The Lord’s Supper today is as relevant as it was when first instituted, to turn it into a ritual takes away the reality of the individuals relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes the Lord’s Supper is not only a part of worship it is a cardinal point in our worship.
The story of the Lord’s Supper is found in Matthew ch26, Mark ch14, Luke ch22, 1Corinthians ch11 vs 17 – 34, 1Corinthians ch10 vs16 – 21. There are many truths to be seen in these sacred passages.
In Luke’s gospel and other texts we find the Passover meal taking place, this was the old covenant, the new was yet to begin.
It’s Old Testament History
The Passover was originated by God, seen in Exodus ch12.
The Passover was instituted in memory of Israel’s preservation from the last plague (death of the first born) and her deliverance from bondage. Part of it to was their adoption as the nation of Jehovah. It was an outward and inward severance from Egypt. This consecration was imparted by the Passover. It lay the foundation of Israel’s birth.
It was a new beginning v 2.
Instituted by Moses and Aaron. v 3.
There was to be a Pascal lamb v 3,4,5
It was to be a lamb of the first year (in its prime) v 5.
It was to be without blemish or spot. v 5
It was selected four days before it was sacrificed. v 3
The Lamb shall be killed in the evening. v 6
Not a bone broken. v 46
The Lamb is to be roasted with fire and eaten with unleavened bread v 8
Its blood shall be put on the door posts and lintel. v 7
When the death angel sees the blood he will pass over you. v 13
Faith was required in the sacrificial blood of the Lamb.
Moses said, ‘this is the blood of the Testament which God hath enjoined to you, Hebrews ch9 vs20.
From that time on the feast of unleavened bread which included the Passover meal at the beginning of the 7 day of the feast, was to be celebrated annually.
It’s New Testament History
Passing on into the new testament into the synoptic gospels mentioned above we find Jesus partaking in the Passover meal see Luke’s gospel ch22 V14 – v22. It was at the end of the meal that Christ instituted the new testament Lord’s supper prior to Him becoming the sacrificial lamb of God and Him superseding the old covenant.
He took unleavened bread blessed it and brake it, gave to the disciples and said ‘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 . Matthew s Gospel it adds ‘this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in REMEMBRANCE OF ME, for as often as ye eat this and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till He come’.
In Hebrews ch9 vs1 it speaks of the first covenant, the animal sacrificial system.
But remember John the Baptist when he saw Jesus, ‘Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.’ linking the old to the coming new testament.
In Hebrews chapter 9 and verse26 it says of Christ ‘but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.’ The death of the testator ratifies the new covenant. Body given, blood shed.
In 1Corinthians ch5vs7 it says ‘as ye are unleavened, for even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us’. This is the new testament. Looking back we can see the coming of Jesus Christ foreshadowed in that 1st Passover as shown above.
In Hebrews 10 v9 the author says He taketh away the first that He may establish the second. Faith in the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ the mediator of the new testament. Can you see the importance of that first Passover and it’s link to the Lord’s Passover, Him being the Lamb of God and Him establishing the new testament Lord’s supper.
There is a sacredness to communion it is meant to bring us closer to Christ.
The Corinthian problem
In 1st Corinthians ch11 vs17-34 we see just as Moses had received of the Lord so did the Apostle Paul reaffirming what the Lord had said. The Corinthians were preceding the Lord’s supper with a meal first then the bread and the wine but it had deteriorated into a fleshly sinful shambles the sacredness of the occasion had been lost, descending into fleshly carnality.
The Lord’s supper is sacred so how should we approach it?
Take an UPWARD LOOK
Remember the Lord’s supper is of Divine origin vs23,not a man made tradition.
Remember it has Divine authority, vs24 ‘this do.’ Not optional but a command.
Remember it has Divine significance, the Corinthian Church were totally disrespecting the significance of the bread and the wine, totally disregarding it’s symbolic meaning. Please take that upward look in prayer remembering His broken body and shed blood, commemorate them as a memorial of His sufferings and death for us.
Take a BACKWARD LOOK
Reading the synoptic gospels consider what it said in all 3 of them. There was the presence of the betrayer, Judas Iscariot. The Corinthian Church were betraying their Lord. They put themselves before their Lord. So wrong. May we never betray the Lord, remember His broken body and shed blood the cost of our redemption.
Take a FORWARD LOOK
In verse 26 of the Corinthian text it says ‘For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till He come’.
This tells us there is a time limit as to how long we will participate in the Lord’s supper here on earth. The doctrine of the imminence of Christ’s return.
Take an OUTWARD LOOK
In verse 33 it says ‘tarry ye one for another. The Lord’s supper is a church ordinance, a unifying, harmonising ordinance. The place where there should be no division only the peace of God.
Take an INWARD LOOK
Verses 27 – 32 ‘let a man examine himself ‘, so as not to partake of the bread and wine unworthily. We must seek forgiveness of our sins, take a critical, honest look at ourselves and set ourselves straight with Him of whom we have to do.
All these 5 looks are countermeasures against those things that would cause us to partake unworthily.
Please think on the sacredness of the Lord’s communion and it’s meaning to you.