Matthew 26:26-29, Luke 22:19-20
While partaking of the Passover meal Jesus takes the bread and cup and relates them to His upcoming death. The bread is described as “My body”, and the cup is described as the “blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”. Luke’s account (22:19) hints at the ongoing memorial aspect by noting Jesus added “do this in remembrance of Me” (22:19).
In I Corinthians 5:7 Jesus is called “our Passover”. What similarities do you seem between Jesus and the Passover Lamb? What similarity do you see between the Passover Feast Meal and the Lord’s Supper (the on going memorial for Christians)?
The night of His betrayal Jesus sat down with the 12 apostles in the upper room and said, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15).
He observed the Jewish Passover meal with his apostles and then gave instructions concerning what becomes known as Lord’s Supper for Christians. (See also 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Something unique about both of these memorials (Passover and Lord’s Supper) is that they were created or instituted PRIOR to the event they commemorated. Memorials are usually created after some tragedy has occurred, sometimes remembering the heroics of people who responded to some unfortunate event.
Can you think of any other memorials that were created before the event they commemorate?
What does the fact that these were instituted prior to the event teach us about God? Consider Isaiah 46:9-10, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning…”.
During our Lord’s Supper service yesterday we asked, “What happens when we eat the Lord’s Supper?”. I don’t believe the bread and grape juice “transubstantiate” into the literal body and blood of Jesus. We understand the bread and grape juice to be reminders of the body and blood and the supper to be a simple memorial of Jesus death.
That doesn’t mean the service is just a shallow ritual. God is watching and we are remembering the greatest sacrifice ever offered – one that is more precious than life to us. We shouldn’t be “un-engaged” intellectually, spiritually, or emotionally during the communion service.
In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul warned about those who eat and drink in an unworthy manner: “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27). He says we should examine ourselves as we eat. The lesson I believe is we should make sure our heart is right with God.
So we asked, if we know our heart is not right, should we even participate in the Lord’s Supper? The best thing to do, of course would be use the time as an opportunity to change our mind and get our heart right with God.
But what if we know we are not sincere and serious about obeying
God, what if we know we are persisting in disobedience (perhaps regarding some behavior or relationship)? In such a case does 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 teach that it is best to NOT eat the Lord’s Supper? What do you think?
Does Anything Happen When We Eat The Lord’s Supper?