When we take communion, break the bread, share the cup, eat the wafer or whatever our church calls it, we must have a right attitude.
We must remember and proclaim the sacrifice of Jesus. We must have a pure heart so we are worthy to take the bread and cup, and to be worthy we need to examine our heart, our attitude, repent of any sin in our lives and forgive others who have offended us. If we do not take those steps each time we come before the Lord for the bread and cup, we can bring guilt and judgement on ourselves, become sick and die. We cannot take the bread and cup because others are doing it or because we enjoy the taste.
The leaders in the church should bring attention to their congregations the importance of what they are about to do and ensure they take the communion with the right attitude, not having any unforgiveness.
It must be stated that the Jewish believers ate together as a family and partook of bread and the wine before they ate their main meal as the attached document explains. This meant that if one member of the family had unforgiveness towards one or more people at the table they would need to make a decision. One do not partake or two to ask forgiveness from their family member(s) or other believers at the table. I attended a church that asked families to partake in Holy Communion together in the church. so teenagers that sat in one area of the church joined their parent(s) to eat the bread and drink the wine. Husbands and wives took it together even if they had responsibilities in the church at the time and so brothers and sisters etc. It made an enormous difference to family strength and peace. Many sons and Fathers for example broke down and ask for forgiveness in the church and healing to relationships. Taking communion has enormous spiritual impact.
We need to discern and believe in our hearts, we are partaking of the sacrifice of Jesus by symbolically devouring His broken body and shed blood. We need to examine and judge ourselves, not anyone else. We cannot poke our spouse in the ribs to remind them of their sin when we may have sin in our own hearts. We should also eat our fill at home so we do not embarrass ourselves by eating too much bread and drink and make others go without.
‘The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread and when He had given thanks He broke it and said, “Take, eat. This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in memory 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 memory of Me.” As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. Whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in a manner unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
Let a person examine him or herself and let them eat of the bread and drink of the cup. Whoever eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks judgement to themselves, if they do not discern the Lord’s body. For this reason, many among you are weak and sick, and many have died. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be judged, but when we are judged we are punished by the Lord so we may not be condemned with the world.
Therefore, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry let him eat at home, lest your coming together be for judgement instead of blessing’ (1 Corinthians 11:23 to 34). Scripturally, the bread should be unleavened; made without any yeast which represents sin. The cup does not have to be grape juice but should be juice taken from fruit of a vine – any vine. There are many different types of fruit that grow on vines.
For the sake of individuals who once had a problem with alcohol, the juice should be non-alcoholic. The last thing any church needs is to encourage a former alcoholic to sip alcohol. The occasion of breaking unleavened bread and sharing the fruit of the vine is no trivial matter and should never be taken lightly. It needs to be taken with the thought of the Lord Jesus and His suffering uppermost in our minds. It needs to be taken with repentance, reverence, respect and in awe of the Lord our God and Creator, Who came to earth in the form of Man for the sole purpose of reconciling lost humanity with God the Father.
It is the covenant God has made with those who accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and who have accepted His blood as the offering for our sin. God the Father is building a Kingdom and He wants obedient children in His Kingdom. No wayward, disobedient, unrighteous, covenant-breaking person can ever enter the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). A covenant made in blood cannot be broken without penalty. If we break our covenant with the Lord and return to sin, He takes that very seriously and says it is better for them if they had never known God in the first place.
‘If after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus, and if they are again entangled in sin and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. It would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them’ (2 Peter 2:20 & 21).
One of the disciples who had outwardly accepted the bread and cup, and therefore the new covenant was Judas Iscariot. Sadly, he went on to break the covenant just a short time later and ended up with such a severe eternal judgement, Jesus said it would be better for Judas if he had never been born. If Judas had repented he could have been restored to life but instead of repenting he chose to hang himself. ‘The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born’ (Matthew 26:24).
Judas felt remorse at his betrayal of Jesus and knew he had sinned but that was not enough. He should have repented. ‘When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned he felt remorse and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests saying, “I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? You see to it.” Judas threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary and departed. He went away and hanged himself’ (Matthew 27:3 to 5). The new covenant bread and cup of vine fruit juice is an eternal symbol of the covenant He has made with us.
Once every person has finished with Judgement Day and the righteous are established with Jesus in the Kingdom of God, the sharing of the bread and fruit of the vine will continue. Jesus said, “I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s Kingdom” (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25). “I tell you, I will not eat of the bread until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” He received a cup and when He had given thanks He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves for I tell you, I will not drink from the fruit of the vine again, until the Kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:16 to 18).
Amen and God Bless you.