Summary: Communion, The Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist. Ordinance, fellowship, sacrament. Communion means something different to each one of us and to all of us together. But what about after supper?
COMMUNION 2 -- AFTER SUPPER
The celebration of Communion or the Eucharist as some refer to the practice of commemorating what is also called the Lord’s Supper, has different meanings in the spiritual lives of each one of us. It is a personal experience of sitting at the supper table with Jesus Christ and each one of us experiences that in our own way. However, there is also a dimension of fellowship of the Body of Christ in which we share this experience with one another. That being the case, there are meanings in the spiritual life of the Body in which we should share with a common experience and consistent understanding.
Let us study again the Word of God as it relates the story of the Lord’s Last Supper with His disciples. Let us observe not only what they did during the celebration of this last Passover with their Lord, but continue to observe what they did when the feast was concluded, as they went out to Gethsemane, and when they scattered at the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. What happened after supper?
I. BEFORE SUPPER
A. The Disciples Make Preparation for the Passover Meal.
B. Judas Makes Preparations to Betray Jesus.
II. DURING SUPPER -- AT THE TABLE
A. Jesus and His Disciples Partake of the Meal.
B. The Disciples Dispute Over Which Was the Greatest.
C. Jesus Washes the Feet of His Disciples.
D. Jesus Announces the Betrayer in Their Midst.
E. Jesus Warns the Disciples and Predicts Peter’s Denial.
III. THE MEAL
A. The Passover Feast -- A memorial of when the death angel “passed over” Israel when he slew all the firstborn of Egypt.
B. Each element of the meal is symbolic of a part of the story of the Deliverance and Exodus of Israel.
C. The lamb is the sacrifice and provided the blood for the doorposts.
The unleavened bread symbolized the haste in which they had to leave.
The wine represented the promises of God, joy and blessing.
The bitter herbs reminded them of the bitter experience of bondage in Egypt.
The salt water represented the tears of the people.
The hard-boiled eggs are symbolic of new life, growth, new hope.
The maror (chopped apples, nuts, wine, spices) symbolized the mortar and bricks without straw.
D. Jesus institutes the memorial of His death in the sharing of the bread and wine.
The bread representing His body which was given for us, and the wine representing His blood of the covenant which was shed for us.
IV. THE TEACHING
A. The Basin and the Towel -- an example of humility and service.
B. The Bread and the Wine -- symbols of Jesus body and blood to be offered.
C. Jesus must leave but is coming back for us (John 14).
D. The Commandment to Love One Another (John 14).
E. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only way to God (John 14).
F. Jesus teaches about the Holy Spirit and promises to send Him (John 14).
V. AFTER SUPPER
A. The Vine Life (John 15).
B. Jesus will leave but will send the Holy Spirit; Jesus predicts the scattering of the disciples (John 16).
C. The High Priestly Prayer (John 17).
D. The Garden of Gethsemane (John 18).
E. The Betrayal and Arrest.
F. The disciples scatter and leave Jesus alone. Peter and John follow.
G. Peter’s denial, remorse, subsequent restoration by Jesus.
VI. WHAT DO WE DO AFTER SUPPER?
A. Traditional family supper at the table.
B. The Lord’s Supper (The Last Supper).
We do little in the way of preparation for the Lord’s Supper, little enough of proper consideration during the symbolic meal, and little or nothing of consequence after leaving the Lord’s Table.
C. Communion has deep meaning and purpose.
At the table of the Lord the experience of some includes:
2. Expression of love and devotion.
3. Demonstration of fellowship, unity, loyalty.
4. Receipt and extension of forgiveness.
5. Giving of thanks.
6. Religious ceremony, ritual or tradition.
7. However to some, it means nothing.
D. What do we do during and after the Lord’s Supper?
E. Fellowship dinners.
1. Monthly fellowship.
2. Specific events, fundraisers.
3. Other celebrations, weddings.
VII. JUST A FREE MEAL OR GENUINE FELLOWSHIP?
A. John 6:26 Jesus rebuked the people because they sought Him for a free meal.
B. What is our motive in attending Communion? Fellowship dinners?
(See John Piper: “Idolatry, The Lord’s Supper, and the Body of Christ”.)
C. Reconciliation -- each one to the Lord and each one to another.
D. Paul admonished us in 1 Corinthians 10:15-22 that we “can not be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils”. How can we possibly be “partakers of the table of devils”? Although we may not today participate in the pagan feasts to which Paul referred and with which the Corinthians were all too familiar, we have our own modern and unique versions of idolatry.