What is communion and should we still do it?

Communion is a beautiful, symbolic act that Jesus instructed His followers to do in remembrance of Him. The communion table is representative of the Last Supper, during which Jesus taught His disciples about what He was about to do by giving His body and blood to save the world from sin. Luke 22:19 says, "And he (Jesus) took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them (the disciples), saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

Many denominations continue this practice with symbolic elements like grape juice and crackers or bread. It is often used as an introspective time of remembrance of Christ's work on the cross and our personal need for a Savior. It is a wonderful thing to remember Jesus in that way, though that type of humble remembrance should not start and end at the communion table.

An incorrect teaching prevalent in some large denominations is that the elements-the wine and the bread-actually become the real body and blood of Jesus Christ upon consumption. This thinking originates from the above-mentioned Scripture in which Jesus said, "This is my body..." Clearly, since Jesus was still alive and actually in the room, He was speaking symbolically. Furthermore, there is no reason for God to have believers consuming the actual flesh and blood of His Son.

The act of taking communion, while intimate and precious, must be taken symbolically just as Jesus, himself, presented it to His disciples.