The Lord's Supper
aymon de albatrus
“And when He had given thanks, He broke 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 you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come.” (1Co 11:24-26)
Sacrifices to God where expressions of people with their gods on the basis of a offered and accepted sacrifice. This was done usually in the god's "house" as part of some sort of covenant instituted by their lords. Even Israel had similar procedures and it was prohibited to them to participate at sacrificial meals to other gods for that would have meant alliance with other gods Exo 34:15.
The sacrificial meals of Israel witnessed the exclusive union between Yahweh and His people and no one else, These where joyous happenings, but sometimes abused Isa 28:8.
Similarly the sacrifice of Paschal at Easter time in the New Testament as instituted by our Lord was taken with the sacrificial lamb that pointed to the sacrifice of God's lamb, Christ Joh 1:29.
The New testament gives to the Paschal the typical significance, but it sees in it not only the liberation from the slavery of Egypt but also a sign and a seal of liberation from the slavery of sin and the communion with God through the promise Messiah in the Old Testament 1Co 5:7.
It was in connection of the Paschal that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper using the same elements, these being the natural transaction.
The blood represents life (Lev 17:11) and there in no remission of sin without the spilling of the blood of the victim that atones sin: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Heb 9:22). In the New Testament drinking the ceremonial wine represents the receiving spiritually life from Christ's blood. The Bread represents the sacrifice of the lamb that is Christ, the lamb of God that was sacrificed once for all (Heb 10:10-12) and now no additional earthly sacrifices are required. The bread is nutritional like the lamb but there is no more sacrifice of blood on earth for it is not needed as Jesus is now in the heavens offering His Holy blood as perpetual atonement for His people (Mat 1:21).
The Lord's Supper is a Sign and a Seal
It is the symbolic representation of the death of our Lord on the cross. The words "my blood, which is shed for you" and "my body which is given for you" means sacrificial death of Jesus for the benefit of His own people, they deserved death but He died on their stead,
Believers participate in the Christ crucified, not only in the elemental symbols. Eating the "flesh" of the Lord and drinking His "blood" we appropriate symbolically the benefits assured by the death of Jesus Joh 6:53,
This act gives Life, strength and joy to the soul. As the bread and the wine nourish and invigorate the body, so Christ sustain and vitalises the soul of His people Joh 6:54,
The sacrament is symbolic also in the union between believers, they being members of the mystical body of Christ,
It a sign for the unbelievers and the word demonstrating that the believers are now belonging forever to the Family of God and set apart for the work of the Lord Eph 2:10.
The great love of Jesus is sealed to the believers revealed in the fact that He gave Himself for us to the atrocious death on the cross. His people participating to the Lord's Supper know to be the object of this incomparable love,
It personally assures that every promise and the riches of the Gospel are ours by the divine gift, they are our possession,
It is a signet that confirms that salvation is in our possession Heb 7:5,
This seal declares our Faith in Christ as our Saviour, Lord and Master, promising solemn alliance to Him as our supreme King, promising a life of obedience to His divine commandments,
“In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,” (Eph 1:13).
10 POINTS ABOUT THE COMMUNION OF THE LORD:
The Communion of the Lord has two primary aspects:
a. Our union and belonging to Christ Jesus
b. Sealed in the Family of God
Every time we partake of the Communion we are not only witnessing and remembering the vicarious death of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection but we also witnessing our membership in the Kingdom of God. The Lord said that as often as we take Communion we remember His sacrifice for us, and surely, we want to remember His sacrifice as often as possible to bring Him much Honour, so weekly Communion is the very least, and if we really realise the infinite sacrifice Jesus did for us, how can it possibly be a routine???
Those that are not in Christ have no part of this Communion and thus it is totally meaningless for them to partake in it,
Those that belong to the Family of God have taken the surname of "Christ Jesus",
The same principle applies to the earthly families; each family has the same surname of belonging. Modern women that do not take the surname of their husbands are excluding themselves from his family demonstrating their independence and rebellion,
The members of the same family eat together, those who exclude themselves from this demonstrate that they do not belong to this family,
We that are in Christ cannot exclude ourselves from the Communion of the Lord, for we are no longer our own and are no longer alive but dead to ourselves and have been purchased at the high price of Jesus’ blood and are His slaves Gal 2:20,
Who is in Christ must take the Communion as often as possible for it is a command of our Lord ,
Independently of our personal perceptions on the state of our hearts; for even though we may have a problem with a brother or sister, or even with God, Christ died for us FOREVER and we belong to the family of God FOREVER and there is nothing we can do to exit It. If we do not take the Communion because of our perceived "importance" we are behaving in a haughty and rebellious way and offend badly the Lord that gave His precious holy blood for us, and we are considering ourselves not of His sheep, but we are rebellious and antagonistic. Mat 5:23,24 has nothing to do with the communion of the Lord for we are not bringing any offerings to Him but HE IS GOD’S GIFT to us. If you have some issue with a brother, just make a prayer of repentance, take the Communion and after fix things up with him,
Young people (say around 10) that are conscious of belonging to the Lord have the duty and right to partake in the Communion.
What is the purpose of the Holy Communion? Jesus Himself declares it: “For as often as you may eat this bread, and drink this cup, you solemnly proclaim the death of the Lord, until He shall come.” (1Co 11:26)
With the Communion we are announcing the death of the Lord, and
Await His return in Faith with much joy. Proclaiming the death of the Lord has many implications
First of all it proves that there is only ONE Lord.
A Lord that has truly lived and has died (incarnation),
A Lord that has resurrected and will come back soon (real God),
A Lord that has power over death and thus He is truly God,
We have then hope that we shall also resurrect like Him for we believe in His words and are His disciples,
We celebrate (as commanded) His death, not His birth for the power is in His death for us, not in His birth that He did not ask to celebrate. Unfortunately many Christians have been seduced by the world corrupted by the evil one and blindly celebrate His birth, (pagans)
Whosoever participates in His death witnesses that in fact the Lord is his Lord,
This ties in very well with His other commandment, to be baptised: "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:4)
By this we know that it not us that live but Christ in us Gal 2:20,
And finally, as we take the Supper of the Lord together, we witness that we are all His disciples, brethrens and citizens of the Kingdom of God.
We are awaiting His return in Faith because:
We believe in His holy words and have His Spirit,
We desire with much desire to be with Him,
He so commanded, and
This is the evidence of our salvation, in Him. Amen