Bible with communion bread and juice Bible verses about Communion

17 Important Bible Verses About Communion for Christians

It is wise to understand the Bible verses about communion since this practice is an ordinance that was established by the Lord Jesus Christ. Communion is also called Holy Communion, the breaking of bread, the Lord’s Supper, or even the Lord’s table.  Jesus instituted this ordinance during what is commonly known as “The Last Supper.”

Bible Verses About Communion — The Last Supper — The First Communion

Three of the four Gospels record the Last Supper and the instruction concerning it by Jesus Christ to His disciples. This last meal that Jesus shared with His apostles before His death on the cross was memorable. The apostles did not, at that time, seem to understand the words of their friend and Master. but looking back on the actions Jesus started on that occasion, it has been practiced by Christians throughout the centuries in obedience to what Jesus instructed.

Bible verses about communion open Bible with hands holding communion cup and wafer

Here are the Scriptures that record the events concerning the Last Supper

Bible Verses About Communion from Matthew

Matthew 26:26-28

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (KJV)

Bible Verses About Communion from Mark

Mark 14:22-24

“And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.” (KJV)

Bible Verses About Communion from Luke

Luke 22:19-20

“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (KJV)

communion cup with communion bread with communion service ware in the background

Years later, in his letter to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul recounted the same event, but since he had not been present, he explained that God Himself revealed the details to him. Paul’s words match the Gospel accounts.

1 Corinthians 11:23-25

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, 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.” (KJV)

Bible Verses About Communion — New Testament verses New Covenant

Jesus, in the Gospels, knowing the future of what He was to do, including the events of the Last Supper, specifically linked “blood” with the phrase “new testament.” A testament is associated with an inheritance, which implies the death of the one giving the directions. Jesus wanted both His disciples and His followers to associate communion with His death. This new testament is also a new covenant, since after Christ arose made a new covenant, which is related to His new testament. But the word “testament,” with the connotation of death, is usually associated with communion, and the emphasis is on Jesus’ death.

Bible Verses About Communion — The Symbolism

When Jesus told His disciples at the Last Supper that they should eat the bread and drink from the cup, He told them, “This is my body” (Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, I Corinthians 11:24) and “This is my blood,” (Matthew 26:28 and Mark 14:24) He was making a symbolic connection between the physical and the spiritual. At the time, when Jesus instituted this holy practice, He had not yet had His body broken or had His blood shed.

hands holding communion cup and piece of unleavened bread

The Apostle Paul when he wrote to the believers of the early church at Corinth, understood the symbolism of the communion meal since he said in

1 Corinthians 10:16

“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?” (KJV)

Understanding the symbolism of these elements were part of the apostles’ teaching about this important practice.

Bible Verses About Communion — Salvation

The ordinance of communion is a visual reminder of what Jesus did to provide salvation for the world. Just as a person needs to internally take the bread and juice offered, so, too, does each individual need to personally accept the salvation that Jesus offers in order to gain eternal life. This was what Jesus meant when He said in

John 6:53-54

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (KJV)

Jesus was not instituting the practice of cannibalism. Rather, He was saying that, in order to be a Christian, an individual must identify and accept His sacrifice, His broken body, and His shed blood. It is because of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection that we today can receive eternal life through what He did for us in His death. The practice of communion is a memorial that causes us to remember His great sacrifice for us.

Bible Verses About Communion — Past, Present, and Future Reminder

The communion meal is a look back when Jesus died on the cross. It is a reminder to each person who partakes of the salvation they received from Christ. It is also a reminder about Christ’s future return for His people. The Apostle Paul pointed this out in

1 Corinthians 11:26

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (KJV)

Bible Verses About Communion — The Elements

The simple meal has only two foods: bread and juice. Both are real foods made to be consumed, but both are also symbolic.

The bread is a symbol of Christ’s body. The “fruit of the vine,” the liquid in the cup, is a symbol of Christ’s blood. Physically, there is nothing special about either of these foods. However, different church denominations have different beliefs on how these foods are to be presented and their representation. This special meal is all about symbolism, so the real food and the real drink used should be as close as possible to the symbols they portray.

Bread

Some churches, in serving the communion meal, use a loaf of bread that is broken and then distributed to the congregation. A loaf indicates that yeast, a leavening agent, has been used to make it. Many Bible scholars believe that leaven is a symbol for sin.

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel were commanded by God to completely rid their homes leaven in preparation for the holy event celebrating Passover, which included, among other things, eating unleavened bread and eating the flesh of the Passover lamb.

stack of unleavened bread

Exodus 12:15

“Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” (KJV)

In the New Testament, the symbolism of leaven as a picture of sin connected to the Passover is explained in

1 Corinthians 5:7

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:” (KJV)

If leaven symbolizes sin, and the bread symbolizes Jesus — the “bread of life” (John 6:48) and also the “living bread” (John 6:51) who had no sin, then in keep with the symbolism, the bread used in the communion meal should also be unleavened.

