HOLY Communion is probably one of the most important Christian sacraments. I know many people take the Holy Communion — both in mainline and Charismatic churches — but its meaning and significance are lost to many because it is one of the most misunderstood practices of the Christian faith.
divineinsight BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
For the greater part, Holy Communion has been reduced into just a meaningless, religious ritual that believers engage in now and again, here and there, thus very few people partake of its amazing benefits.
This doctrine was part of Jesus’ theology. Matthew 26: 26-28, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Why was Jesus’ body broken? It was broken for your healing. Although the church has fully accepted that His blood was shed for the remission of sins, and many have received and embraced their salvation on the basis of the understanding that the blood washed away their sins, we are still to fully enjoy the results of the broken body.
Revelation 1:5, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…”
Writing to the church at Corinth, Paul said many among them were weak (infirm, sick) and many were dying due to their failure to discern the body of Christ. He was not talking about the church, but Jesus’ physical body.
He used very strong terms. 1 Corinthians 11: 29-30, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [die].”
To discern means to understand and to fully accept (in this case the benefits of the body — not the blood). So we must understand and accept that just much as the blood washed away our sins, the broken body brought healing and wholeness to our physical bodies.
Eating the bread and drinking the blood during Holy Communion is a testimony, a memorial of the victory, that Christ attained for us on the cross. 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the lord’s death till he come.”
To show the Lord’s death is to remain in remembrance of how Christ “spoiled principalities and powers, he made [making] a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15).
Spoiling powers and principalities was destroying the power and hold of the devil over people’s spirits, souls and bodies.
The Corinthians failed to appreciate so they partook unworthily and ended up sick and dying. Joseph Prince writes in Health and Wholeness through the Holy Communion that believers at Corinth “partook unworthily because they did not recognise that the broken body of the Lord was meant to bring them health and wholeness. And by treating the Holy Communion as a ritual, they missed out on the blessings. They did not understand the significance of the bread. They did not know why they were partaking. This is what it means to partake unworthily.” (pp37).
It is quite amazing that in the scriptures, Jesus described healing as “the children’s bread”. As a child of God, this is the bread you partake of when you have the Holy Communion. Matthew 15:26-28, “But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. and her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
Although Christ’s body had not yet been broken for the healing of all, this Gentile woman (to whom the broken body was not yet accessible) was able to enjoy the benefits ahead of time because of her faith.
We also understand from the scriptures that Jesus is the bread of life given for the life of the world. When Jesus came, the devil was after the lives of men — and still pursues them through sicknesses unto death. John 6:49-51, “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eats of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I give for the life of the world.”
This is the bread that is broken during Holy Communion, and once it’s eaten with revelation (of what it means), sickness and death are halted in the life of the believer. The early church understood this principle. Acts 2:46, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart…”
These believers did not only have communion in the temple, but in their homes as well — a custom that has since become long lost to the community of believers in the modern world.
You can Holy Communion in your own home often, and when there is any sickness in your home that is the time to appropriate the healing affirmed through Christ’s broken body as you break bread.
Phillip Chidavaenzi is the author of The Gospel of Grace: From the Old to the New Testament (2016) and Walking in the Spirit (2017). He can be contacted on email@example.com