Communion of the Body, Blood & Resurrection

Communion Easter

Sunday 04/17/21

Resurrection Sunday 2022

Message – Communion of the Body, Blood & Resurrection

NOTE: This was recoreded in a place NOT good for sound, so please forgive the unusually poor sound quality.

Share this:

Twitter

Communion of the Body, Blood & Resurrection

1Cor. 11:23-24, “(23)  For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread,  (24)  and after He had given thanks He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”  

I have often wondered where the communion meal we take today came from.

That the meal was intended to be observed throughout the future of the church age was made clear by Jesus’ words to them that night as well as the words of Paul in this passage in 1 Cor. 11.

Now, it is a point of confirmation of its importance by the fact that the word ‘I’ in the above phrase “For I received from the Lord” is emphatic in the Greek, making it stand out as obvious that Paul did NOT receive this by second hand testimony, from the gospels or any other source but that it was given to him directly from Jesus Himself. 

According to the Gospel accounts of Mark and John, Jesus was crucified ON PASSOVER, but was betrayed the night before

So what meal was Jesus eating with His disciples at the last supper?

Well we know Jesus NEVER FAILED to keep ALL OF THE LAW, so even now on the night of His betrayal He was keeping the law by participating in the passover meal which the Jewish people had been keeping since the first Passover in Egypt.

This meal is described in Exodus 12 and Numbers 9

It was partaken of in the first month of the Jewish year and was to be taken throughout the duration of the Old Covenant as a memorial meal – or a meal meant to remind them of God’s deliverance from Egypt which was a “type” of the world

In brief, the meal consisted of a one year old lamb which was perfectly unblemished whose blood had been applied to the doorposts. It was then roasted and eaten that night together with wine, bitter herbs & unleavened bread with special instructions to eat in haste for departure and to make sure NONE of the bones were broken. 

This latter instruction is most likely a reference to the spirit of the sacrifice. That the body would be broken but not the spirit, since several places in scripture seem to draw a direct link between the bones of man and the spirit of man. [See – 2Kings 13:21 & Ezekiel 37:1-14]

As we know Jesus’ was the lamb of God, Who He offered for the sins of the world to free from from sin and bondage to death in the world. So, in keeping with the pascal lamb, Jesus’bones were NOT broken!  Jesus was the real lamb which this memorial meal represents. The meaning behind this seems to be that only His body and soul were made an offering for sin – not His Spirit! Which is a teaching produced from a misunderstanding in some pentacostal and Word of Faith circles.

So the passover meal had both the wine and bread we use in communion already present. So it was the unleavened bread and wine of the Passover meal Jesus repurposed into the meal which would allow all believers to symbolically participate in His death, burial and resurrection – together WITH Him, making the entire experience koinonia – a shared experience!

Turn with me to Matt. 26:26-30, 

“(26) While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks He broke it, gave it to His disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is My body.”  

When I read this I am always reminded of the passage in Hebrews and in 1Peter

Heb. 10:1-10, “(1) For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.  (2)  For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have no further consciousness of sin?  

(3)  But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year.  

(4)  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.  

(5)  So when He came into the world, He said, 

“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body you prepared for Me.  

(6)  “Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings You took no delight in.  (7)  “Then I said, ‘Here I am: I have come – it is written of Me in the scroll of the book – to do Your will, O God.’”  

(8)  When he says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings You did not desire nor did You take delight in them” (which are offered according to the law),  (9)  then He says, 

“Here I am: I have come to do Your will.” 

He does away with the first to establish the second.  (10)  By His will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The portions of these verses which “should” appear in quotes in your bible were lifted from Psalm 40 and personalized by Jesus as pertaining to Himself. 

Psalm 40:5-8, “(5) O LORD, my God, You have accomplished many things; You have done amazing things and carried out Your purposes for us. No one can thwart you! I want to declare them and talk about them, but they are too numerous to recount!  

(6)  Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not Your primary concern. You make that quite clear to Me! 

You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.  

(7)  Then I say, “Look! I come! What is written in the scroll pertains to Me.  (8)  I want to do what pleases You, My God. Your law dominates My thoughts.”

[Remember last week how Isaiah 11 prophesied that the Spirit would be upon Jesus empowering Him to execute Him plans and produced absolute loyalty to the LORD causing Him to take delight in obeying Him.]

