It’s still difficult for me to fathom that only one person on one specific day of each year could enter God’s presence. Because of a lack of a true sacrifice for the sins of mankind, though, this reality was true for the Jewish people during biblical times. I’m so grateful, to say the least, that Jesus came and redeemed our relationship with God.
Isaiah 53:5 says by his stripes we are made well. Jesus was beaten long before he ever took the cross. His body paid for our healing even before he took on our sins. Think about this: contained within Jesus’ body was the Spirit of God. He had a perfect connection with God within his body and he released that to us to have in our body. Jesus’ flesh contained all that our flesh is meant to be and by his wounds he released that reality to us. The unleavened bread signifies this.
From the moment that Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, something had to lose its life. However, God loved man so much that he couldn’t imagine losing his relationship with man for eternity. So God showed man grace by taking an animal as a sacrifice and covering Adam and Eve with this sacrifice. Jesus, though, became the perfect sacrifice for all mankind. His death was a permanent provision for the sins of the world. No longer would each sin require a sacrifice since the perfect sacrifice has been made. By the blood shed by Jesus, our souls have been delivered. The fruit of the vine signifies this.
Jesus gave to his followers the meal of communion to remember the sacrifice he had paid for them, but communion is not just a memorial service of a dead man. Jesus rose from the grave. Afterwards, he poured out one last thing: his Spirit. The same Spirit that rose Jesus from the grave now lives within the hearts of believers and transforms our hearts so that we may be all he created us to be.
Jesus tells his disciples that he will not partake in this meal again without you in heaven with him! Wow! How awesome of a thought that is! Just as baptism signifies our salvation and reminds us of that day, communion becomes an ongoing reminder of our eternal residence. Nothing can change the fact that Jesus is waiting in heaven for you at this very moment! Communion is a declaration of our salvation (healing, deliverance, rescuing). We are communing with God and releasing heaven within our bodies.
Pastor Zac Breckenridge