Why Did Jesus Tell A Crowd To Drink His Blood And Eat His Flesh
After Jesus feeds a crowd 5,000 with a boys lunch of two loaves and five fish, a crowd sought him out the next day . When they found him across the sea in Capernaum, they asked what works he would perform. They said, Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
As Jesus talks to them, he says I am the bread of life. So the Jews grumbled and said Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, I have come down from heaven?
Jesus continues to explain that God sent him and he will raise up those who follow him on the last day. Then he drops a bomb. He tells them And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? So Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me .
Jesus was also testing and training the Twelve for what was to come. All would be martyred except John.
Communion At Home: Scripture Why And How To Take Communion At Home
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With so many of us currently worshipping from home watching our services online or holding our own service at home, the question pops up Can we partake in communion at home?
The answer is a resounding YES! In fact, when Jesus first modeled the spiritual tradition of communion, He did it in someones home. If youre a believer, you can take communion at home or just about anywhere.
The most famous story of communion in the Bible is the story of The Last Supper. It was Jesus last dinner with His disciples before He was crucified. You can read the story (and if youre going to have communion at home, you will certainly want to do this. I encourage you to read all of Matthew 26 beforehand. Or, if you prefer, Luke 22 or .
It happened as part of the celebration of Passover which was a festival that began in the Old Testament period. Jewish people would have celebrated Passover to remember and reflect on how God delivered them out of Egypt. And, how he spared their lives in so many ways.
In Lukes Gospel, he included a few more of Jesus words from that evening:
Why Do Protestant And Catholic Churches View Communion Differently
Protestant Evangelicals and Roman Catholics differ over the nature of communion. And I think, if you just come from a fairly, if you will, shallow, almost elementary sense of they just differ over whether the bread and wine actually change into the body and blood of Jesus, or don’t, you say, “Well, so which is it?” And you have to say, actually, that isn’t the core issue. The core issue is what’s being accomplished in communion. And more than just the change of elements. I mean, everyone would say that the wine still appears and tastes like wine and the bread still appears and tastes like some wheat substance.
So how’s it becoming body and blood? Well, this goes way back to Aristotle, who divided things between their accidents, the way they appeared to us, and their actual essence. And Roman Catholic theology was able to kind of say, “You know what? The accidents, the things that appear to our senses, are staying the same, but the essence before God is changing.”
And Evangelicalism Protestant theology says, “No, actually, it still is wine and it still is bread. It hasn’t changed its substance.” So that transubstantiation view of Catholicism is different than most Protestant views, which is, it still is the same substance that it was. But what we’re really debating is not the substance. We’re really debating what’s accomplished in communion.
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Communion Verse From The Old Testament
New Living Translation 3 He was despised and rejecteda man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.He was despised, and we did not care.4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried it was our sorrows that weighed him down.And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,a punishment for his own sins!5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,crushed for our sins.He was beaten so we could be whole.He was whipped so we could be healed.6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.We have left Gods paths to follow our own.Yet the Lord laid on himthe sins of us all.
Believers Can Take Communion At Home
Unfortunately, there is an increasing practice of men and women who claim to be believers to worship at home because they do not want to attend church. It is convenient to stay home and have their own worship service. It is common to hear that they have a problem with churches or they are too tired to go to church. A wide range of reasons exist as to why they cannot or do not want to attend. The ease of turning on the television and watching some preacher is too easy. Sadly, the viewer is just that a viewer. They do not participate in the life of a church. They are spectators who have no real idea of what occurs in that wonderful church they watch on television every week. They do not know the issues that the members of that church experience and they never have to struggle with their own unloving response to the person sitting next to them. They are not fellowshipping together. 1 John 4:21 is an indictment to every person claiming to be a Christian who stays at home when they are physically able to attend.
And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:21
How can one claim to love their brethren if they have no desire to fellowship together?
. . . let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
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There Is Healing In The Power Of Holy Communion
Holy Communion, also known as the Lords Supper, is taken in remembrance of what our Savior our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross. The bread represents Jesus body that was scourged and broken before and during His crucifixion, and the cup represents His shed blood.
Jesus implemented Holy Communion through the last supper He shared with His disciples. He took bread and, when He had broken it, said, This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
In the same way, He also took the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death until He comes.
At the cross, God took all of our sicknesses and diseases and put them on Jesus originally perfect and healthy body, so that we can walk in divine health. The Bible says by His stripes, we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5, But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be made whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
1 Peter 2:24, He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live what is right. By His wounds, you are healed.
Colossians 1:14, Who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
The Bible Verses Paul Gave For Celebrating Communion
1 Corinthians 11:23-30
New Living Translation 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me. 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant between God and his peoplean agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it. 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lords death until he comes again.27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29 For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking Gods judgment upon yourself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died
In this passage not only does Paul give us a holy communion scripture to use during our celebrations, but he gives us instruction and more insight as to what communion means.
This is a remembrance of a self-sacrificing act and doing so for selfish motives is just wrong.
How can you drink a symbol of forgiveness and dying to self when you are unforgiving and being self-centered?