1Peter 2:24-25, “(24) He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By His wounds you were healed.  (25)  For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”

Which is in itself a reference to a passage from Isaiah & Zechariah.

Isa. 53:6, “(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” 

Zech. 13:7,  “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man Who is My Companion,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.”

This verse will be referenced yet again by Jesus as we continue in Matthew 26… and then we will return Paul’s instructions on communion in 1 Cor. 11 where we started today.

 Matt. 26…

“(27)  And after taking the cup and giving thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you,  (28)  for this is My blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  

(29)  I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”  

(30)  After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (31)Then Jesus said to them,This night you will all fall away because of Me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  (32)  But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.

If you were to read the account of Jesus’ resurrection and His words to both Mary’s who saw Him after His resurrection, He told them to tell His disciples to go to Galilee and that He would meet them there.  

Now back to Paul’s instructions regarding communion in 1 Cor. 11 where we left off in verse 25…

1Cor. 11:25-34,

“(25)  In the same way, He also took the cup after supper, saying, 

The supper He was referring to was the Passover Supper they had all just participated in, but now He had taken the Unleavened bread of Passover, broke it and described it as symbolic of His body broken for them for the forgiveness of sins and now He was taking the cup of wine from Passover and reassigning its symbolic power to His blood! Let’s read that again…

“(25)  In the same way, He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, every time you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

(or in memorial of Me – This meal was replacing the Passover Meal which was also a memorial of being delivered from Egypt only NOW we were being delivered from this world and the devil who had ruled as prince over it.)

“(26)  For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”  Proclaim” means to declare openly and aloud in celebration – to laud Him through participation in the memorial meal!

“(27)  For this reason, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner WILL BE GUILTY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD.” 

The word unworthy means irreverently or in an unbecoming manner which comes from not being mindful of Who and what this meal represents. 

This had been done by the Corinthian church which Paul had JUST addressed at the beginning of this narrative to them. 

According to verses 17-22 these Corinthian believers were NOT worthy of praise but rather correction since there were divisions among them, selfishness in partaking of it’s sacraments and shaming of those who were poor among them. 

Some were eating the meal as if it were something to completely fill their stomachs like at a restaurant and drinking so much that it made them drunk! 

THAT is irrelevant! 

That is unbecoming a believer ANY TIME but especially at a meal in which participation in it allows His children-followers to commune with their Lord in His death, burial and resurrection!  

“(28)  A person should examine himself first, and in this way let him eat the bread and drink of the cup.  

(29)  For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself.”  

When it says here, “they eat and drink judgment against themselves” and earlier that, “they will be held guilty of His body and blood” we can be thankful that such guilt is also paid for by that same body and blood. 

One would think God WELL within His rights to evict such a child from His household having held its Lord in such high disrespect and with such a chevalier attitude, but as we will see His judgment is FAR more lenient!

“(30)  That is why many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few are dead.  

(31)  But if we examined ourselves, we would not be judged!  

(32)  But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned with the world.  

(33)  So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.  

(34)  If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that when you assemble it does not lead to judgment. I will give directions about other matters when I come.”

I want you to see that when Jesus first instituted this meal it was a CLEAR replacement for the passover meal which itself was merely symbolic. It was a clear statement that the old was passing away and the New was about to arrive!

Also I want you to see how that, in so partaking we are said to commune with Him – specifically in His death and resurrection.

It is interesting how Jesus replaces everything in the passover meal either by directly replacing the sacraments or by elimination. The bitter herbs of the passover meal were eliminated entirely, since the bitterness of Jesus’ death was that He died as unrighteous and alone. When we die, we die as having been made righteous and we do it together with Him… that is why it’s called communion! 

I want to spend a few last minutes discussing this.

Paul tells us that after having come to the faith, he discovered that all his self efforts prior to coming to Christ were of no avail but in fact stood as memorials of self-righteousness which served as a barrier between he and Christ. Just like so many Israelites who, according to Romans 10:3, “…being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” 

So Paul, upon realizing the pride and futility of this, willingly suffered the loss of ALL he had relied upon before SO THAT he might have Christ Himself!

Let’s read the rest of that passage, it is found in Philippians 3

Php. 3:7-21, 

“(7) But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.  

