Communion and the Resurrection
Communion and the Resurrection
Communion is an intimate act of sharing in the life of another. When Jesus spoke of His Atoning death He spoke of the benefits of the New Covenant, Grace and Forgiveness, Cleansing and Freedom from Guilt, Freedom from Slavery to Sin, Freedom from the dominating and corrupting powers of darkness. Healing and Restoration of Body, Soul & Spirit. All of these things would become available through His death by Faith in Him. This believing would open the door to a New Identity through Adoption into God’s Family.
Yet on Resurrection Morning another benefit became apparent. Jesus’s death was only a part of the redemption process. In the dusky blue haze of early morning, as light began to emanate from the sun rising to chase away the darkness and illuminate the sky. In those moments as the first shards of the sun’s disc rose above the horizon. So, the Eternal Son was being raised from the dead by the Eternal Spirit, He chased away darkness and released the Light of His Resurrection Glory into the world.
Alive from the dead, not just resurrected, but a new bold creation, one no longer subject to the ravages of the fall and the domination of darkness. An Eternal Body, a Glorious Body, alive with the Eternal Spirit. A Body that will never decay, never deteriorate, never die. A Body for the House of God that can stand in His Presence forever.
Until that day when Jesus stood before Mary Magdalene in His Resurrection Body, none of His followers truly understood what Jesus had meant by rising from the dead. Now they could see Him, now they understood. Communion suddenly took on another dimension, it was COMMUNION with THIS JESUS!
There is an important connection between the Resurrection and Communion. Communion IS the Risen Jesus. Therefore, Communion makes the Resurrection present and active in our lives and enables us to experience the joy and the power of the Jesus’ Resurrection.
It is the Resurrection that begins a NEW SABBATH
The Resurrection is the reason for the observance of Sunday instead of the Sabbath. According to the Gospel it was early in the morning on the first day of the week that the Risen Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. It was also on the evening of that first day of the week that the Risen Jesus appeared to the Apostles when Thomas was not present. Then a week later, on the first day of the week, he appeared again when Thomas was present. So the Apostles began to celebrate the first day of the week, Sunday, as the beginning of the re-creation of the world just as they had celebrated the Sabbath as the end of the creation of the world.
What begins as a memorial meal in the upper room, becomes a resurrected presence! It is as if you stood before the Washington Monument and suddenly the father of our country is at your side. It is as if you stood in the Lincoln Memorial and suddenly heard a deep voice intoning, “Fourscore and seven years ago.” In communion we came to a memorial to the dying Christ and find ourselves suddenly confronted with the living Christ.
I want to KNOW This resurrected Christ
7 But whatever I used to count as my greatest accomplishments, I’ve written them off as a loss because of the Anointed One. 8 And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important was nothing but yesterday’s garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord. For Him I have thrown everything aside—it’s nothing but a pile of waste—so that I may gain Him. 9 When it counts, I want to be found belonging to Him, not clinging to my own righteousness based on law, but actively relying on the faithfulness of the Anointed One. This is true righteousness, supplied by God, acquired by faith.
10 I want to know Him inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death, 11 so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.
12 I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. 13 Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. 14 I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. Philippians 3, 4-11
15 This is why, when I heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is present in your community and of your great love for all God’s people, 16 I haven’t stopped thanking Him for you. I am continually speaking to Him on your behalf in my prayers. Here’s what I say:
17 God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. 18 Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. 19 Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power.
Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that 20 He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven.
There is nothing over Him. 21 He’s above all rule, authority, power, and dominion; over every name invoked, over every title bestowed in this age and the next. 22 God has placed all things beneath His feet and anointed Him as the head over all things for His church. 23 This church is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:7-20
As we mull over Paul’s words and unite them in our minds with the passage from 1 Corinthians 11 we have use for the last two weeks, we see something powerful. The Communion Table is the place that we are confronted by the Dying Christ who is the Resurrected Christ. The Body we eat and the Wine we drink is not mere flesh and blood somehow regenerated and thus satisfying Divine Justice and supplying benefits. It is Resurrection Life and Power. It is Jesus Eternal, Life Giving, Holy Spirit infused Resurrection Body that we eat and drink. It is being directly touched by the Hand of God, it is receiving the fulness of who He is. What is more, it is the SAME Holy Spirit that raised the Body of Jesus from the grave that is transforming us.
No wonder Paul says, I want to know who is touching me. I want to know everything about Him, I don’t wasn’t to miss anything! I want to be so full of His Divine Life so that I can become like Him in every way, even in His Resurrection. I don’t have everything yet, but I’m going hard after as much as I can.
Communion is an act of remembrance, but it is also an experience.
Communion is an act of remembrance, but it is also an experience. An experience of the Risen Jesus and a place where we receive His Divine Touch and experience the flow of Resurrection Life through the Spirit.
As we stand before the Empty Tomb today, He is right here, holding out His hands and offering all that He is and all that He has did to obtain.