John 6:33, 44-58
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, how can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.
In the previous verses of this chapter, Jesus had fed 5000 men with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and they had sought to make Him King.
He began to tell them that there was something better. He said their fathers ate manner in the wilderness and died but He would give them bread to eat and they would not die. He said in very clear terms: “this bread is my flesh which I will give for the life of the World...”
He gave His flesh for the life of the world. Glory! In verse 33, Jesus said, “this bread gives life unto the world.”
In verse 53 He said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
The New Testament It was the time of the Passover when the Passover lamb must be killed (Luke 22:7) Jesus told Peter and John to go and prepare the Passover that they may eat.
According to 1st Corinthians 11, the communion is one of the ordinances that Jesus left for his disciples and for the church.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do SHEW the Lord's death till he come. He said “take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you…” when we eat His flesh we eat His life.
The word ‘shew’ or show in verse 26 means ‘to proclaim to declare, to preach, and to speak of.’ So Jesus was saying that every time we partake of His body and His blood we are actually proclaiming and speaking and declaring His death, burial and resurrection. We are declaring His finished works in our lives which includes our redemption from sin and our coming into health, prosperity, wellbeing and wholeness. Paul said he received this ordinance from the Lord. Paul never saw Jesus physically but this was so important that it was revealed to Paul for the church. He actually said it was delivered to him and he received it from the Lord.
Now, as a church, we have received this ordinance and every time we partake of the communion we are enforcing the new covenant in our lives. Jesus called the wine the new covenant in His blood. In other words, He said this cup is the new covenant written or sealed in my blood. Meaning that the fact that our sins are forever forgiven is sealed in blood; it cannot be broken. So when we partake of His body in the realm of the spirit, it is like we are shouting the victory over sin, sickness and poverty. Jesus said as often as we do this, we do it in remembrance of Him.
The disciples felt sad and disappointed when Jesus was leaving them to die on the cross because they didn’t know exactly what was happening. They never saw Jesus sick, broke, stranded or defeated in any circumstance. They must have thought, ‘what a life!’ In fact, one time they said, ‘what manner of man is this?’ When He told them to eat His flesh and drink his blood, they understood that his very life would enter them and just as he was impenetrable to sickness and disease and all other dictates of the sin nature, the same would become of them.
No wonder Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:15 (Message) that, “when we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, THE VERY LIFE OF CHRIST, and isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, THE VERY LIFE OF CHRIST?
The answer is yes! We are taking in the very life of Christ! According to Leviticus 17:11, the life is in the blood. When we drink of the cup we take in the VERY LIFE of Christ.
Jesus said in John, “the bread which I give to you is my flesh given for the life of the world.” Hallelujah!
The bread and the wine are not just symbols. When we understand this then we will honor the sacrifice of Jesus and actually do it in remembrance of Him as He ordained. He broke the bread, which meant his body would be broken and he poured out the wine just as His blood poured out. The bible says He blessed it and broke it… the bread became his body, his very life and the wine His blood, his very life.
That’s why he said in John 5
John 5:55-56 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
When we take the covenant meal it is indeed His flesh and blood. It shows that as a body, we are one with Him.
In the past, in administering the communion, we looked at the physical bread and had our eyes on the physical bread, but Jesus said to remember Him…just like Paul told Timothy to constantly keep before his eyes, ‘Jesus and Him risen’ (2 Timothy 2:8), but we looked at the bread and said it was just a symbol of his body. We downplay the ordinance when we see the bread as a symbol, we must see Jesus’ actual body broken for us. Jesus did not hand them the whole loaf, meaning he wasn’t asking them to feed on him while on earth. That would have implied eating the Passover Lamb raw. The Lamb had to be burned, as Jesus would be crushed and marred beyond recognition. So he blessed the bread, meaning it was blameless and fit for the sacrifice, then he broke the bread. Glory to God! The Lamb of God was slain on the cross. Isaiah says that by the stripes that wounded Him we were healed. So when we eat the bread of communion we are eating his flesh –His broken body- and his flesh is meat indeed.
The next time you go up to take the communion in church, see yourself and everyone else feasting on his flesh. You know you do not eat from the same plate with an enemy, so as a church, when we partake of His flesh it means that we are in the same covenant, we share the very same life of Christ. We are one body and altogether members of the body of Christ. By this, God’s love and power flows and is evident in our midst. If we understand that it is the very life of God infusing our church members, we will not walk in strife towards one another and the whole body will be nourished by the very life of God. The communion is a powerful time that should be reverenced and honored.
Oh, I love the fact that Jesus calls it the new covenant in His blood! Every time we partake of His blood we are reminded that we are standing in a new and better covenant where our sins are forever forgiven and we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We now live in the reality and the fulfillment of all His promises.
He said, “as often as you do this….” As a church, we ought to take the communion as often as possible and constantly proclaim and establish His finished works in our lives.
Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
The life of the flesh is in the blood and we have been given that blood through the sacrifice of our Passover Lamb on the cross, therefore we have His life. It’s no wonder many who have partaken of the communion have experienced healings in their bodies. The effect of the shed blood of Jesus includes forgiveness of our sins; for where there is no shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. It means that we have been redeemed (Eph. 1:7), our sins have been forgiven (Matthew 26:28) and we now have peace with God (Rom 5:1), that we have been justified and made righteous (Rom 5:9), that our conscience has been purged (Heb 9:14), that we may have boldness to approach Him (Heb. 10:19), that we are protected from evil and we have been sanctified.
Today the shed blood of Jesus is speaking mercy, peace, forgiveness, cleansing, favour, increase and abundance and when we partake of His blood we enforce His victory over every situation in our lives. Glory to God!