Wine or Juice?

The cup that held the liquid called “fruit of the vine,” which Jesus drank with His disciples at the Last Supper, was obviously grape derived. But the question arises: Was it pure, unfermented grape juice, or fermented wine?

To turn juice into wine, some sort of fermenting agent needs to be used. Yeast, or leaven, is added to grape juice to ferment the liquid, and turn it into wine. If the representation of yeast in the bread is symbolic with sin, then so, too, the yeast in the juice also represents sin.

red grapes with red grape juice

In this symbolic meal, neither of the real food elements should contain yeast. The communion “meal” should be unleavened bread and unfermented grape juice. Jesus said in both Matthew and Mark “This is my blood” (Matthew 26:24 and Mark 14:24).

Jesus was making a point that the liquid they were drinking represented His blood. If yeast/leaven interferes with the symbolism of the bread, it also interferes with the symbolism of the liquid. Jesus’ blood was sinless blood. Therefore, in the communion service the juice should be unfermented also.

Bible Verses About Communion — When?

The communion meal is a command of Christ Jesus to His people and is an important part of worship. But Christ did not indicate how often communion should be observed. Some churches serve communion every at every service, while other churches serve communion once a year, or even less.

What is more important than how many times this special meal is served is that it is offered. Taking communion is something that God’s people need to do in remembering Jesus’ death while they look forward to His coming again.

1 Corinthians 11:26

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” (KJV)

Bible Verses About Communion — Who Should Partake?

Communion is a very special meal, but it is also a serious and solemn practice. All of God’s people are invited to His table to remember His sacrifice for them. God wants His children to be in communication — “communion” — with Him. Just as a father calls his children to “come and eat,” and expects them to do so, so, too, does God call His people to His table to eat. But communion is a very solemn and serious thing. God, through the Apostle Paul, said in

1 Corinthians 11:27

“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (KJV)

Silhouette of woman with head bowed and hands clasped

In this world, it is expected, normal, and many times necessary to “wash up” before eating. So it is true in the spiritual world. Before coming to eat at the Lord’s table, we, too, are to examine ourselves, ask God to cleanse our heart, confess, and ask for help in forsaking willful sin — to “wash up” before God. The Apostle Paul said this in

1 Corinthians 11:28

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” (KJV)

If we have unconfessed, willful sin in our life, and we don’t want to change, we should not partake of this meal. Living in open, known, willful sin and taking communion is taking it in an unworthy manner. Sin separates fellowship from God. Living in open sin is not being in communion with God, and those who are not, should not be eating the communion meal.

Paul said in

1 Corinthians 10:21

“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” (KJV)

The Apostle Paul warns against this, and for the Christian living in sin, they are asking for God’ judgment — damnation — on them.

1 Corinthians 11: 29

“For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (KJV)

Paul continued with his warning, saying that those who insist on taking communion, even while they are defiantly sinning against God, will be chastised by God. God chastens His disobedient children by allowing them to get sick, even to the point of death, using the word “sleep.” 

1 Corinthians 11: 30

“For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” (KJV)

Paul ends his warning by telling people to judge themselves so that God does not have to judge them. The word “sleep” here is an indication of death.

hands on a hospital bed sheet - sickness/death

1 Corinthians 11:31

“For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” (KJV)

It is always a good thing to judge ourselves, to access how we are measuring up against the things God wants us to do, and not to do. This self-judgment is part of repentance and confession to God, and should be a daily habit. But this practice is even more important prior to taking communion. Here is another verse about the seriousness of the communion service.

Hebrews 10:29

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (KJV)

The practice of communion is only for God’s people. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior from hell, you are not one of His children, and you are not invited to eat at His table. Once you become His child, then, and only then, are you invited to come and dine. In fact, He wants you there, as His child, taking His food, and remembering Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary.

Bible Verses About Communion — Public or Private?

Self judgement is a private time between you and God. However, taking communion is both a private and a public matter. Since communion is served in church where you are with other Christians, they will see if you are partaking or not.

looking down at people in church pews

Your relationship with God is both private and public. Privately, you should strive to have both your heart and your actions right with God so that your public life will reflect this. Communion is a picture of your overall relationship with your Savior. Be serious about God in private and it will show publicly.

May these Bible verses about communion help you to understand and better appreciate this very special practice.

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To consider more Bible verses on specific topics, check out 36 Bible Verses for Forgiveness and Repentance KJV as well as 39 Bible Verses About Pride KJV.

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