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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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controversy in the Christian church. And that is a very sad statement about a practice that was meant to bring us together meant and to symbolize our unity. Christ and His Disciples shared a meal as all this went on. And just in general sharing a meal builds community. But the Last Supper was a celebration of Passover. And Passover was, and is, a meal shared by a family with their closest friends. Jesus said, ‘Take this and divide it among you.’ Sharing a cup is definitely a sign of family. In a pinch at the Ball Park, Sue and I will drink out of each other’s pop can, and our kids. But we never drink out of the pop can with the guy sitting next to us. Sharing a cup is something you do with family. That is why we call the Lord’s Supper ‘Communion’. We call it Communion because 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
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