As presented at Life Church of Mobile, AL., Sunday Morning, November 29, 2015
When Paul heard what was happening in the church of Corinth, he heard that people were gathering on Sundays and would have a large feast at the end of the long day. As they were eating, they would finish the feast by participating together with the Lord's Supper, or what is called Communion. But the story that Paul heard was that folks were not behaving right during their feast.
The problem was everyone would bring their own meal for the feast, but there were some who were unable to bring anything. Those who had, ate the feast without sharing any with those who did not have. This is why Paul said in verse 22, "do you not have house to eat and drink in?" It would have been better if no one brought anything than for them to eat and not share with those who had nothing. Paul said in that same verse, "You despise the Church of God and shame those who have nothing? . . .shall I praise you in this. . .I do not praise you."
Paul had to deal with this because there were consequences for what they were doing wrong that had begun to spread throughout the church. It was not just the schisms and the factions that was the problem, but Paul heard people were becoming weak and sickly, and many were dying prematurely; and worse than this they were experiencing spiritual death among many. What Paul figured out was all of their weaknesses and sickness was tied back to something Jesus instituted in the Lord's Supper. He told them in verse 29 that they were not discerning the Lord's body when they partook of the supper.
We Must Look at This
When it come the us partaking of the Lord's Supper, we must look at this also.
The Church at Corinth was made up of both Jews and Gentiles. These were very wealthy people, some of the most wealthiest in the world at that time. Most Christians to include those at Corinth, understood what it meant when we say, discern the blood. Most Christians know that we are saved by the "Blood". So we can understand and discern that in drinking the wine it represents the blood, that redeems us from sin. Jews that were in the church had no trouble understanding that blood sacrifice removes all sin. The Corinthians that were Gentiles, though they were heathenistic, they understood that blood sacrifices would redeem them or remit certain things from their lives because of all the sacrifices they performed for the gods in their culture prior to being saved. All the church understood the idea of the blood.
What they did not understand was the bread.
Because they did not understand the bread they were misappropriating and not understanding what the bread represented.
Today in the church, we understand what the bread represents. We have centuries between us and this teaching that Jesus and the Apostles where trying to make known; and that is the bread and the blood represents certain things. We understand that the blood represents that we have been redeem from sin. Jesus blood washes us from ALL sin: past, present, and future sins.
But what about the bread? We understand that the bread speaks of HEALING!
This is what Paul tends to drive home. . . What is in the Bread!
Jesus is having the last supper. The twelve apostles are there with him, and as they are dinning, he takes the bread; he blesses it; he breaks it; he gives it to the apostles; and he says, "Take eat, this is my body".
Understand the apostles had no problem discerning what that bread represented. They knew who Jesus was and they knew what His body represented. They never saw him sick! They never saw him weak! Jesus never pulled Peter, James, and John aside and said, "Now see here, look, I am supposed to go up here and preach what people will call later the Sermon on the Mount. I'm not feeling so good today. I need yawl to go up there and take care of that thing." No, this never happened. They never saw Jesus with the flue, in fact it was just the total opposite; they saw everywhere that Jesus went, he was anointed with the Holy Spirit. They saw, everyone who came to him went away better than they were when they came, unless they were self-righteous.
Jesus Body Is
So when Jesus said, "take eat, this is my body," instantly they reflected on how was his body? His body was strong; his body was vigorous; life flowed from his body so that folks would just come and touch the hem of his garment and they would be made whole! If you could touch the hem of his garment and be made well, what if you touched his body?
So when Jesus broke that bread and he was saying take eat, THIS IS MY BODY!!! He was not talking about transubstantiation which started being taught in the 1300's by the Catholic Church. This is a teaching that the wine and bread actually becomes the real blood and real body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was not teaching this, but that a symbol of all that he is, is in the BREAD! Healing, Wholeness, Strength, Deliverance, Vitality, it's all in the Bread!
They had no problem discerning that this bread was his body! And every time we partake of his body we get a piece of his longevity, a piece of his healing, a piece of his wellness. That's why God did not put any limitations on often you should take of his body, but as often as you do this, do it in remembrance of Jesus.
With the Bread there are No side effects; no overdose.
Just help, and wholeness, and vitality, and strength, and victory. . .
It is all in the BLOOD and all in the BREAD!!!
Is it Really in the Bread?
You may ask, "Is it really in the Bread? Is my strength and healing really in the Bread?
Mark 7:26-28 tells of a story; a lady, a Syro-Phoenician lady; she was a Gentile not a Jew; she would be called by some as a Canaanite woman.
