards us. We dishonour Jesus if we don’t show the same commitment to Him and honour other people or things more than God. This is in essence, idolatry.
We cannot expect to sneak idolatrous attitudes into God’s Kingdom and expect Him not to notice. In Ezekiel, God laments that the freed Jewish slaves continued to crave for the things that had enslaved them back in Egypt. This foolhardy rebellious attitude infuriated God.
Ezekiel 20:7-8 ESV And I said to them, ‘Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.’ But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. “Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
The apostle Paul writes that we are to “flee from idolatry” in 1 Corinthians 10. In this example, Paul referred to food offered to idols, admonishing readers that we “cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons“. Otherwise, we “provoke the Lord to jealousy” and anger.
1 Corinthians 10:14,16,20-22 ESV Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 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? … what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
The cup of demons brings a curse to our bodies
This is why, as Paul goes on to explain 1 Corinthians 11 that we bring judgment on ourselves by taking Communion disrespectfully.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 ESV Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
We demonstrate to God that we despise Jesus’ painful death and prefer the things of this world over Him. We are unaware that our hearts have been enslaved to the god of this world, Satan, and that we have been drinking “the cup of demons”. By continuing to do so as we take Communion, we bring a curse to our bodies. We will become vulnerable to poor immune systems, physical sicknesses, and early death. The fullness of eternal life on earth that is rightfully ours is lost.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Communion was taken with thanksgiving every day
In honour of Jesus’ death, the disciples took Communion with much praise and thanksgiving every day.
Acts 2:46-47 ESV And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people…
The Bible records that with the daily breaking of bread and prayers, the apostles truly exemplified the Kingdom of God by accomplishing many wonders and signs, including healing every disease and affliction and driving out demons.
Acts 2:42-43 ESV And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
Matthew 10:1 ESV And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction.
A prayer for ourselves at Communion
Like the apostles, we too can take Communion every day with a prayer to thank Jesus for delivering us from sin through His sacrificial death.
“Dearest Jesus, Thank you for dying on the cross to deliver me from this body of spiritual death. I wish to honour every drop of blood You shed for me and repent of anything that separates me from you. Please convict my heart of things that I need to confess. (Please name any sins that come to mind). As I take this bread, I remember that Your body was broken to pay for my sins. As I drink this wine, I thank you for Your blood that washes my sins away. Holy Spirit, please come and renew me, and show me how to glorify You today. In Jesus’ name, amen.“
1 Corinthians 6:20 ESV … You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Praise God that Jesus is the Bread of Life who fulfills all our deepest desires and needs. We do not need to hunger for love, acceptance, or affirmation from this world ever again, once we remember His faithful love, sacrifice, and forgiveness at Communion.
John 6:35 ESV Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
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