The taking of communion is for the purpose of Remembering what Jesus did for us.
Any bread, or other food will do, any drink will do. And if you do not have any of that, then you can still have communion with the Lord and with the Body of Christ by just taking a moment and remembering how Jesus Body was broken for us.
He was slapped, punched, his hair pulled out, by close to 100 men before he was even taken to Pilot. Then Pilot, in his desire to turn Jesus loose, had Jesus whipped. They used what we would today call a cat-o-nine-tails. Each strand had either a lead ball on the end or a piece of metal, or glass on it.
A whipping was so deadly that the Jews had in their law that they could not whip a man with more than 40 hits with the whip. And to insure that they did not break their law by a miscount, they stopped at 39 hits, they called stripes.
But the Romans did not have any such law or restriction, and so the Romans would beat on a man until the officer thought that the man was almost dead, then they stopped.
First the whip would cut and bruise the skin, then as the whip fell on the back, arms and legs over and over again, the skin first, then the underlying muscles would be cut so badly that they would start hanging off of the back in string like strips.
When they cut Jesus down, he was so weak that he could only fall to the ground, unable to stand. The made fun of him, throwing a red cloth across his Shoulders, placing a stick in his hand for a Scepter, and someone made up a crown of thorns which they pushed down into his head, and the blood ran down his face. They mocked him, spit on him, and when they got tired of this, they ripped the cloth off of his back, and taking the stick out of his hand, used it to pound the crown of thorns deep into his head.
The Romans normally kept their prisoners naked, no clothes on at all, but because Jesus was a Jew, they put some clothes back on Jesus. and took him back to Pilot, who, because he was afraid of the mass of people outside, then ordered Jesus to be crucified. One of the cruelest ways of killing a man that was ever devised.
Jesus was so weak that he was unable to carry the part of the cross that the condemned man would carry to the place of crucifixion. (They did not normally whip a man before crucifying him.) That was the cross beam, about the size of a railroad tie today, and about 8 foot long. It would weigh a hundred pounds or a little more. So they made another man carry the cross piece. When they reached the place of crucifixion, they threw Jesus down across the beam, and drove the nails through his wrists (medically this is part of the hand). They were not nails as you think of them today, but from pictures taken from grave sites they show the nails to be about as thick as one of your fingers.
The most common form of the cross would be like a "T" and the upright would be left in the ground and the cross piece would then be lifted up with Jesus already nailed to it and placed into a grove cut in the top of the upright part of the cross. The feet then would then be nailed to the cross, the most common way was one foot on either side of the upright post. The nail would be driven through a wood board and then through the ankles. This would keep the nails from pulling out.
When hung up this way, the muscles start to cramp, then it becomes difficult to breath. One can breath in, but because of the strain of hanging down from the arms, the body looses its ability to breath out, so the only way to breath out is to raise themselves up with their legs so they relieve the strain and can breath out. So the back of Jesus was constantly rubbing up and down against the rough cross beam. The back which had been cut to pieces now had to be hurt by this rubbing against the cross.
This is the way that the Body of Jesus was broken for us, and this is what Jesus wants us to remember each and every time that we take communion.
But there was one more thing which Jesus suffered for us on that cross. When Jesus cried out "Why have you forsaken me?" Jesus, who knew God as God really is, was separated from God for those few minutes. That was the very worst punishment that any man can ever have, to have seen the Lord God as he is and then to be separated from Him for all of eternity, to know that you will never see Him again. Jesus suffered this for us.
And that is why Jesus, at the last supper, knowing what he would suffer for us, gave of the bread and said do this in remembrance of Me.
And all along the way his blood was poured out on the ground, as there can not be a sacrifice without the shedding of Blood. Jesus allowed his blood to be poured out to pay the price for Our sins, To reconcile us back to the Father, and to establish a New Covenant (contract) with man. And that is why Jesus at the last supper gave us the wine, as a reminder. Saying that we are to remember that he shed his blood for the remission of our Sins.
From this there are many who insist that only a priest can give communion, but that is false, for the bible shows that the people would gather together and each one would take of communion, and not that only one person could give it out. Each one had their own communion with the Lord..
There are many who insist that communion can only be had if you use unleavened bread and actual wine. But this is also false, that is legalism. For Jesus use what they were having for their meal that day, and the bible shows us that the Christians afterward who were having communion daily, used whatever they had brought for their meal that day. There fore you can use anything which you have in order to help you to remember what Jesus did for us. For the entire reason for having communion is to Remember for that is the key. To Remember. It is Not the taking of the bread, it is not the taking of the wine, it is the Remembering.
For myself, I first Praise the Lord God, asking for forgiveness for any sins that I may have committed against him that day. Then I usually take a very small piece of bread and a sip of grape juice, when I take of my communion with the Holy Lord God each night. And if I am out somewhere, I use whatever is at hand, or even just sit there and remember what Jesus Did for me, How Jesus died on the cross for me, How He suffered for me, and how He shed his blood for the remission (forgiveness) of my sins.
And that is what Communion is all about. Jesus has most definitely let me know that this is a most acceptable way of having communion with Him.
I know, most churches make a ritual out of it. And then it means nothing.
With the Love of Jesus
Rev. Jack Barr