This lady heard that Jesus was in a remote place, Tyre and Sidon; and she had a need. The need was not with her but it was with her child. Her child was possessed by a demon; tormented in such a way, she had no other choice but to find Jesus, who was her answer. When she finally came to where Jesus was she said, "Lord help me, help my child! Jesus responded to her by saying, "It is not good for me to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs or little puppies." She instantly got what he was saying, but she answered him and said, "But Jesus sometimes the little puppies sit under the children's table and the crumbs that fall there, these little puppies will lap that up." Jesus said, "Oh woman, great is your faith!
Now understand, when she was asking for healing, and Jesus said it was not good for him to take the children's bread, this was referring to the Jews who he was anointed to go to first. Thy rejected him so what was for them, the healing, the bread, Jesus was going to open the door for the Gentiles, she was just going to be at the front of the line.
Is there anyone who wants to be at the front of the line and say, "Here I am Jesus, I may not be the one you would pick, but someone in my household needs this bread!"
Immediately she was made whole.
Sometimes it is immediate, sometimes it over a process of time, but the bottom line is,
It is in the bread! Which represents the healing virtue of Jesus.
When you discern the blood, this is class 101. Remission of our sin. We are not trying to just be forgiven of all our sins and then go to heaven.
We have purpose: a healthy, vital, strong body living long and living strong, which is a witness to the bread.
I want what is in the bread.
Everything that Jesus has accomplished for me at the cross.
I'm in line for it.
So now we have to discern the Lord's Body.
What does it mean to discern the Lord's Body? We don't usually go around talking about discerning something. Can you see it, two guys come up to each other and one says, "Did you discern that football game? Simply put, to discern the Lord's Body is to recognize, or realize, or understand what it means. This bread is not just food to put in your belly and it is not just wine to get drunk.
The bread is for our Healing.
Jesus gave the antidote for living a weak, sick, short and unfulfilled life in the bread, in his body. Everybody who touched the body of Jesus walked away healthy, strong, and vitality rich!
When Paul was teaching them in 1Corinthians 11:27, he points out taking of the cup and the bread, the blood and the body, in an "unworthy manner," is guilty of the body and blood of our Lord. Paul is not teaching a sin consciousness here. This is not a question if you are worthy to partake of this blood and this bread because of sin. If you think this way, you instantly start thinking about what you did right or what you did wrong. That is not what Paul is teaching here. So many times people will not take of the communion because who of us are worthy when it comes to our sin? No one is. Paul is teaching how are you discerning the blood and the bread; do you understanding the blood and the bread is a memorial of Jesus Christ?
Unworthy manner has nothing to do with your sins, it has nothing to do with what local denomination you are in, but it has everything to do with what Jesus did for you. Jesus solved the sin problem once and for all. One sacrifice for sin forever and then he sat down at the right hand of God until his enemies are made his footstool. I don't have to worry about my sins! Jesus paid it all!
God went all in!!! Just like a poker play pushes all of his chips into the middle of the pot and say, "I am all in", so did God through Jesus Christ, he put everything he had in the middle of the pot and said, "I am all in" for our sins. And now Jesus says, "Son, daughter, I want you to full your purpose, I want you to walk out your life healthy, strong, and living long, so I am going to give you something to remind you every time your partake of it. . .the BLOOD and the BREAD, it will remind you that I was never sick, I was never weak, I was never frail, and I became all this so that you do not have to be any of these things in yourself! It's in the BREAD, it's in the BLOOD!
You do not have to have your pastor around, nor your church for you to take it. All you have to do is when you take it, REMEMBER that Jesus was all these things so we can be.
Because you take it, it will result in health, strength and a long vigorous life.
There is nothing wrong with exercise, there is nothing wrong with medicines, nothing wrong with healthy eating, and these we should do; but sometimes these things don't get it all. But the Blood and the Bread have no negative side effects. It is a threefold cord that cannot be broken, (Eccl. 4:9-12): (1) You will be well for sickness, (2) You will be strong for weakness, and (3) You will live long for dying prematurely, when you tie in and discern what Jesus did in his body and through his blood.
Before or After His Suffering?
So is it the Lord's body after the cross or before the cross?
The answer is Luke 22:15. . ."before I suffer."
Some people believe because we are not better than Jesus we are supposed to be beaten, we are supposed to suffer. He went through all that pain, so should we. But that is not what is taught in the Bible. It is his body before he suffered, so that our memory of him was a body that was well, it was a body that was strong, it was a body living vigorously, so people can receiving help and wholeness.
Everything has to bow to the power of the BREAD, the Syro-Phoenician woman's child was possessed by demons that had to bow to the power of the BREAD! All she had was crumbs, but even the crumbs of this BREAD will tell the devil to GET OUT AND NEVER COME BACK!
Here is what the partaking of the blood and the bread does for us:
Taking and ingesting the bread that was broken and blessed for us all; meant then and still means today that Jesus was and is imparting to us his strength for weakness, his health for sickness, and his wholeness and vitality for premature death, for our physical and mortal bodies.