The First Communion
The first Communion recorded in the Bible took place after Abram returned from rescuing his nephew Lot, his family and his goods. Melchizedek served Abram bread and wine and blessed him. Then Abram gave Melchizedek tithes of all he had. This passage (Gen. 14:18-20) suggests a relationship between Communion (or Eucharist as it is called by many), blessings and finances (although the “finances” aspect will not be addressed within this booklet).
Passover and Communion
The Passover meal (recorded in Ex. 12:1-14) was a type of Communion, and it was first celebrated on the night in which the deliverance of the people of God from the servitude of Egypt took place. The Passover experience was and is symbolic of several things.
Deliverance: The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt represents their deliverance wrought (created and formed) by Christ—who is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8), as part of the atoning work of Jesus. Their deliverance from Egypt was both a spiritual and a physical deliverance.
Lamb: The lamb without blemish that was slain was a shadow and type of the (then yet-to-be) crucifixion of Jesus. The Israelites were to have the “lamb” in them, as well as the “blood” over them.
Blood: The blood on the doorposts represents the blood spilled by Jesus on Calvary for the remission of sins and for our salvation.
Readiness: The eating of the Passover meal “with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand” (Ex. 12:11) was symbolic of God’s continual and universal desire to lead his people out of bondage and into new life.
Blood on the Doorposts: The blood on the doorposts represented God’s protection from the oncoming angel of death.
Unleavened Bread: The eating of unleavened bread represented their charge to leave sin behind (refer also to Mat. 16:11-12, regarding the leaven—or false “doctrine”—of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees).
Provision: The “spoils” of Egypt were given to the Israelites as a symbol of God’s all-embracing provision for them (Gen. 12:35-36).
Healing: “There was not one feeble person” among the 2 or 3 million Israelites (Ps. 105:37) who departed with Moses. This occurrence is symbolic of God’s power and promise to heal our bodies. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11). Our mortal bodies are quickened (enlivened) as we remember and celebrate Communion.
Celebration: The Passover meal was a time of celebration, a feast—a time to celebrate victory (not to shed or remember the tears of the past). Wine is also a symbol of celebration. Communion is to be celebrated as a joyous meal. We should come to this celebration rejoicing.
Memorial: God commanded the Israelites to keep the Passover Feast as a memorial and ordinance forever (Ex. 12:14). The Passover Feast was to be a time of remembrance; its celebration is to be a memorial of the burial and resurrection of our Lord.
Proclamation: The Passover event was a proclamation to the enemies of God and to the devil, that God will lead His people. It was also an occasion of defeat for the devil.
Communion: Communion suggests a family gathering around the Holy Table. As Jesus portrayed it, He and His disciples fellowshipped together as the family of God. Everyone had (and has) the same access to the Table. All were invited to come to the Passover meal with Jesus, even Judas.
As with the Passover Feast, coming to the Communion Table should include an appropriation of deliverance from the powers of sin and death and an appropriation of physical strength, healing, and provision through expectant faith—by consumption of the (bread) body of the Lord, through whose stripes we are healed. To leave the Table without asking for (and appropriating) both spiritual and physical blessing is to neglect the provisions offered through the atoning death of Christ.
If the handkerchiefs or aprons from Paul carried the presence of God and the Holy Spirit sufficient to heal the sick and cause evil spirits to be cast out, (Acts 19:12) isn’t it reasonable to expect the emblems of bread and wine to carry the presence as well, sufficient to do similar things?
John 6 speaks of Jesus Himself as “the living bread” that has come down from heaven. This acknowledgment was in contrast to the bread that Israel was fed in the wilderness. Their “manna” (bread) physically sustained the whole nation for their entire journey of over 40 years. We may have confidence, then, that the living bread from heaven (of which the manna was a type) is given to sustain us, both physically and spiritually. We should therefore come to the Table with a confident expectation of physical strength, forgiveness and healing. This passage in John 6 also states, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him” (vs. 56). When we partake of the emblems, we do so with the assurance that Jesus is abiding in us.
Mat. 15:22-28 speaks of the “children’s bread.” Bread is the most basic necessity of human existence. To deny someone bread is to deny them the very staff of life. In this instance, calling healing the “children’s bread,” Jesus was declaring that healing is the most basic provision of the Father. Interesting it is, indeed, that Jesus also asked, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?” (Luke 11:12, Mat. 7:9). In petitioning our Heavenly Father for healing, we should have confidence that it is His delight to give us what we ask for.
In approaching the Table of the Lord, we have two things which are relevant to healing: (1) Jesus is the living bread from heaven, imparting His divine life to us by the Spirit, and (2) the bread as the “children’s bread”—meaning healing itself.
