Healing Through Communion
by Pastor Kimberly Lemler

 

I was watching a television program the other day that featured many lost arts. One of those was the lost art of letter writing. Before e-mail, texting and the internet, we handwrote letters to our friends. I don’t know of too many people who do that today and it’s sad because a handwritten letter is so special. It shows the time invested in the other person and you get to hang on to something that is beautifully created by another human being.   Handwritten letters are bypassed today by more efficient means of communication.

The same kind of thing has happened with communion, also referred to as “the bread and the cup”.  Oh, it’s still done in the church today, but not with the same understanding of its significance as the first century church embraced. It used to be celebrated for its healing of the spirit, soul and body, but in this age of advanced medicine, it’s been relegated to basically a religious “practice”. Instead of running to the bread and the cup at the first sign of sickness, people first run to the doctor.

 In Acts 20:7 the Word says, “Now on the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread…”  This is a reference to communion, or the Lord’s Supper. The bread represents Christ’s body for the healing of our souls and bodies, and the cup, or the wine, represents Christ’s blood, shed for the remission of our sins. Communion elements are a symbolic representation of our Lord.

John 6:56 says, “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, dwells in me and I in them.”  Now, we must understand this spiritually. Although we do not need to take communion for salvation, it does teach us the fundamental truth that He lives within us, giving us “the mind of Christ.”

Let’s go back into the OT because it is important to understand the very roots of communion.

In Exodus 12, God was speaking to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt. He commanded them to tell the people to kill a lamb, a perfect lamb, and to put some of its blood on the doorposts of their homes where they would eat the lamb. Then they were to eat ALL of the lamb. In other sacrifices, they never ate ALL, but here they were commanded to eat ALL…every single part. When they did this, the destroyer passed over their homes and they left the land of Egypt and there was not one feeble among them. The blood and the lamb are a type for Christ. The blood saved them from evil and the body of the lamb healed them. Today, on this side of the cross, the blood still saves us from evil and the body heals us.

Let’s look at Isaiah 53:  “He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquity.” This is spiritual healing and is related to the forgiveness of sins.  “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him.”  This is emotional healing for our soul (mind, will and emotions). “With His stripes we are healed.” This refers to the stripes Christ took at the Whipping Post right before He was led to the cross. This is for our physical body.     So Christ provided for us in every way possible, and unfortunately, the church only preaches 1/3 of the truth. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was a full spectrum atonement.

 

How often are we to partake of communion? Does a minister or priest have to administer it? How often does your church offer it? These are all very important questions.

The Bible says that as “oft as you do this, do this in remembrance of Me.” This leaves it wide open on how often we wish to take communion! The choice is ours. The Israelites partook of the manna every day to receive strength and nourishment. So there is no reason why we cannot. Some believe that you can’t administer communion to yourself and that’s a wrong notion.  In the Old Testament they needed a priest to go into the Holy of Holies. The people could not go directly. This side of the cross, that veil separating God from His people has been rent and now we have direct access to the throne because we are one with Christ. Communion is to be between the believer and Christ. We are a “royal priesthood” and can administer communion to ourselves. 

Some churches only offer communion a few times a year.  I believe that all churches should make this available every time the doors are open. Our churches are there to meet the needs of the people and if we need hands laid upon us for healing or we need to run to the table for communion, it should be accessible at all times.     

Now I want to go over some passages that hinder a lot of people from taking communion because they don’t understand the meaning of the verses. In 1 Cor. 11:26-30, it talks about taking communion “unworthily” and “not discerning the Lord’s body.”  Now, the whole context in those passages is Paul admonishing the church because they were coming together and not having any respect for communion. They were getting drunk on the wine and they were fighting amongst themselves. Taking communion “unworthily” does not mean that you are a worthless person. It means you are doing it flippantly, selfishly and without regard to the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifices. So Paul says to examine yourselves! He is not telling you to examine yourselves to see if you have sin… everyone sins. If sin kept us from coming to the bread and cup, then nobody could come! Since God, because of grace, sees us as spotless through the blood of Christ, sin is not a hindrance in the eyes of God when partaking of communion.     But when we do take communion, we are to understand deeply within us the threefold healing that he provided on that cross. That’s how we “discern the Lord’s body”, and take communion “worthily”…

We all need help from our Lord, living in this fallen world and enduring many trials and tribulations. I encourage you to take communion often and to not underestimate its power in bringing healing and wholeness to every part of your being...

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” – 1 Corinthians 11:26

©Words To Heart Ministries, Inc.  Pastor Kimberly Lemler. 2010.