(8)  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ  (9)  and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;  

(10)  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,  (11)  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  

(12)  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  

(13)  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  (14)  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  

(15)  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.  

(16)  Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.  

(17)  Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.  

(18)  For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  

(19)  whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.  

(20)  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,  (21)  Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”

We have spent a long time here at the church, over the course of many years, exploring what it means to suffer with Him and rise with Him.

Our suffering usually just takes the form of saying NO to our flesh. Peter tells us that those who have suffered in the flesh have ceased from sin!

Paul tells us that we resurrect with Christ every time Jesus is further formed in us and that it will be a 100% completed job when we see Him face to face. Also, that our lowly fallen bodies in which even now, death dwells, will be changed and made both glorious and immortal – just like His! We will be 100% conformed to Christ – Spirit – Soul & body!

What we have not spent much time on here is our communion with Him BETWEEN the cross and the resurrection. In the stillness of the tomb.

This is the time between dying to sin and having Christ formed in us. It is a time of patience and joy!

Heb. 10:35-39, “(35) Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.  (36)  For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:  

(37)  “FOR YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME AND WILL NOT TARRY.  

(38)  NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; BUT IF ANYONE DRAWS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.”  

(39)  But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”

The writer of Hebrews then speaks of all the Old Testament saints who all, through faith, forsook their former lives and lived unto God in view of the promise they never saw while in the flesh. In other words, they died and remained in the silence and stillness of the grave without seeing their “promised resurrection” which in their case was the coming of Messiah Who WAS and IS their rest!

It says, 

Heb 11:13-16, “(13) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  (14)  For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.  (15)  And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.  (16)  But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”

Then the Hebrew writer finishes this picture in Jesus Himself in chapter 12

Heb. 12:1-4, “(1) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  (2)  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  

(3)  For consider Him Who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  (4)  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”

When we do effectively strive against sin, there is a place in the battle where the tempers of the flesh begin to cease and the voice of our beloved is stronger and louder than our flesh. It is in this time that we are WITH Him in the grave awaiting our resurrection. 

When does that occur? 

After patience has had its perfecting effect or maturing work. It is easy enough to say no to the devil and temptation at a moment of sincerity, but to remain in that state of saying no until the long held evil desire is supplanted with another one which is from our Lord – that of pleasing God. When we have thus been proved, James tells us we are crowned with life or honored with knowing our Lord more, which is THE PROMISE to those who love Him!

So as we take communion this morning… Easter morning…resurrection morning – we not only celebrate what Jesus our Lord did, but we celebrate our right and privilege to join Him in it and communion with Him there!

With that in mind let’s read one more passage before taking communion and thus participate and proclaim and laud our Lord in His death and His conquering death and the grave through His resurrection.

1Cor. 15:1-58, “(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,  (2)  by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  

(3)  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  (4)  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,  (5)  and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.  (6)  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.  

(7)  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.  (8)  Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.  (9)  For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  (10)  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.  (11)  Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  (12)  Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  

(13)  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.  (14)  And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.  

(15)  Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, Whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.  

(16)  For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  (17)  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  

(18)  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  

(19)  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  

(20)  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  

(21)  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  

(22)  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  

(23)  But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  

(24)  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  

(25)  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  (26)  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.  

(27)  For “HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He Who put all things under Him is excepted.  

(28)  Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him Who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.  

(29)  Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?  (30)  And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?  

(31)  I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.  

(32)  If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? 

If the dead do not rise, “LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE!”  

(33)  Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”  

(34)  Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.  

(35)  But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?”  (36)  Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.  

(37)  And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain.  (38)  But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.  

(39)  All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.  (40)  There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  (41)  There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.  (42)  So also is the resurrection of the dead. 

The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.  

(43)  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. 

It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  

(44)  It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. 

There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  

(45)  And so it is written, “THE FIRST MAN ADAM BECAME A LIVING BEING.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  

(46)  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  

(47)  The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.  

(48)  As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.  (49)  And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.  

(50)  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.  

(51)  Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— (52)  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  

(53)  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  

(54)  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 

“DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.”  (55)  “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?”  

(56)  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  

(57)  But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (58)  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

THAT is what we are celebrating!

THAT is what we are participating in and proclaiming… in and through communion!

Blesings!

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!