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Who Should Take Holy Communion
Communion with God through Jesus Christ should only be observed by believers. If you are not in a covenant with Jesus, do not sin and go through the actions falsely. Instead, decide to put your faith in Jesus! He longs for you to come to him! See what covenants are in this post!
We are all sinners and none of us merit a place at the table, but thanks to Jesus we are forgiven when we confess to God. Hallelujah! Thats why we should approach the elements after self examination, repentance and gratitude.
We should NOT partake if we are :
- partaking from hunger
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 .
And finally, its a blessing to partake in the Lords Supper TOGETHER as a church body! We are communing with God and we are communing with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul says, Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread .
What Does The Bread Represent In Communion
Food is necessary for our flesh and blood bodies to sustain life in physical form, but Jesus says Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God . This means our spirit is more important than our physical bodies. Our spirit lives on for eternity, but our bodies waste away.
Lets take look at a few examples of the important role of bread in the Bible:
God commanded the Israelites to eat bread without yeast or leaven during Passover . It reminds us that the Israelites had to leave Egypt in a hurry, but it also has other symbolism. Yeast and fermentation is associated with corruption . Christ said the bread was his body broken for us. His body was without corruption or sin.
God sent manna down from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness. They were to only collect their daily bread and no more same as he will provide for us day by day when we feed on him. The exception was for the Sabbath when they would collect a double portion . A double portion is also what a firstborn son inherited!
God directed priests to offer him Bread of Presence in the tabernacle 12 loaves representing each tribe and made from the same dough . It represented the covenant between the Israelites and God. Aaron and his priest sons were to eat it in the holy place. Now we partake in eating bread, representing Christs body, as part of the New Covenant.
Israelites were to give a grain offering . Jesus is the bread of life and he covers our sins!
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What Does It Mean To Partake Of Communion In An Unworthy Manner
In all of the churches I have attended, observation of the Lords Supper is preceded by a time of introspection, usually with a solemn warning given by the pastor. In some cultures there is a time of confession, in which people will stand up or come forward and confess to sins they have committed and/or will ask forgiveness from others in the congregation. While certainly it is a good idea for Christians to identify sin in their lives and repent of it, the Bible does not make this a requirement for participation in communion. The Bible passage that is at question on this issue is 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 :
A bit of historical context is necessary to understand Pauls instructions. The Corinthian church consisted of many local house churches, each with its own pastor. These small congregations would meet together periodically in a joint assembly. This assembly included a shared meal , and the communion ordinance was observed as part of this meal. This practice had a good historical precedent: when the Lord first instituted the communion ordinance with His disciples, the bread was broken as part of a meal, and the cup was drunk after the meal.
The Old Testament equivalent to taking communion in an unworthy manner would be a priest who offered incense that was not commanded , or someone who was not a Levite offering a sacrifice or burning incense . The issue in such cases is the manner in which a ritual is performed, not general sins in the life of the worshiper.
What Does The Bible Say About Holy Communion
FAQ: I am confused about what many churches call Holy Communion. Why is there so much discrepancy in how different churches do it? Some use bread, others use wafers some use wine, others use grape juice some do it daily, others do it weekly, yearly, etc. What does the Bible say about taking Holy Communion and the Communion Service?
Im so glad you asked, because this is one of my favorite subjects, mainly because it is so practical. Youll see what I mean by the time I answer this too infrequently asked question. As usual in these FAQs, my relatively brief answer is elaborated upon in our 30 minute video on Communion.
It seems that why the ceremony with bread and wine is called holy communion comes from 1 Corinthians 10:16 in the KJV: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? The Greek word translated communion is koinonia, and it means a full sharing. In English, we can see that the word communion denotes union with, i.e., oneness, and that is most significant, as we will see.
Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down on the grass, took the bread and the fish, gave thanks to God, and passed out fish sandwiches to everyoneas many as they wanted! And they took home doggie bags to boot!
Food for thought, huh?
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Communion: Why Do We Have Communion Every Week
The question of how often to partake communion in church worship services has been a matter of discussion for centuries since the New Testament church was launched. Many evangelical churches celebrate communion periodically monthly or quarterly. Theres no clear command in Scripture as to how often were to receive the Lords Supper and for this reason, many churches have decided not to offer it weekly because they dont want it to become routine or lose its special status.
If this is our reasoning at VBC, does that mean we should also avoid praying too often, or reading the Bible too much? All of these acts of worship dont lose their significance because we practice them too frequently, but because we dont recognize our dependence on our Heavenly Father, or the ongoing significance of the crucifixion and resurrection in our lives, and the depth of power available to us in and through them. Communion isnt just special its the sacred centerpiece of our worship and our lives. It reminds us of the supreme sacrifice Christ offered and the New Covenant thats now been made available to us through the shedding of his blood. Is that only worth celebrating occasionally?!
Communion isnt just special its the sacred centerpiece of our worship and our lives.
Since the Lords Supper is of such value, importance, and significance to the gathered church, the real question we should be asking isnt why we have communion every week its why wouldnt we?