We take Communion at FBC Pelham, usually on the 5th Sunday of the month. Which makes it
roughly quarterly. And I've heard countless explanations on the meaning, and representing the Body and Blood of Jesus. Commemorating His crucifixion and celebrating His sacrificial death, and His sacrificial life.
But there's another meaning that occurred to me some time back, that I've never heard anybody say, which I can only attribute to our mutual friend, that Author of some renown, none other than Mr. Holy Ghost.
As Joseph Garlington said, He's the Author of the oldest book in the world whose Author is still alive.
First, a little background. I've maintained for some years that Romans 10:9 & 10 are the
great verses in the Bible telling us how one must be saved. They're written to a wide audience as a commentary, and not rifle-bore in the context like the statement to the jailer on what he must do to be saved. In fact, these verses were the highlight ... the finale ... in a sermon I preached some years ago in Jamaica, in which God so moved in the invitation time that it lasted an hour and fifteen minutes.
Here's the thought: those verses mandate that we confess Jesus as Lord, to be saved. Now, "confess" is "homologeo
", which is to agree with someone .. to say the same thing as they do. That would be an agreement with everything God has said about Jesus.
Now I am no lawyer, but I understand that, to have a valid contract with someone, there must be a "meeting of the minds" ... a speaking of the same thing. I cannot promise you a new car in exchange for a year's lawn service, and then try to fulfill that with a Hot Wheels model. So, if that's correct, then Jesus must really BE
our Lord, to actually have made an agreement with God.
Then, "Lord" is "kyrios
" ... "he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord", and further "the owner; one who has control of the person, the master".
So the question becomes ... is Jesus the ultimate authority in your life? That seems to be essential if Romans 10:9 and10 apply to us.
If that's the case, then we have things we need to do, that are explicit in Scriptures.
You can read 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12, for verification as to how the Holy Ghost ... in fact, the whole of the Trinity is involved ... is preparing us for what He wants us to actually do here.
Jesus said, in John 6, that we are to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. And I always accepted that as a symbolic thing ... like at the "Last Supper" when He said "this is My flesh..." and "this is my blood...". Notwithstanding those denominations which hold to transubstantiation, that had to be
symbolic, since we know His flesh and blood were at the table and speaking to the men.
SO .. what does it symbolize, then?
Hold on .. I think it is more than symbolism.
All through nature, and even in man-made hierarchies, promotion or elevation has to come from above. The mailboy cannot promote himself to VP, for instance.
Then consider, for instance, dirt. No matter how much the dirt wants to become grass, it cannot do that. But the grass can send down roots and make part of the dirt part of the grass.
Same things for grass and cows. The cow eats the grass and makes part of it part of the cow.
Ditto for a cow wanting to become man. It cannot, but the man chops up the cow, eats it, and presto! Some of the cow becomes some of the man.
And the same reasoning applies to man, wanting to become one of, or right with, God. Thus Romans 5:8....
Then, all of a sudden, Jesus tells us to consume His flesh and blood. Could it be the real symbolism is that He needs to become part of us? Makes sense to me ... after all, many of the things He wants to do here, require flesh and blood and bodies down here. Things like visiting the widows and poor, those in prison, handing out a cup of cold water, stuff like that.
When you take Communion, remember this: Jesus wants to take over your body and do some things that will bring Himself glory, and He wants to use you do do it!
Don't think of that as work! Think of it as an opportunity ... one of the few things you can do that will lay up treasures in Heaven.
And be a privilege in the process!