Remembrance

Luke 22:19
‭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.‭

We remember those who’ve passed on. For example, we remember G Washington on President’s Day. But this cannot be what Jesus is referring to, for He is very much alive. What then is to be our understanding of Communion?

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Participating in the Lords Supper is a symbol of respect and pledged allegiance to Christ.
Since Jesus is the bread of life (Jn 6:35), the life of life, (Jn 1:4; Jn 5:24; Jn 14:6; Jn 11:25-6), Christians remember Jesus’ ministry: his bodily sacrifice (bread), and blood (wine), as the perfect atonement for the sin of the world.

Here’s good context: (Jn 6:53-55).

Contrary to some misconceptions, eating such bread and wine is not cannibalism: it is simply an opportunity to congregate with other brothers and sisters in Christ and appreciate the New Covenant Christ completed at the cross. (1 Cor 10:16; 1 Cor 11:25; Jer 31:33). We do this because in Jesus we have full forgiveness of sins by faith, (Rom 3:23-35), we share His life in this world and the world to come, (Eph 2:8; Isa 45:17; Jn 8:12; Isa 60:20; Jn 17:3), and are blessed to be called sons of the living God. (Rom 8:14; Gal 3:26)

If Christ is our spiritual nourishment, then why not eat real food and drink to honour him also. We remember, yes like President’s day, but more: for an eternal King and humanity’s only hope do we participate in communion.

Perhaps this is also an opportunity to prepare for the ultimate marriage supper, for the faithful. (Rev 19:9)

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Oh, I found this forum. It explains the concept of Holy Communion in much more detail:

I hope that helps

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@manbooks I Corinthians 11:26 tells us that we remember our Lord in this manner until He comes. In my experience, the remembrance (the Lord’s supper) keeps our hearts engaged and in love with Him as we recall His abundant love to us through the shedding of His blood. It protects us from coldness of heart and reminds us that He is coming again to take us to be with Him where He is. Remembrance will not be necessary in heaven because we’ll be with Him and see Him face to face.

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It is a reminder of His body that was broken for us - of His blood that was shed for us.

Actually, when Paul quotes this passage in I Corinthians 11:23-34, it is often pointed out in churches where I’ve been that there are four things we are being called to focus on during communion.

We are to look backward to Calvary, and remember His broken body and shed blood, and contemplate the love that would die for us!

And as we partake of it, it becomes a part of us - just as His Spirit became a part of us when we first trusted His sacrifice for our salvation - we are nourished by the bread and the cup just as His Spirit nourishes our souls.

But we are also to look forward to His return - verse 26, ye do show the Lord’s death until he come. As Jesus Himself said, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom - Matthew 26:29. We remember His promise that He will come again and receive us unto Himself that where He is, there we may be also, and we contemplate the love that wants to live “happily ever after” with us!

But we also look within at our own hearts - I Corinthians 11:28, But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. I Corinthians 11:31, For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. This is a periodic opportunity for self-inspection - to remember whether there is anything in our own hearts that is disrupting our communion with Christ or Christians. We should repent and right any wrongs before we partake of communion, because it should reflect our unity with Christ, the Head, and the rest of His body.

But a person who omits such honest self inspection eateth and drinketh unworthily and invites the Lord’s chastening because he does not take seriously his relationship within the Lord’s body. We are to contemplate whether we are walking in love toward Christ and others.

And finally, it is a look outward toward the church - I Corinthians 11:33, Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. Earlier in the chapter, he had rebuked them for having divisions among themselves (v. 18) and not partaking of the Lord’s Supper together as one (v. 21). This goes along with the previous point about self-inspection, but the focus here is to remember those around us, and to contemplate the love of the brethren that should unite us together.

I hope this will help you as you participate in communion in your church.

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Most of my life, I also believed that the elements were a symbol of the body and blood of Jesus, and that we were remembering a historical event that happened 2000 years ago, with the elements bringing this to our minds. Now I am not so sure. What does Jesus mean when he invites us to eat his flesh and drink his blood? No, not cannibalism. He says, “My words are Spirit, and they are life”. So there is to be a spiritual consumption. Somehow the bread and the wine are a part of this. My good friend is a Lutheran pastor. Of course, for him the eucharist is more than a symbol. Though he parts from the Catholic transubstantiation, he nevertheless believes that spiritually, we are literally consuming Christ when we so remember him at communion. He calls it a mystery. He may be right.

Clearly, the NT does teach all of those four factors. Thanks for putting them all together for me. The question that keeps on running through my head, though, is if communion is even more than looking back, looking forward, looking within and looking outward. I wonder, for example, if what St John is inviting us to experience in the first chapter of his epistle is also communion. What he has seen touched, tasted concerning the Word of Life John is eager to share with us. He is not inviting us to study the life of someone who lived 2000 years ago and who should be remembered, but to share in the very life of Christ that is within us with each other. Anyway, that’s what I’m pondering now.

Thanks so much for your reply. I too am looking forward to the day “when at last His face I shall see”. Yet my thoughts now are that we don’t need to wait. There is something about our gathering in His Name that brings His presence into our meetings. Communion seems to a part of this, but I don’t yet understand how it works.

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Well, yes - I would say that communion is certainly at the core of it. In fact, that is undoubtedly why it is called “Communion”. Good point.

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He certainly leads our worship as the One in our midst. @manbooks Dean, do you think we are (in the spirit) in the sanctuary of heaven when we are at the Lord’s supper?

Yes, I think so. When I am sharing with brothers whose hearts are as mine, sometimes words will leave my lips that so touch them, and their words touch me, that it is as if Jesus was literally there with us, and we are listening to Him, not to each other. Kind of like the Emmaus Road where their hearts were burning within them.

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