On the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus took bread and when He had given thanks He broke it and said, “This is my body which is for you …” (1 Corinthians 11:23,24).
I have always had a high regard for the Eucharist (communion) and sorrow at the flippant way we so often rush through the sharing of the bread and wine. I see it as an act of declaring again our commitment to the covenant we have with our Saviour. (See My Soapbox – The Sacraments.)
Recently, I have come to another insight. I have also always believed in healing being a part of the atonement wrought by Jesus at Calvary, but have had difficulty in understanding why so few who acknowledge the Lord, are healed when sick. Is it something lacking in them – faith, or understanding, or application?
Knowing that I am now “in Christ” and that His Spirit dwells in me, it has been my practice in recent years to emphasise the “exchanged life” in my prayers. Just as I have been given His righteousness for my sinfulness, I seek His wisdom for my foolishness, His strength for my weakness, His health for my sickness. Recently, the verse above that we always quote in the communion service, struck a new chord in me. His body is “for me”. This came into focus as my wife and I were praying for her healing from cancer. As she commenced chemotherapy 4 months ago, I decided to serve her the bread and wine each day, not as a ritual but as a means to focus on the special aspect of healing in the atonement. My prayer was/is that the Lord would grant her the faith to appropriate the healing work of Calvary just as He has given her faith to appropriate the saving work of Calvary (“For by grace you are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” – Eph 2:8). Sufficient to say that a recent CT scan revealed no more cancer present, much to the surprise, and delight, of our cancer doctors. Now, just as many take vitamins (of dubious worth) each day, we will regularly take the communion emblems as our ‘spiritual vitamins’, the bread (His body “for us”) and the wine as a token of His covenant faithfulness.