Summary: A sermon in conjunction with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
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Pastor James May
COMMUNION (THE LORD’S SUPPER)
Matthew 26:26-28, "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
On the night before Jesus was crucified, He and the 12 disciples went into the Upper Room to observe their last meal together. From this day forward, the entire course of human history would be changed and the eternal destiny of all who would believe in Jesus Christ as the Risen Son of God would be forever sealed.
At the end of the supper Jesus picked up a piece of bread and began to institute the very first observance of Communion.
What kind of bread was used? It was unleavened bread because in all Judea, at this time of the Passover Feast, there was no other type of bread to be found. The Law of Moses had commanded that beginning on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, all leaven (yeast) was to be purged from the house of every Jew. The Law was strictly observed for if any were found, those who had it were considered as absolute transgressors and were to be cut off from the nation.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8, "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
When we come together to observe the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, we must, first of all, take the Bread into our hands. In a spiritual sense, this is where our observance must begin also. We cannot partake of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us unless we first receive Him into our heart.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. He gave his life for us that we might live. If we are to receive Him as the Bread of Life then we must humble ourselves before Him, confessing our unworthiness and sin, then ask Jesus to come into our heart as Lord and Master of our life. That’s the only way that we can pick up the Bread that is offered for us.
Jesus is represented in the unleavened bread. Leaven is a form of corruption, a yeast mixture that adds some flavor but also causes the bread to rise. Leaven is a type of sin also. It is sin in the heart of a man that causes him to be corrupted. It is sin that adds to life those things that result in death and suffering. It is sin in the heart of man that causes him to rise up against God when the heat is on, in pride and arrogance. We must clean out the sin and that can only be accomplished through trusting and receiving the Blood of the Lamb for the remission of sin.
So, the first step in observance of the Lord’s Supper is that we must cleanse our heart from sin and confess that Jesus is the Lord of our lives and the Savior of our souls. Through repentance of sin and receiving of Christ we are made ready and pick up the Bread of Life.
Jesus then blessed the Bread. No Jew would consider eating a meal without first offering thanks to the Father for His abundant blessing in providing the food that was available. To not give thanks both before and after a meal would have been a great sacrilege. This is where we get the tradition of saying grace before a meal.