The Broken Body and The
Healing in the Holy Communion
* This teaching is an Advanced study from The Bible Tells Me So published by The American Christian Press in 1973
Great numbers of Christians are suffering from lack of strength and physical wholeness. Their lack of well-being is in most instances due to either wrong teaching or no teaching at all on the subject of this study. Most Christians are thoroughly familiar with the meaning of the shed blood but not with the broken body in the communion ceremony. The broken body aspect of the communion service deserves study and teaching.
The value of this study in abundant living depends entirely upon what position you hold regarding the Word of God. If you believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is God's answer to the needs of man, then you will be able to manifest the results in your life.
According to Malachi 3: 6, God says, "For I am the Lord, I change not .... " He is the same all the time. What He was once, He is always. What He did once, He does always. The God whom I know, whom I teach and preach, and for whom I labor is the same God as the God of Abraham, David and Paul. God has not become one bit weaker throughout these years.
The fruitfulness of this study, to a marked degree, depends upon whether or not you are seeking deliverance from sickness. If you are not seeking complete deliverance for your life but an excuse for bondage, this study will not be of profit to you. There are people who believe that it is God's will for them to be sick. There are people who believe that God is the author of sickness, suffering and all manner of evil to mankind. There are people who believe that God makes them better Christians by sending sickness and disease. All these positions are out-and-out contradictions of the Word of God. God does not send sickness, disease and sin into anyone's life in order to make him a more worthy or holy Christian, nor does God send sickness and disease to try people.
When the Corinthian church was manifesting sickness, division and strife, Paul did not applaud them for their sickness. He did not say, "It is a sign of God's love that you are sick." Nor did Paul say, "Bear your sickness patiently for God is trying you." The Apostle Paul, according to the Epistle to the Corinthians, rebuked them and endeavored to correct them for being sick. He rebuked them not as individuals but as a congregation, as Christians, because they did not properly discern the Lord's body. They did not realize that Jesus, who was sacrificed on the cross of Calvary, had accomplished something for them in His body. Paul pointed out that it was no longer necessary to suffer sickness and disease.
The age of Law was totally different from the age of the Church. Deuteronomy 28: 15-61 tells about the curse of the law, those things which befell men who were disobedient to the law.
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. -- Deuteronomy 28: 15
The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning .... Deuteronomy 28: 22
The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. -- Deuteronomy 28: 27
The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart. Deuteronomy 28: 28
The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed .... Deuteronomy 28: 35
Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt .... Deuteronomy 28: 60
Also every sickness, and every plague ... them will the Lord bring upon thee .... Deuteronomy 28: 61
The great portion of this whole section is concerned with sickness and disease.
The Church, the body of believers, is no longer under the curse of the law. By the grace of God through Jesus Christ, we now are able to live the more abundant life.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree. Galatians 3: 13
If we have been redeemed from the curse of the law then we no longer have the curse upon us. "Christ hath redeemed [past tense] us from the curse of the law .... " That means He has redeemed us, not only from some of the things mentioned in the curse, but from all of them, which includes sickness and disease.
If the Church has been redeemed from sickness and disease, why then was the Corinthian church sickly and weak?
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. I Corinthians 11: 29, 30
The Corinthian church was well aware of what the blood of Christ meant, but they were failing to discern the body of the Lord.
It is not stated how many members the Corinthian church had, but the number in another group from the Old Testament can be documented. Some scholars estimate that two and one half million people left Egypt, because there were 600,000 men plus their wives and children. *
* "And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children." -- Exodus 12: 37
... there was not one feeble person among their tribes. Psalm 105: 37
There is always something obviously wrong when members of the Church are weak and sickly and people are dying prematurely. If God can take two and a half million from Egypt without one feeble person among them, then what is there He cannot do in the day in which we live? Will God not do as much, if not more, in this age of Grace than He did in the time of the Law? This is a greater day to be alive than were the days of Moses. **
* * "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." Acts 13: 38, 39
Jesus Christ arose from the dead, the holy spirit is in the Christian people with great potential power.
The children of Israel had been in Egypt for four hundred years and had been terribly mistreated by the Egyptian slave masters.
And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. -- Exodus 2: 23, 24
And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
For 80 years Israel had been waiting for her deliverer to appear.
Come ... and I will send thee [Moses] unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. Exodus 3: 10
And God brought them out under the leadership of a man called Moses. Moses became God's spokesman; and in preparation for the freeing of the enslaved Israelites, God instructed the people through His spokesman.
Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying ... they shall take to them every man a lamb .... " kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses .... And they shall eat the flesh in that night .... ... it is the Lord's passover. -- Exodus 12: 3, 6-8, 11
Follow the sections of each Scripture to get the gist of the context. Its not difficult.
God gave His Word; the results followed those who heard and believed.
God said to Moses that he should tell the people to do two things: (1) take the blood of the lamb and sprinkle it on the lintel and the side posts of the door and (2) eat the flesh. The blood and the flesh were equally important, equally significant, so far as the Word of God and the people of Israel were concerned. It was the Lord's Passover.
I want you to note something else. When the Lord passed over Egypt and the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain, God protected the homes of the children of Israel because of the blood they sprinkled on the lintel and side posts. Only the blood protected them. The account in Exodus does not mention anything about seeing a carcass or the flesh of the lamb laying outside the door. If any Hebrew father had said, "Oh, that Word of God which Moses is speaking is nonsense; I don't believe in that kind of stuff. It's foolish to kill a lamb and sprinkle the blood on our door lintel, and then think the destroyer will not come. I will not do it. I refuse to listen to Moses; he cannot be God's man." If the father had actually believed this, the eldest son of that family would have died along with the firstborn of the unbelieving Egyptians.
After affording protection to the children of Israel by the shedding of blood, what was the purpose of the command, " ... Eat the flesh ... "? God told them to eat the flesh of the lamb so that their physical needs would be met. Looking at those Hebrews that night in Egypt, they did not appear changed on the outside. But something had happened because the Israelites acted upon God's Word.
Believing is indicated by acting upon what God has promised. The Hebrew people led by Moses demonstrated believing. God gave them physical wholeness when they ate the flesh of the lamb, and literally spared their lives because they followed His directions by sprinkling the blood. Not one second before they ate the lamb did they receive wholeness. But, that evening when they ate the flesh of the lamb, whose blood they had sprinkled on the lintel and the door posts, they ate physical health to themselves. The destroyer passed over without harming the obedient Israelites, and the next morning everyone was whole in every way.
These people acted upon the Word of God as it was spoken by Moses. Some of you are saying, "Well if there were a Moses today, I would believe." Would you? Whenever there is a man of God speaking the Word of God, you have the absolute Word. When I am preaching the gospel, I am God's man with His power in me, and everyone believing the words that I speak gets results when he acts upon them. This the Word promises.
Just as the blood of the lamb was the covering for the sins of the children of Israel, so the blood of Jesus Christ was shed for sin. The body of Christ was offered for the consequences of sin (that is, sickness, disease and want) just as the eating of the flesh was the healing for the physical needs of the children of Israel.
... Himself [Jesus] took our infirmities [unwholeness], and bare our sicknesses. Matthew 8: 17
These two things Jesus did for us for He is our Passover.
For even Christ our passover is sacrified for us. I Corinthians 5: 7
In the record of Exodus 12, Israel was beginning a journey from the land of Egypt, the land of slavery, to the promised land. In that journey one can find a true comparison to the journey of every person today. It depicts the journey a Christian may take from the time of slavery, defeat and frustration to the more abundant life. The only difference is that the children of Israel looked forward to the time of the cross of Jesus, while we look back to the accomplishments in the cross of Jesus.
How we have neglected to reach God's people with this truth about Jesus' bearing our sickness. We have taught that Jesus bore our sin but have neglected to teach the other half - that He " ... bare our sicknesses." The Word of God is clear regarding these two definite parts in the death of Jesus. I am not preaching a new doctrine, I am not teaching a new gospel; I am teaching the gospel that Peter, Paul and the rest of the apostles taught and preached which brought deliverance to the believers. I believe in the complete work of Jesus Christ, not only for salvation from sin but salvation from sickness as well. If Peter can say, " ... In the name of Jesus Christ ... rise up and walk," so can I, so can your pastor, so can you because The Word says so. We are only limited to the extent that we limit the Word of God in us. He, Jesus Christ, bore our sickness and our sin.
The elements of the Passover for Israel are equivalent to Holy Communion for the Church. The Passover lamb had two important parts: blood and flesh. So also, the death of the lamb of God had two elements: blood and flesh, symbolized in Holy Communion by the cup and the bread.
