This morning my husband and I shared communion at home and prayed for many people and for nations. We take communion a lot because we have come to understand several things about this precious meal and about Jesus’ words regarding it. As He served communion, Jesus said, “Remember me.”
I know we may come from different traditions within Christianity and will have varying ideas about just what happens when we “take communion.” We’ll have varying ideas about how it should be shared, when, and by whom.
But bear with me. I want to get at something I think will really help us in this present time of fear over the pandemic.
I want to say something about who Jesus is and who we are as we trust and believe Him.
When we say, “I remember something,” usually, we’re meaning that we are thinking about a memory. It’s an idea in our heads. We may even be able to see a picture in our mind’s eye. It’s something from the past.
But I think when Jesus said, “Remember me,” He was saying more. He was saying that we should appropriate this experience of who He is right now in our present life. It’s a sense of, “once again,” take into yourself “all that I am and all that I have done for you, and all that I am presently doing and will do for all time.”
It’s a moment of grabbing hold of the wonderful acts of Jesus accomplished for us through His giving of Himself on the cross, and through His present reign until He comes again.
With Communion We Remember Our Redemption
Churches have unique ways of sharing communion and varying words that are said while this happens.
But for many, there is a recalling of the last gathering of Jesus with the disciples before the cross and His words, “This is my body given for you.” Luke 22:19
And His words about the cup, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:20
As we hear these words and more, we remember that Jesus died for us on the cross, bearing the sins of the world in His body as is stated here:
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2
And here is another passage, a favorite of mine, that so beautifully sums up what Jesus did:
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:3-7
We learn from the above two scriptures that:
- Jesus paid the necessary price for the sins of the whole world.
- He saved us.
- We are heirs.
- We cannot do this for ourselves. Good deeds won’t cut it. They’re never good enough.
- This is all by grace – God’s kindness and love for the people He made.
When we take communion, we’re remembering that – that Jesus died to set us free from having to pay the penalty of eternal death, or live with guilt, shame, and constant sorrow in this life. He did that. And we get to “re-appropriate” our possession of that, if believers, in the present, every time we take communion. “I’m free! I’m free!” we declare as we receive.
We Remember Jesus Took on Our Diseases Too
One of the most blessed revelations I ever received was the knowledge that not only did Jesus take our sins on the cross, He took our pain, sickness, and our afflictions, too. He also absorbed those into Himself.
Yes, that means cancer, joint pain, migraines, diabetes, and coronavirus, etc.
How do I know this? The Bible tells me so!
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
Matthew, in Matthew 8:17, would pick up the preceding verse, Isaiah 53:4 which says,
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering…” and would transcribe it this way, “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
In the atonement is also the potential for our healing! Healing for our bodies and our minds! And Jesus additionally commissioned us to heal others’ bodies:
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:7-8
In Communion We Receive Jesus’ Healing
There is healing in that bread and cup! That’s why we must take it as often as we can. As my husband and I shared communion this morning, we also shared a devotion from Pastor Joseph Prince’s book, Destined to Reign, that said something very similar to what I am sharing:
“Believe that Jesus is the true bread from heaven who took your cancer, diabetes and heart disease, so that you can have His supernatural health!”
(April 3rd devotion from Destined to Reign by Pastor Joseph Prince, p. 94)
We Remember Salvation is for the Whole Person
So often people think that what Jesus did on the cross is limited to simply the forgiveness of the sins of humanity. Oh my goodness, that would be more than enough, of course. To have the price paid for my sins and to be set free – that is the principle thing we need, to move from death to eternal life!
But Jesus was always about saving the whole person. And He still is!
Think of the man who was lowered on his mat through the roof by his friends into a crowded house where Jesus was teaching. What did Jesus do? First, He forgave His sins, and then healed his body, so that the man picked up his mat and walked out. (Mark 2:1-5)
What about the woman who had continuous bleeding for 12 years? She touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, and the bleeding stopped – a physical healing. But, she had run out of money, so her healing also saved her financially. Having constant bleeding would have made her constantly “unclean” by Jewish law. She would have been socially isolated. Jesus called her, “Daughter,” and made her acceptable in her community again. And as He pronounced her well, He said, “Be free from your suffering.” (Mark 5:25-34) Illness brings with it a total panorama of misery – physical, mental anguish, social, financial, and more.
Jesus said, “Remember me.” When we remember that Jesus is the Healer while we take this meal, we will remember that He brought total shalom or peace to the lives of the people He touched – He healed them in mind, body, and spirit.
He Heals Us In Mind, Body, and Spirit
And we can take it into ourselves, appropriating all of this in the present moment – God’s concern for us in mind, body, and spirit – and the redemption of Jesus that is meant for every part of our being. Jesus said, “Remember me.” And He meant, “Receive all that I have done for you.” He does not deal with just the spirit part of us only.
You can see that truth through this last verse:
“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14
How can we have a part of us that is made perfect forever, and have part of us still being made holy?
When we accept Jesus into our hearts by faith, receive the forgiveness He purchased for us on the cross, at that point, our spirits are regenerated 100% – made perfect forever. But we also have a mind and a body. Both those parts of us need to further lay claim to all that Jesus died to give us. Those parts of us, our mind and body, need to be made more “holy.” They need to receive all that Jesus died to give us.
Of course, we have sickness. We have those who are prayed for who don’t get well. This is a fallen world and healing still has mystery connected to it. But we need to aim high as heirs of the King in our thoughts and our prayers.
Many communion liturgies have these words in them after the pastor or priest has blessed the elements,
“And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died; Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”
He’s alive! And we receive so much by living in union with Him – forgiveness of sins, healing of our minds and bodies, and empowerment for ministry and victorious living. You are one “tough cookie” when you follow Jesus. Don’t forget what you have promised to you in Him!
Jesus said, “Remember Me!” And He meant, I believe, “Keep on reaching for all that I died and rose to give you.”
Bible passages are from the NIV version.