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The Last Supper

(15)

Sermon shared by Kevin Blader

April 2007
Summary: Understanding The Lord’s Supper in its Passover Context
Denomination: Disciples of Christ
Audience: General adults
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communion conveys the sense of what is going on here. When we partake of the cup we are declaring our communion that is our fellowship and oneness with one another and God. In his presentation of the Lord’s Supper, the Apostle Paul pulls this theme of oneness out of our sharing of bread as well. Paul said, ‘Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.’ [10] Our church practices open communion. Not everyone does that. But any follower of Christ is welcome to join with us at this table. If there is anything you could say about Christendom today, it is that most churches and denominations go it alone. But the ideal of the New Covenant that communion so powerfully represents is that all of God’s people are bound to one another in this Covenant. It doesn’t matter if we’re Methodist, Lutheran, or Orthodox. All believers are bound together by the New Covenant into one body. Or at least that is the way God intended it. Down through the ages God’s people have unfortunately separated themselves. But that isn’t what God intended. The ideal is we be bound together life to life.

The symbolism behind the second cup

With the last of the four cups served at Passover, we read, ‘In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’ Jesus said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.’

His death establishes the New Covenant

This reminds us that in His death the Lord was establishing a new covenant with us. Now ‘covenant’ is a very relational term. Think of two lovers coming together in the covenant of marriage. What Christ is doing for us draws us into a covenant with one another, but it also draws us into a covenant with God. The allusion harkens back to texts like, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:26-27, and others, where the Lord promised to make a new covenant with His people and give them a new spirit and heart that would urge them enable then to walk with Him, and walk in His ways. [11] That is the Spirit calling from within us. This is fulfilled in the giving of the Holy Spirit to indwell us. And whereas under the Old Covenant, faithfulness was encouraged upon God’s people from the outside, under the New Covenant the urge to be faithful comes from within us. And this covenant was sealed with Christ’s blood.

Communion serves as a memorial to what Christ has done

Jesus said, ‘do this in remembrance of me.’ We all have trouble remembering things. Sue and I have spent half an hour looking for the remote control, our keys, our glasses. I have trouble remembering telephone numbers, and names, and birthdays, and anniversaries. Just ask Sue. It is kind of interesting that of all the Gospel writers, Luke is the only one who includes the words, ‘do this in remembrance of me,’ in his Gospel. Matthew, Mark, and John all forgot to include them in their accounts. Only Luke remembered Jesus saying these words. And Luke wasn’t even at the Last Supper. Some one, maybe the Spirit, must have told Luke what Jesus said. [12] Why does only Luke have Jesus telling us, ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’ Why didn’t the men who were there, Matthew, John, mention them? Well, the answer is that even the best of us are a forgetful people.

What should we remember?

We are a forgetful people. But the
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