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? -- I Corinthians 10: 16
I Corinthians 10: 16 has the two elements so clearly depicted; yet for years I missed the great physical healing power in Holy Communion. I always believed that "the celebration of the Lord's Supper has ever been regarded by the church as the innermost sanctuary of the whole Christian worship," as set forth in our Communion liturgy. But I had not been taught in the churches or seminaries I attended that the body of Jesus was given: for my physical wholeness, although the Bible says it is so. Sickness has come upon the Church even though we partake of both elements because we have failed to properly discern the Lord's body.
Who [God] forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases. -- Psalms 103: 3
There are two parts: sin and disease, one is removed by the blood of the lamb and the other by the flesh of the lamb.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53: 5
This passage prophesies the accomplishments of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. Again, note the two elements: forgiveness and healing. Wholeness has two parts: spiritual and physical.
There are seven different names for God depicting His nature in the Old Testament. One of the seven is Jehovah Rapha which is Hebrew, meaning, ... I am the Lord that healeth thee," as given in Exodus 15: 26.
An integral part of the nature of God is physical healing. The Lord, at the time the children of Israel marched out of Egypt, gave them the promise, "I am the Lord that healeth thee." He is still the same Lord today. Satan causes sickness and disease. God made available salvation and healing.
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. I Peter 2: 24
While Jesus had walked here upon earth demonstrating the will of God, the time came for the fulfillment of that which is recorded in II Corinthians.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. -- II Corinthians 5: 21
Jesus who was without sin, was made sin for you and for me, "that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. "
When describing the love shown at the crucifixion of Jesus, words fail. Jesus, the Son of God, without any sin - who did nothing but good for people, healing their broken bodies and giving them God's Word - now was to be crucified by them. They beat Him and platted a crown of thorns to put on His head. They spit in His face and struck Him. Finally, they led Him up that rugged road to Calvary.
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull .... * -- John 19: 17
* "And he [Jesus] bearing his cross" is the phrase from which has been inferred that Jesus bore the wooden cross. This does not agree with the clear record in the other three Gospels. They plainly stipulate that Simon of Cyrene bore the wooden cross from the door of the Judgment Hall.
The cross Jesus bore was composed of everything that was against us.
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. -- Colossians 2: 14
It was that physical punishment which He went through that bought our healing. In Isaiah 53: 5 we read, "with [by] his stripes we are healed," and in I Peter 2: 24, "by whose stripes we were healed." Looking forward to the cross, Isaiah said that "we are healed." Peter looking back said, "by whose stripes we were healed [past tense]."
At the end of His earthly life when they were beating Him and scourging Him, Jesus in His physical body was paying the price for the physical wholeness of mankind. When He allowed His body to be beaten and scourged, Jesus was redeeming us from sickness and disease. Not His body, but His blood was spilled at Calvary for the remission of sin.
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. -- Matthew 26: 28
The term "shed blood" is a figure of speech and does not mean literally "to bleed," but that the life has gone from the blood. Jesus' blood was shed - He died - for the remission of sin, not for sickness.
Jesus was our complete substitute. He was our Passover. He was slain for us. Instead of having to live under the curse of the law, we now are free from that curse. We now live by grace through believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
When you and I believe and know our sonship rights in Christ, and when we know and believe in the total significance of Holy Communion, we will no longer tolerate sickness. Sickness and sin lose their power over us when we properly discern the Lord's body and blood.
The cup in Holy Communion represents the blood of Jesus Christ; the bread represents the body of Christ. Since Jesus bore my sin and sickness on Calvary's cross, then when I come to the Communion in remembrance of Him and eat of that bread and drink of that cup I have healing and forgiveness of sins because "his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree ... by whose stripes ye were healed."
The Lord Jesus first instituted this new covenant of Holy Communion in symbolizing His blood and His body.
... That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. -- I Corinthians 11: 23-25
The Corinthian church was admonished to continue celebrating the Lord's supper. After giving each element, the Scripture says, "this do in remembrance of me." It is not just the "doing," but "doing in remembrance of Christ."
To have remembrance of anyone or anything, we must first have knowledge concerning that person or thing. We must know what Christ accomplished by his death before we can have a remembrance of the results of His suffering and death for us. Acting upon the promise of God brings the result that God said it would.
The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him - who adheres to, relies on and trusts in Him - will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed. -- Romans 10: 11 (The Amplified New Testament)
Go to the communion table knowing that your sins are forgiven and that by His stripes you were healed. It does not depend upon the feeling you may or may not have; it depends upon the accomplishments of Jesus Christ.
As the bread is served to you, remember that Christ said, "This is my body which is broken for you." By believing, receive and thank God for your physical as well as spiritual wholeness.