Communion-Claiming and Proclaiming
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins . . . The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? . . . Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Matthew 26:-26-28; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:20-26 NKJV
The cup of wine that Jesus shared with His disciples at the Lord’s Supper was His blood; the bread that He gave thanks for and broke, then gave to His disciples was His body (John 6:53-56). According to Paul, in the text above, the cup of blessing which we bless is the communion of the blood of Christ. But some Corinthian Christians actually got drunk off the communion wine, turning a time of sacred commemoration into desecration; a grace into disgrace; a blessing into a curse; and, honor into dishonor. We too dishonor the Lord during communion when we fail to claim and proclaim, i.e., claim promised blessings and proclaim Jesus as the source of every blessing: spirit, soul, and body.
To claim is to ask or demand something because it’s rightfully yours, thus we can appropriate it into our life and circumstance. Healing, deliverance, and being made whole—in every way—is ours in Christ because of His death, burial, and resurrection. To proclaim is to declare these blessings officially and publicly by retelling the good news of the Gospel message. The Gospel is “His story” and our glory!
1 Corinthians 11:26-31 outlines a number of things that prevent the believer from claiming and proclaiming the blessings of communion such as tradition (Mark 7:3), feeling unworthy and guilt (Heb. 10:29; Rom. 3:23), failure to judge ourselves before partaking (Gal. 6:4), partaking in communion an unworthy manner (v. 30), not discerning the Lord’s body (John 6:54, 56), judging others rather than ourselves (Matt. 7:1; John 8:15), etc. Whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup of communion, we can claim and proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes!