Summary: The meaning of communion...to be preached mainly on World Communion Sunday.
“God’s Flesh And God’s Blood”
BY: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News,
One Sunday morning when I was three or four years old I sat next to my dad in church,
and noticed that there was something going on up front, people were leaving their seats,
forming into lines, and going up to the altar area.....soon it was my dad’s turn.....he wispered to
me, “I’ll be right back.”
“Where is he going?,” I thought, and “What is he doing?”
When he came back to his seat I asked him what went on up there...
His reply was, “Oh, they just fed us some crackers and grape juice.”
“Wow,” I thought... “I like crackers and grape juice.”
“Did the crackers have peanut butter on them?”, I asked.
I can’t remember his reply, but my imagination was already going wild....and I couldn’t
wait till I was old enough to go up to the front of the church and eat crackers and drink grape
juice just like my dad.
Later in life, I stood in the communion line right behind my father and mother....and I
was overcome with emotion....here I was with the two people whom I loved more than anyone
else in the whole world preparing to partake of the Lord’s Body and Blood....through which we
are saved and forgiven.....I felt like I was in heaven....I had a sort of vision of what heaven will
be like.....standing in line, waiting to partake of the Lord’s heavenly banquet with the two most
precious people in my life....it was one of those little grace experiences that God gives us in life,
and I will never forget it.
In our Scripture lesson, Christ and his disciples were partaking of the Passover Feast like
any good Jews.
They were speaking and acting in the language of Jewish ritual, a language they all had
learned from the time they were knee high.
The Passover refers back to the time when God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage.
God had pronounced the final judgement upon the Egyptian people for their
injustices....but those who believed God were instructed to slay a pure lamb and sprinkle its
blood on the door posts of their homes.
The blood of the innocent lamb would then be the sign that the coming judgement had
already been carried out upon the sacrificial lamb.
When seeing the blood, the Lord passed over the homes of those who believed....not
As we read in Exodus Chapter 12, “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,”..... “Tell the
whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his
household”..... “The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,”.... “Slaughter
them at twilight,”.... “Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of
of the doorframes,”.... “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every
firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgement on all the gods of Egypt. I am the
Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I
will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. This is a day you
are to commemorate for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the
Lord--a lasting ordinance.”
And our Scripture tells us how Jesus fulfilled the great Passover Feast.
One thing to notice about the Passover celebration is that it is all historical....it is
celebrating an act of the past, whereas the Lord’s Supper that we celebrate is much more than
It is a celebration of the living Christ in the hearts and lives of believers until Christ
returns. It’s a rememberance of the potential power of the living Christ which dwells within each
of us who believe right here and right now---an explosive power that is made possible only
through the cross!
As the Bible proclaims in 1st Corinthians chapter 11, “Whenever you eat this bread and
drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
The Lord’s Supper gives us a picture of a great supper, and a glorious promise.
As Jesus declared, “For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the
kingdom of God.’
After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I
tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
Jesus has promised to celebrate this Supper with those of us who have given our lives to
Him in the future.....we shall sit down with Christ at the great marriage Feast of the Lamb.