Following the last passover, Jesus instituted the first Communion service. It is important to remember that salvation is not gained through taking Communion. This Christian experience is the celebration of sins forgiven through the death of Christ on the cross.
The Communion service looks both backward and forward. In sharing Communion, we look back to the cross and forward to His return: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Corinthians l 1:26).
At the Lord’s table, we rejoice in the great love of God that caused Him to send His Son to die for us. We anticipate meeting our Saviour. We feel the warmth of Christian fellowship, and thank God for the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
Still there is a solemn note here. We are to judge ourselves (see 1 Corinthians l 1:31). A stern warning accompanies the instructions for Communion: “Wherefore whosoever shalt eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27).
Frightening? Yes, if we must become worthy through our own good works. Thankfully, that is not the case. We become worthy through Christ: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Communion speaks of our daily walk with Jesus made possible through His shed blood.