Communion has been a central part of worship since Jesus instituted the Last Supper on the night He was betrayed. (See Matt 26:26-30) Down through the centuries, the church has held various views on taking communion. Some believe it embodies the actual body and blood of Jesus, while others view it as a simple act of remembrance.
Several years ago, Cal Pierce, the director of Healing Rooms, International shared a story about a man who took communion every day. His hair returned to its original color, and his wrinkles disappeared. He also testified of experiencing renewed energy and health. Is it possible that a person can received physical healing by taking communion? Is there supernatural power available in the breaking of bread?
When Jesus celebrated the Last Supper, it was during the Feast of Passover. When He held up the cup, representing His blood, it was a reminder of the very first Passover, when the blood of the lamb was applied to the door post of every Jewish home. Every Jew was required to participate – or suffer the same fate as the Egyptians, the death of their firstborn. The blood of that lamb served as a covering for the sins of the people; it was the difference between life and death.
When Jesus held up the cup, He said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matt. 26:28) The blood of the Passover Lamb provided a temporary covering for the sin of the people, but now, One greater would offer His blood – not just to cover over sin, but to wash it away. The blood of the Pascal Lamb preserved the Hebrew people from the power of death, and now, the blood of the Lamb of God preserves us from the power of eternal death.
Some Bible teachers believe that two miracles took place on the night of that first Passover meal. We know that the angel of death passed over every Jewish home and spared the life of the first born. That was the first miracle. However, another one may have also taken place, a miracle of healing. Psalm 105:37 says, “He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes.” Every man, woman, and child walked out of Egypt full of strength and vigor. Naturally speaking, that would have been impossible. People of all ages have struggled with sickness and disease since the fall of Adam. Something supernatural would have had to occur to prepare the Jewish people for the journey to the Promised Land. Many believe that, when the children of Israel ate the Pascal Lamb, they experienced divine healing.
The blood of Jesus was, and is, unique in that He was born of a virgin. Under Jewish law, the blood type of a person comes from the seed of the father. Since Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, His blood came from God, the Father – and was similar to Adam’s. When Adam sinned, his blood became corrupt. However, since Jesus never sinned, His blood remained untainted by the sin of this world.
Therefore, the cup of the Lord represents the sinless, incorruptible, blood of the Lamb, the blood of God, Himself. When we take communion through faith, His blood cleanses our life. We may repent and ask forgiveness through prayer, but it’s the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins. (See Hebrews 9:22.)
Here at His Church, we don’t believe that the bread and wine literally turn into the body and blood of Jesus – but – we do believe God is present and something powerful takes place! Every provision in the kingdom requires that we exercise faith to receive it. As we ask and believe, applying faith to the Word of God, His power is released. (See Hebrews 11:6.)
Isaiah 53:4-5 says, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
The healing Isaiah spoke of had to do with the whole person, as does salvation. The Jews didn’t separate the body, soul, and spirit. When Isaiah prophesied, “by His stripes we are healed,” he was not referring just to the spirit of a person. Thanks to Jesus, God’s shalom comes to the whole person, body, soul, and spirit, as well.
The apostle Peter reiterates this point in I Peter 2:24, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.” By His stripes we were healed! Not just spiritually, but physically, as well. Physical healing is every bit a part of the atoning work of Jesus Christ, as it was in His ministry on earth. Jesus came to save us to the uttermost! Through the cross, we receive the salvation of our souls and healing for our bodies, through faith.
In I Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul touches on the power of healing in the Lord’s Supper. (Please pause and read I Corinthians 11:23-30) Wow – there is something powerful in taking communion! “Some are listless and sick and others have gone to an early grave” (died). They didn’t die just because of sickness and disease; they died because of how they were taking communion. The Scripture says they took it in an unworthy manner, not discerning the Lord’s body. Those who reject divine healing will tell you they were simply not recognizing and honoring one another, as members of the body of Christ – thus, not discerning the body. I beg to differ…
When Jesus instituted the sacrament of communion, He used two elements: the bread and the cup. We know that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin – just as the blood on the doorposts of the Jewish homes meant they were forgiven. If salvation only included the forgiveness of sin, why did the Lord also break the bread? It was part of the Passover meal, and is now part of our sacrament of communion, because (according to Isaiah), His body was broken for our sickness and disease. When the Jews ate the lamb they experienced divine healing. The church at Corinth failed to discern the body of Christ, because they failed to recognize that His body was broken for sickness and disease. They ate, but in ignorance, taking communion like a common meal. Some became listless and others died, because they ignored God’s provision for healing.
Modern medicine says that all diseases known to man falls into thirty-nine categories. Jesus received thirty-nine lashes – one for each category of human sickness and disease. With His stripes, He paid the price for every form of illness known to man. Therefore, when we celebrate communion, we have the opportunity to receive God’s provision for our sickness – if we do so in faith.
When Jesus was beaten and nailed to a cross, He became the Sacrificial Lamb of God who suffered and died for our sin and our sickness. Thanks to the cross, we have a remedy for both: The blood of Jesus washes away our sin, and the body of Jesus was broken to take away our disease. However, it’s only possible to appropriate each of them by faith, coming to the table with reverence and awe, knowing that we are not just remembering His sacrifice. We are approaching the holy God, who is able to do abundantly, above and beyond, what we ask or think. “For our God is a consuming fire.”