When Jesus instituted what we Gentiles call “communion”, He was actually “tagging on” to the Passover feast a visible expression of the doctrine of grace through His substitutionary death on Calvary. “In remembrance of Me” is the focus of communion.
In John 6:48-58, Jesus uses very strong language about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, which communion represents. Simply put, these actions are to be taken only by the person who believes in Jesus for the forgiveness of his sin debt, and commits his soul into His care. You see, partaking of the bread and cup requires an honest examination of our heart, our lifestyle, and our attitudes towards other people. Have I truly repented and turned my life completely over to Jesus Christ? Am I leading a life that is yielding to the Spirit of God, or to my flesh? Do I have any bitterness, or envy, or hatred in my heart towards anyone today?
At this point you might ask, “Where is the grace?” Here is all the grace you and I need. Ready? It is in Jesus Christ! It was grace that tasted death for me. It was grace that cried, “It is finished!” It was grace that rose again the third day. It was grace that ascended up into heaven. It was grace that poured out the Holy Spirit. It is precisely because of this grace that we are saved! Although grace is a free gift, it is by no means cheap! No way!! Neither is grace a license to live in sin. On the contrary, grace teaches us how to truly live. Grace, properly understood, is indeed a celebration – a celebration of life!
If you have Christ today, you have life indeed. May the reality of the grace of Jesus, bestowed upon His Church, lead each of us into a more intimate, worshipful, loving, and obedient walk with Jesus, “who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood”!