My friend who is in his fourth year in seminary is writing a paper which involves the way various denominations view the element of bread at the Lord’s Supper. He gave me a brief synopsis.
Some see the bread becoming the actual body of Jesus Christ. Some say Christ is in and through and under the bread. Some say the bread is symbolic of Christ. Some say the bread is part of a memorial to Christ.
This is what T.L. Osborn in his book, Healing the Sick, has to say about the bread:
The bread represents the body of Christ, on which was laid the stripes by which we were healed….Many are sick or infirm because, although they partake of the Lord’s body, they do not understand it.
When Jesus said of the bread, This is my body, which is broken for you, He expected us to understand that it was on His body that the stripes by which we were healed were laid. (1 Cor.11:24.)
Some take the Lord’s Supper unworthily and are, therefore, unable to discern or appropriate with faith the Lord’s body for healing. If those in need of healing will first examine themselves and be sure that they know why Jesus Christ suffered and died, then eat the bread and drink the cup worthily as Paul instructed, they will then discern the Lord’s body with faith for their own healing.
The benefits of healing in the lacerated body of our Lamb are just as clearly taught in the scriptures as the benefits of salvation in the blood of our Lamb.
Discern the body as having been beaten and lacerated with stripes—stripes by which your sicknesses were borne and you were healed—and health will be yours. It is as certain as when you discern His blood as having been shed for you the sacrifice by which your sins were borne—and salvation is yours.
Sickness will lose its power over your body just as sin loses its power over your spirit. You will be as free from sickness as you are from sin. Christ, your substitute, bore them for you, so you do not have to bear them. By believing this portion of the word and acting accordingly, you are as free from sickness as you are from sin.
Once we take our focus off the physical element of bread and simply realize the body of Jesus (by His stripes we are healed), the Lord’s Supper becomes a very powerful meal.