My 5 year old came home from school yesterday with a fever. We wrapped her up in her doona, made her comfortable on the couch, and we prayed for her. She got worse. By the time dinner was served she was lying on the floor moaning. She said she couldn’t get up.
It was time for Jesus’ Medicine!
It might surprise you to learn that in the cupboard we have some divine medicine that is super-effective for healing. It goes by the name of communion, which last night meant Ribena and pita bread. This is what the Bible says about communion:
“Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Cor 11:26)
Do you know what it means to proclaim the Lord’s death? It means we are proclaiming that Christ’s body was scourged for our healing and his blood was shed for our forgiveness.
Most people understand that Jesus died for our sins. But he also died to deliver us from all the effects of sin, including sickness and disease.
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows… and by his wounds we are healed.” (Is 53:4-5)
When we take communion we are proclaiming his death which brought us life – abundant, healthy life. To take communion when you’re sick is to exercise your God-given faith. It’s like saying, “I don’t identify with these symptoms. I identify with Jesus who was wounded that I might be healed.”
When those sickness symptoms try and tell you that you are not going to be healed, don’t agree with them. Say instead, “Jesus paid for my healing. I have a right to healing.” Command those lying symptoms to go. Confess God’s word over those symptoms. “Surely he took up my infirmities.”
But what about the other part of that scripture in 1 Corinthians 11, the bit that warns against taking communion “in an unworthy manner”?
When I started leading Island City Church in the late 1990s, I used to wonder about this passage. I wondered whether we should be offering communion to sinners who happened to be visiting the service. Are sinners worthy of communion?
You know what? It’s silly to withhold communion from unworthy people. Christ died for unworthy people! It is unworthy people who most need to hear Christ’s death proclaimed. When I realized this it set me free. Communion went from being solely a time of worship and became an opportunity to preach the good news. Since then I have also come to see communion as an opportunity for healing miracles. The result is that Jesus is worshipped even more.
So last night we took communion as a family right before dinner. Stina immediately perked up, like within a minute. She went to her seat and wolfed down her meal. Then she had seconds which she rarely does. She was her usual cheerful self. And when she went to bed she thanked Jesus for healing her.
If you’re reading this and you’re sick, get something red to drink and something bready to eat – it really doesn’t matter what the symbols are made of – and proclaim the victory that Christ won at the cross.