THE LORD'S SUPPER
Jesus established The Lord's Supper.
It is the name given to the meal that Jesus ate with His disciples the night before He was crucified. The supper started as a Passover Meal but Jesus, Himself changed the ceremony to a memorial service to be kept by His disciples until His return as promised.
Jesus used as symbols, bread and wine of the prepared Passover Meal. The unleavened bread was a reminder to Israel of the exodus from Egypt. Jesus associated the bread with His Body. The cup of wine stood for His blood. The object of the symbolic Passover ceremony pointed to His death on The Cross. He gave His Life for sinners to be reconciled to God.
His own blood which was poured out for many, was for the promised agreement, an inauguration of a New Covenant between God and man. Only through His death, He Himself could be the bonder of a relationship between God and mankind.
The Lord's Supper is a celebration done as Jesus commanded, in remembrance of the Love of Christ shown to mankind by His atoning death. The Lord's Supper became an act of worship amongst The Body of Christ that began after Pentecost, which was the coming of The Holy Spirit to the Church.
Christians who eat bread and drink the wine, symbolic of Christ's Body and Blood are not to participate in any Jewish or pagan sacrifices. They are to ensure that they worthily partake of The Lord's Supper in genuine fellowship with other believers.
Jesus confirmed Himself the fulfilment of the eternal New Covenant, made with God through His Blood. It is the fulfilment of The Passover Feast which God had commanded the Israelites to commemorate, to remind them of the slain lamb and its blood that was smeared on the doorpost of all their homes in Egypt as protection from divine judgement, at the time of the exodus from the country that had enslaved them. All who were protected by the blood of the lamb did not die as judgement came upon Egypt.
Jesus was God's Passover Lamb and He became the Christian's Passover Lamb and The Lord's Supper is a remembrance of a Christian's own exodus from the bondage and slavery of sin.
Jesus correctly adapted the Jewish Passover Feast for The Church.
He was The Paschal Lamb of God, who was sacrificed for both Jew and Gentile alike, who accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour and believe who He said He is.
The Old Testament Passover Feast prefigured in every detail the time when Christ, The Lamb of God would suffer, bleed and die on The Cross for the remissions of sin.
Both The Old Testament Passover Feast and The New Covenant is connected with The Lord's Supper.
The Israelites of the Old Testament were provided for with bread (manna) and water miraculously during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. They were fed and watered in the natural. Believers of Christ in the New Covenant are spiritually nourished, fed and watered.
Jesus taught that He was the Spiritual food, Bread from heaven. The Lord's Supper is part of the worship offered to God as praise and thanksgiving. It is not a repetitious sacrifice of Christ at Calvary's Cross but a proclamation of His death, once and for all, for the sins of mankind until He returns.
To partake of The Lord's Supper, a person must believe the proof of God's Word that Jesus' death was sufficient for the sin of mankind and receive forgiveness by The Grace of God.
Christians obey Christ's command and maintain The Lord's Supper, for it distinguishes Christian belief from false religions which are of works. All the Glory is given to God. It leads into the full knowledge of redemption through Jesus Christ.
It is participating of the commemoration and remembrance of Jesus Christ and all the benefits that resulted to Christians. In the early church, believers would include the sacrament in an ordinary meal, which was not necessarily wrong, as long as it was done in a worthy charitable manner.
The Bible clearly states that unworthy partakers are guilty of sinning against Christ, against the sacrifice of His Body and His Blood, which is not to be taken lightly and trodden underfoot.
A person should test the attitude of their own heart and actions and be aware of the significance of The Lord's Supper, symbolising the crucified body of Jesus Christ and the Blood of Christ which is a Divine Covenant.
The Holy Spirit helps a person examine themselves to be worthy partakers in The Lord's Supper, also The Ten Commandments are a good reminder and no bitterness or grudges should be held against others.
Once sins are remembered before God, repentance and forgiveness are needed. If Christians eat and drink The Lord's Supper unworthily, they place themselves in danger of sickness and death. This is not an eternal judgement, but discipline judgement.