A study of “blood” in the old testament will aid in the understanding of its significance. Victory over Satan requires entering into and remaining in the blood of Jesus. The Cross is the only place the blood of Jesus was poured out for us. The Blood receives its authentic power and has effect when we come in true repentance to the Cross and remain there. Blood is the power that releases the power of the Almighty and opens the heavens and manifests the glory of God. The blood is the door through which we enter to be united with God. It is where the Spirit of God and the spirit of man merge. The Blood of Jesus is the way through which we can approach the thrown of grace.
The Table is, first, a place of intimacy where we can experience the presence of the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit. We can fully expect Jesus to manifest His presence at the Table, and this should be our primary focus. As we feast upon the bread, by faith—we receive the life and strength of God through the Spirit. As the bread in the wilderness fed Israel day by day, giving them physical sustenance, so Jesus, the living bread from heaven, imparts to us spiritual, emotional, and physical strength. He comes to impart those things made freely available through His sacrificial death.
As we partake of the wine, the symbol of life itself, and of the life that Jesus poured out for us, we become united with Him, in a type of “blood covenant” that can protect us from evil and lays the basis for His claim upon us to be a part of His kingdom on this earth, as well as in heaven because of His sacrifice and His resurrection.
We must come to the Table with sufficient preparation, having made an honest evaluation of ourselves before God. Besides admonishing us to examine ourselves before partaking, 1 Corinthians 11:23-31 clearly links being “weak and sickly” to our unworthiness, to our lack of understanding in how we worthily approach the Table and the body and blood of our Lord where there is great healing power in the partaking of Communion once faith and understanding is sufficient.
Communion is a most Holy Sacrament, a sacred ceremony involving symbols of Christ’s sacrifice and our covenant—to signify a spiritual bond between God and mankind. We always have the choice to choose God or mammon. In Genesis 14:18-20, Abraham chose to pay his tithes and be served bread and wine, rather than to keep the spoils of the King of Sodom.
In preparation for a Jewish marriage, after the fathers have negotiated the bride price (the price the groom agrees to pay for the father’s loss of his daughter), the groom offers a cup to the woman asking, “I love you and give you my life. Will you marry me?” If the woman drinks from the cup, she is—in essence—saying, “Yes, I will marry you.” Jesus, likewise, as He raised His cup to His disciples (and as He continues to offer His cup to us today), was asking that they join Him in covenant—to be His bride (the body), as is stated: “And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many” (Mark 14:22-24, Mat. 26:26-28, Luke 22:19-20).
At the Table we are made one body and one flesh with Christ. He is the bread of life and the source of the living water. Those who come to Him will never hunger or thirst. To eat the bread representing the body of the Lord Jesus and to drink the wine of Communion implies the appropriation of everything Christ’s body and blood represents. It is the very essence of His magnificence. It is the greatest revelation of His love for men. It is both the life force drained from His body at the crucifixion and the blood that flowed again through his resurrected body.
Communion is His gift of Himself
The Table is a place to receive forgiveness. The wine speaks to us of His blood, shed for the remission of sins. His blood opened a “new and living way” into the Father’s presence. Communion also offers us an opportunity to receive forgiveness and healing of our family tree, although this practice is not commonly observed; completed genograms are presented for the healing and blessing of our spiritual inheritance. While partaking of Communion in this way, powerful healing occurs and many are thereby freed from the adverse generational influences of the past. (Refer to the section on “Healing from Generational Influences” for additional insight on this subject.) If possible, communion should be shared in an appropriate way with every seeker who comes for prayer for deliverance and inner healing.
Pray for the Following at the Eucharist (Communion)
- For forgiveness
- For release of forgiveness of others toward us (We can bind others with unforgiveness, and they can bind us; this is the releasing of the “they can bind us” part of the spiritual law of binding and loosing.)
- For the covenant benefits of Jesus’ death and resurrection
- For our portion of the “children’s bread” of healing
- For physical healing, health, and strength
- For protection from the angel of death
- That Jesus may abide within us
- For His mercy and kindness
- For provision
Lord, we know that this Communion represents an opportunity for the closest possible connection with Jesus, as it represents both a spiritual and a physical encounter with our Lord. We know that the scriptures tell us, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”
By partaking of this bread and wine, we are consuming spiritual food and are made “one body” and “one flesh” in Christ Jesus. These symbols are a most precious and special gift of yourself. You are the bread of life and the living water. Your broken body has provided for us physical health and healing. Your spilled blood has provided for us forgiveness and spiritual healing.
Lord, we come today desiring to receive healing of our spirits as well as of our bodies, and to remember our covenant with you which we made in the waters of baptism. By this act of faith we appropriate the blood of Jesus that was shed for us, and we pray that the full power of this Communion be applied to us and to our families.
We thank you, Lord Jesus, for these blessings, offered in your most precious name. Amen.
1. John Hampsch, The Healing Power of the Eucharist (Servant Pub., 1999). ISBN 0-56955095-6.
2. Ken and Lorna Matthews, The Healing Technician’s Manual (Rapha Christian Ministries, PO Box 817, Grandview, MO 64137, 1996).