Communion bread is symbolic of the body. We often translate this as the body of Christ; however, the body, as illustrated in Ephesians, is the church. The Lord is the head of the body. Talking of the body, we are laying aside individuality and speak collectively as a church (Ephesians 4:15-16). When we take the bread and eat it in remembrance of the body, we are consuming communion in remembrance of the church – not the building, not the people you see every Sunday morning, not the Wednesday night small study group, nor the group of ‘active participants’ in your congregation. We consume communion in remembrance of the body as a whole and how we are a small portion of something much larger.
The wine is symbolic of the blood that has been shed for the church as a whole. Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish.” Individually we are part of the body in which our Christ died on the cross and rose again. He did it to sanctify and present the church clean, without spot or wrinkle. He died so we the body could be holy and blameless.
The Bible promises of the return of Jesus to be the head of the Church. The symbolism found in Matthew 25:1-13 is that of a wedding; the sacrament of marriage between Jesus and the Church. We are also told that Jesus will take part in communion with us in his Father’s Kingdom (Matthew 26:29). As we take communion, perhaps we should toast to celebrate the union between the Lord and the Church, like the best man would toast the groom during a wedding reception.
We take the bread being only a small part of the whole, and we take the wine in remembrance of the new covenant. Take the wine and offer a toast, tell the story of The Man who died on the cross for my sins, for our sins; remember He rose to the heavens above; and remember He will return again. We can conclude our toast with thanks for everlasting life in paradise due to the sacrifice of our Lord God Almighty.