Communion has its origins in the Jewish Passover, which was observed yearly on the fourteenth of Nisan. As a Jew, Jesus celebrated the Passover throughout his life. (Luke 2:41; John 2:23; 6:4) On the last day of Jesus’ life, He and His disciples first ate the Passover supper. Afterward, Jesus took bread and the wine from the meal and instituted a new memorial. (Matthew 26:17, 26-29; Luke 22:7-20) Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) They were no longer to memorialize their deliverance from Egypt but were to remember Jesus’ sacrifice.
The Apostle Paul clearly identified Jesus as the antitypical Passover lamb. “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). As Israel was to yearly remember their deliverance from Egypt, so Christians are to yearly remember our deliverance from sin and death. The Jewish arrangement makes it appropriate to do only once a year. Anything, whether a birthday or anniversary, is specially remembered once a year.
Some suggest Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7 refer to believers celebrating communion daily. It is a supposition. These accounts make no mention of the cup (wine), only bread. Every time scriptures mention wine and not bread, should we assume it also refers to communion? No. Believers gathered for an ordinary meal accompanied with blessed, spiritual conversation. In scriptures specific to communion, the bread and cup are always mentioned together. (1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; 11:20-29)
Though celebrated yearly, we can and should be thankful for Christ’s sacrifice continually. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
Does honoring Jesus’ sacrifice in our hearts bring us healing? It is uplifting to think of Jesus’ willingness to die as an innocent, perfect man in order to redeem mankind. “For as in Adam all die, even so, in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) Positive thoughts do assist with good health.
But is physical healing the primary way of God’s dealing with believers today? In the New Testament, Jesus never healed any of his disciples, nor did the Apostles heal fellow believers. The Apostles healed unbelievers as a way to encourage faith. Remember, Paul suffered with a “thorn in his flesh.” He prayed three times to have it removed and God said, “No.” (2 Corinthians 11:7-10) Additionally, Paul could have healed Timothy’s stomach, but instead he encouraged Timothy to “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:23, NIV)
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