Communion Scriptures are verses in the Bible that detail the first Lord’s Supper as well as guidelines for taking the sacrament of communion.
In Exodus 12, we can read the story about the final plague on Egypt where all the firstborns died except for Israelites with the blood of a lamb sprinkled on their doorposts. Every year, Jews commemorate this event called the Passover as God commanded them. And it is their most sacred feast.
Just like the Passover, the Holy Communion is also a celebration and a commemoration. Jesus was the one who implemented and commanded Christians to partake in the Communion through the last supper He had with His disciples. During the Last Supper as described in the Bible in Luke 22, Jesus took bread, had broken it, and said “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” He also took a cup of wine and said “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”
But even if Christians have been partaking in the Holy Communion, many Christians still don’t know what it signifies or how it is to be celebrated. As we go through different Communion Scriptures used when taking Communion, we’ll look at the different aspects of Communion.
What are Communion Scriptures?
Communion is the act of breaking and eating bread. It symbolizes Christ’s body which is given for us and drinking wine that symbolizes the blood He shed for our sins. It is also known as the Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper.
But partaking in the Lord’s Supper is more than just practicing an ancient tradition. It is an act of obedience towards God. It is taken by Christians to remember what our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, has done on the cross to save us. So whenever we partake in a Communion, we are entering into a covenant with God – a promise to always remember the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.
Communion Scriptures are verses in the Bible used during the act of Holy Communion. They serve as a reminder of our attitude and honor towards Jesus Christ. Communion Scriptures are our response to God’s command of remembering Him through the bread and the wine.
The Communion Scriptures used during the sacrament vary for every church, but they convey the same meaning. The Lord’s Supper is a visible representation symbolizing the death of Jesus Christ for our sins. During the sacrament, we read Communion Scriptures to remind us of Christ’s death and the glorious hope of His return. Our participation in it strengthens our faith through fellowship with Jesus Christ and with other believers.
Elements of Communion
The Holy Communion comprises two important elements: bread, and wine.
The bread represents Jesus’ body that was scourged before and during His crucifixion. In John 6:51, Jesus said –
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Do not be confused though, as the bread is not the literal body of Christ, and taking in bread doesn’t mean you are eating Jesus’ flesh. The bread in the Communion is just a mere representation of Christ’s body. The bread is being broken into pieces which symbolizes the hardships that Jesus had gone through before dying in the Cross of Calvary.
In Isaiah 53:5 and John 19:34, the Scriptures tell us that His body was wounded and pierced. In 1 Corinthians 11:24, Jesus took the bread and broke it. And He said, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you.”
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Just like the bread, we do not teach that the wine literally turns into Jesus’ blood. It is just a representation of our Lord – who He is and what He has done. It is a reminder of how Jesus willingly poured out His blood for us. Jesus shed His blood because He knew that even to this day, without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness.
Jesus’ blood poured out from a splintered cross is a reminder of Jesus’ supreme sacrifice for all our sins: past, present, and future. Because of His blood shed for us, we can be free from the power and penalty of sin. When Jesus said, “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me”, how do we remember Christ in the Lord’s Supper? By thinking about what Jesus did and why He did it.
Other Terms for Communion
Communion as mentioned in the New Testament is also known as The Lord’s Supper. It is also called Eucharist or the Lord’s Table. Communion, as what is commonly called today, refers to the act of thanksgiving in remembrance of the death of Jesus. It also refers to our relationship through the new covenant.
The first communion took place when Jesus ate with His disciples during the Passover Feast. Each name we use for the sacrament of communion brings out different dimensions to it. The Lord’s Supper commemorates the Passover meal Jesus ate with His disciples. Eucharist refers to our thanksgiving to God for Jesus Christ’s work for us. And Communion means as we commune with God and with other believers.
Most Common Communion Scriptures in the Bible
The scriptures from the gospels are all depicting the same event. They vary slightly in wording but convey the same meaning. Here are the Scriptures that detail the first Lord’s Supper as well as guidelines for taking communion.
Communion Scriptures from the Old Testament
“He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.”
Communion Scriptures from the New Testament
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”
And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words – I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”
And as they were eating, He took bread, and after blessing, it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And He said to them, “This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
“And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
“On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.”
Why Read Communion Scriptures
During the Sacrament of the Holy Communion, we take inspiration from what the Apostle Paul instructed us. Here are the benefits of reading the communion scriptures during the Eucharist.
Connection to Jesus
Communion Scriptures teach us that through the Eucharist, we also connect with Jesus not only in the memory of His death but in the spiritual life He gave us.
We are united in Christ in two ways:
- By believing in the sacrifice of His flesh (death) and resurrection;
- By devoting ourselves to living as He requires, depending on His teaching for guidance, and trusting the Holy Spirit for power.
Dependence upon Jesus
Through the communion scriptures, we are making an outward acknowledgment that we live by Him, that He is our nourishment, and that He is our strength. It is a vivid reminder that without Him we are nothing.
Sustain our Spiritual Life
People eat to satisfy physical hunger and to sustain their physical lives. The spiritual hunger can only be sustained by a right relationship with Jesus Christ. No wonder He called Himself the “Bread of Life”. Just like how bread, when eaten, sustains life, we should also invite Jesus in our walk to sustain our spiritual life.
A perfect reminder of the “New Covenant”
In the Old Testament, God agreed to forgive people’s sins if they would bring animals for the priests to sacrifice. But the blood of the animals did not itself remove sin because it is only God who can forgive sin. So animal sacrifices had to be repeated day after day and year after year.
Jesus then instituted a “new covenant” between God and His people. Under this new covenant, Jesus would die in the place of sinners. Jesus’ sacrifice would never have to be repeated; it would be good for all eternity.
As you can see, there is no right or wrong way of using communion scriptures during the sacrament of the Holy Communion. There are many ways you can use the communion scriptures as long as you remember the Lord’s sacrificial death on the cross, doing it for the right motives, and honoring His body.
In reality, no one is worthy to take the Lord’s Supper. We are all sinners saved by grace. This is why we should prepare ourselves for Communion through healthy introspection, confession of sin, and resolution of differences with others.