Members of the Body of Christ come together repenting of sin, forgiving one another, which strengthens and unites in harmony those in The Body of Christ. Christians are given eternal life because of the suffering and death of Jesus for them. Children who partake of The Lord's Supper should be taught the significance of the commemoration.
The Lord's Supper is also observed as Christians look forward in expectation of the 2nd Coming of Christ. The Lord's Supper is not to be a reminder of sin's committed, nor is it to be abstained from untill a person feels worthy. It is a memorial of Christ dying on the Cross, and not a time of dwelling in guilt of sins. Once sin is confessed He is faithful and just to forgive sin and to cleanse all unrighteousness. The Lord's Supper is never to be taken lightly and casually.
The partaker is assigned of truly being 'in Christ' and knowing that the Blood of Christ has removed the sin and the guilt.
The Lord's Supper is His, not the believer's.
Partaking of The Lord's Supper does promote repentance and worship. It is a time of rich spiritual blessing. Through repentance Christians gain Justification, which is the act of God freeing believing sinners from the guilt and penalty of sin, which is justification (just as if I never did it).
Repentance is acknowledging and admitting as Christians that forgiveness is needed, for to sin, is to sin against God. There is wilful sinning and unintentional sin that needs to be repented of.
There is original sin and acting sins. Original sin is the corruption of the fallen nature of mankind as the result of the rebellion in the Garden of Eden. Actual sin in acts that are committed against a commandment of God in deed, word, thought or desire. Committing actual sin will separate the person from God. It is because of the Blood of Jesus Christ that people can be reunited with God.
God provided His Son, Jesus Christ to have
upon Him the sin of mankind and the punishment.
At Passover time Jesus Christ was sacrificed. The Lord's Supper is for thanksgiving, fellowship, harmony and unity, the separation from sin.
Formal outward practices and rituals symbolising important events, are of spiritual significance if instituted by God. The Lord's Supper is not to be empty legalism, not without inner cleanliness and real commitment. There should be no ungodly participants.
In dying for the sins of mankind, Jesus Christ fulfilled and replaced the Old Testament sacrificial system, so that all who are believers and heirs with Him have restored fellowship with God The Father.
The Atonement (the reconciliation of God and mankind) was the purpose of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and this is celebrated in partaking of The Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper
is celebrated and distinguished by Christians because Christ commanded
that it be so, to bring to remembrance The New Covenant made with God
His Blood. It is a constant reminder of the great sacrifice Christ made
with God for the redemption of mankind from sin.
P 826-827 taken from the classic work of Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah that has become one of the best know and most important references on the life of Christ ever written, especially valuable because of the author’s knowledge of Jewish lore and customs.
None of the gospels give us the very words of Christ, since these were spoken in Aramaean. The copula (something that connects or links together) ‘is’ [This is My Body,’ ‘This is My Blood’] was certainly not spoken by the Lord in the Aramaic, just as it does not occur in the Jewish formula in the breaking of bread at the beginning of the Paschal Supper.
The words: ‘Body which is given,’ or, in 1 Cor.11: 24, ‘broken,’ and ‘Blood which is shed,’ should be more correctly rendered: ‘is being given,’ ‘broken,’ ‘shed.’
The copula ‘is’ which, indeed, did not occur in the words spoken by Christ Himself, cannot be equivalent to ‘signifies’ nor can it refer to any change of substance, be it in what is called Transubstantiation or Consubstantiation.
Receiving the Bread and the Cup in the Holy Communion is, really, though spiritually, to the Soul what the outward elements are to the Body: that they are both the symbol and the vehicle of true, inward, spiritual feeding on the Very Body and Blood of Christ……. So this Cup is fellowship with Him and His dying, fellowship also in Him with one another, who are joined together in this - the seal of His Presence and its pledge, as well the promise of the bright Day at His Coming.
|SCRIPTURE Luke 22:19,20, John 1:29,36, 1Corinthians
QUESTIONS 1] How is the Lord's Supper a fulfilment of the Old Testament Passover? 2] Why do Christians celebrate The Lord's Supper? 3] What are the visible emblems of The Lord's Supper? 4] What should be done before taking part in The Lord's Supper?
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Last updated August 2017