The Significance of Flesh and Blood in Holy Communion

Holy communion is a long time Christian sacrament and the origin dates back to over two thousand years ago when the Lord Jesus Christ still walked the streets of the earth. During his earthly walk and ministry, Jesus Christ called His twelve disciples together towards the end of his earthly mission and together they ate what is popularly known as the Last Supper. 


The Significance of Flesh and Blood in Holy Communion

The book of Luke in the Bible is popularly referred to as one of the gospel accounts. It contains one of the most detailed accounts of the earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ and from there, what the Last Supper which is popularly called Holy Communion today means and why it became a Christian sacrament will be examined.

Luke 22:1-2

[1]Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

[2]And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.(King James Version).

The Last Supper was an event in the Bible during the earthly life of Jesus and it happened during the feast of unleavened bread called the Passover.

Luke 22:8-11

[8]And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat.

[9]And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?

[10]And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.

[11]And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? (King James Version).

From the scriptures above, Jesus gave his disciples instructions to prepare and make ready the Passover meal so that they would eat together. The Passover or feast of unleavened bread is an annual Jewish practice to celebrate and remember the great deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt where they were slaves. It was a feast to remember the mightiness of God and the mighty display of His power.

Exodus 12:14-17

[14]And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

[15]Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

[16]And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

[17]And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. (King James Version).

Examining the scriptures above, it is seen that the Passover or feast of unleavened bread was annually observed by the Jews. Jesus being a Jew that was born under the Law, he  gave instructions to his disciples to prepare the Passover in obedience to the  instructions of God given concerning the annual remembrance of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

Having examined the history of the Passover and why Jesus had to tell his disciples to prepare the Passover, why this event became one that is very important in Christianity must be examined.

Luke 22:15-20

[15]And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:

[16]For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

[17]And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

[18]For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

[19]And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

[20]Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (King James Version).

The Last Supper or Holy Communion became a Christian sacrament because Jesus gave a divine injunction that the practice should be continually done in remembrance of Him. The Holy Communion is a remembrance of Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice for the sin of humanity. The Holy Communion consists of partaking of the bread and wine which are symbolic representations of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.

Significance of the Flesh (Bread) in Holy Communion

Luke 22:19

[19]And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. (King James Version)

The flesh in the Holy Communion typifies the body of Jesus which was marred for the sins of humanity. Jesus was brutally beaten. His body was physically decimated by the Roman soldiers, but this physical suffering was a spiritual representation of Jesus bearing the sins of the world in His body.

The physical suffering of Jesus did not just happen accidentally, it was prophesied about and fulfilled. The Prophet Isaiah gave a detailed prophesy of this:

Isaiah 53:4-5

[4]Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

[5]But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (King James Version).

The scriptural reference above prophesied about the physical suffering of Jesus, how His flesh or body will be marred, wounded and decimated for our sins and how that this suffering will bring healing;  spiritual and physical healing. Apostle Peter, later explained this many years later in one of his epistles after Jesus had fulfilled the prophesy of Prophet Isaiah.

1 Peter 2:23-24

[23]Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

[24]Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (King James Version).

Therefore, the flesh in the Holy Communion represents the suffering of Jesus. How he took the sins of humanity in his body and totally paid for our sins and sicknesses which came as a result of sin. When a person partakes of the Holy Communion and eats the bread which represents the flesh or body of Jesus, it should be taken with a consciousness that Jesus gave His body to be bruised and wounded for our sins and to heal us (spiritually and physically), the sick person should know that because Jesus suffered for and paid for our sins with His body, healing is a covenant right.

Significance of The Blood (Wine) in Holy Communion

Luke 22:20

[20]Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

The blood of Jesus is the basis of the new covenant. It is through the blood of Jesus that the redemption of man from sin and eternal death was bought and finalized. The writer of Hebrews wrote that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission/pardon/forgiveness of sin.

Hebrews 9:22

[22]And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (King James Version).

Therefore, the blood in the Holy Communion is a very significant element. In the book of Leviticus, it is  explained that the life of a thing or flesh is in it's blood, so the shedding of Christ's blood is actually an exchange and sacrifice of His life for man, the blood is what atoned for man's sin.

Leviticus 17:11

[11]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. (King James Version).

In different writings of the epistles, it is emphasized that the redemption of man was by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 1:7

[7]In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.(King James Version)

Colossians 1:14

[14]In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

1 Peter 1:18-19 (King James Version)

[18]Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

[19]But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (King James Version).

The blood of Jesus is the reason for our justification, it is the exchange for man's forgiveness and the basis of the new covenant. Therefore, whenever a  believer partakes of the Holy Communion, it should be done with a consciousness that sin has been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and forgiveness has been bequeathed to every who puts faith Jesus Christ.

Christianity carries different practices with it. However, any practice that cannot be traced to the Bible and clearly taught from the Bible is not a true Christian practice. Christians must be given to God's word because ignorance of God's word will not only rob us of the diverse blessings in our Faith, it will lead us astray and cause us to err in our Faith.

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