In the Gospel according to Saint John chapter six, it is written:
51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (NKJV)
The bible expressly forbids the eating of human flesh and the drinking of any blood for that matter. However, in the sacrament of Holy Communion the ceremonial eating of Jesus’ flesh and drinking of His blood is symbolic. It is a remembrance offering.
Jesus is the Word of God. The Word is life and the life is the light of men. Since Jesus is the Word and the Word is life the Word (Jesus) must be eaten to have eternal life. In other words, one must eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood to see the kingdom of God and enter therein.
Symbolic Holy Communion is a pointer to the life-transforming communion every born again Christian is enjoined to partake of on regular basis. There is more to Holy Communion than the sacrament. So then how can one eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood other than as a memorial offering? Holy Communion is a demonstration of a deeper spiritual truth. You eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus through:
1. Assimilation of Christian doctrine through mind renewal. The emblems of Holy Communion bread and wine should be likened to the material symbolism of God’s personal appearance in the Ark of the Covenant. In Old Testament Temple, the Lord communed with His people from the Mercy Seat.
2. Exposure to the five-fold ministry through teaching in fellowship meetings, books, tapes, conferences and workshops.
3. Effective utilization of revelation, inspiration and illumination obtained directly through dreams, visions, still voice of the Holy Spirit, spiritual discernment and prophetic declaration.
4. Membership of and effective participation in a local church for the purpose of continuing “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
5. Living a life of unity and obedience to the revealed will of the Master, bearing one another’s burden. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need” (Acts 2:44-45).
6. Verbalizing scriptures to increase faith: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17).
7. Focusing in the Lord and His Word in order to have the mind of Christ. The peace of God is assured to those who mind the things of God.
Jesus is God in human flesh. He is omniscient. He knew that in the humdrum daily activity of striving to put food on the family table the real and only source of life may be forgotten or ignored. That is why He said “do this in remembrance of Me.” Man cannot access eternal life by physical bread alone but by the Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Jesus is the Word of God.
The most authentic aspect of Holy Communion is renewing the mind through bible study. Symbolic Holy Communion is a pointer to the practical Holy Communion that every born again Christian is enjoined to partake in on regular and frequent basis.
In the Gospel of John there is a command to be born again, again. In the Epistles, there are three requirements for those born again to grow in grace. It has to do with the total man.
The first is to present the BODY as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. The second is to avoid compromise or conformity with the world but rather to be transformed by the renewing of the mind in order to become like Christ. The mind is part of the SOUL. The third is to ascertain the good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God. This appertains to the SPIRIT.
In reality five requirements are expected of any Christian who is desirous of making it to heaven. Firstly, the mind is renewed through reading the Word of God to build faith. Secondly, there is need to study the Word of God to understand how to please God. Thirdly, it involves memorizing the Word of God in order to ignite wisdom in interpreting the written and spoken word, engage in spiritual warfare and activate angelic assistance in daily conduct. The fourth requirement is to meditate on the Word of God in order to focus on things of eternal value and have the mind of Christ. And finally, and this is the most important, doing the written and spoken word of God and not just hearing without catching the fire of the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of the Scriptures and leads to overcome sin, the world, the flesh and the wiles of the adversary.
In conclusion, therefore, note that God expects His children for their well-being to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus symbolically and practically. When you celebrate the symbolic sacrament of Holy Communion you affirm that God the Father has come into the world in human flesh, He died on the Cross of Calvary, was buried, resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and will soon return to complete His assignment, which includes judging the living and the dead.
That is the gospel of grace of God in a nutshell. As it is written “as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”