Summary: through Holy Communion we keep central in our church and central in our life the work of Christ upon the cross…
According to "Christian Standard" – A publication dedicated to the restoration of New Testament Christianity, its doctrines, its ordinances, and its fruits. www.christianstandard.com
a recent report says,
Some congregations have dropped the communion service from the regular morning worship, just inviting those who wish to partake to go to another room for the Lord’s Supper after the service or serving it during the week.
The reasoning, I’m told, is that the strange practice of taking the loaf and cup frightens away “seekers” (formerly known as sinners).
through communion we keep central in our church
And central in our life
The work of Christ upon the cross…
The church that sets aside Holy Communion is a church that has lost its way….
I believe in communion
Tonight we are going to examine the history and symbolism of this Ordinance
Communion means “In Common”
It Is also known as
The Eucharist –TO GIVE THANKS
The Lord’s Supper – refers to the last supper…
While baptism is something of an initiation
Communion is a continuing ceremony of the entire body
Our statement says, www.ag.org
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements --bread and the fruit of the vine-- is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
a memorial of his suffering and death
1 Cor. 11:26
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
and a prophecy of His second coming
and is enjoined on all believers "till He come!"
When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.  And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
When Jesus instituted what we call communion he noted that it was part of the celebration of the Passover
History of Passover
- Israel was in slavery in Egypt
- God brought 10 plagues on Egypt because of their treatment of Israel
- Pharaoh wouldn’t listen
- The last plague was the death angel that killed all the first born in Egypt
- God told Moses to put blood on the door posts of all Israelite houses to keep the death angel away
- That night they were to have this feast in celebration of their deliverance the next day from Egypt
"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
The Passover feast was to be an ongoing celebration of God’s delivering his people
It was also a revival of the covenant God had Made with Abraham that probably looked to the people like it was all but forgotten at the time
So Israel celebrated Passover every year and it is still the biggest celebration of the year for the Jews
So the historical setting of communion is one of remembering the deliverance of the people from slavery
In a way we still celebrate the Passover
Now it is a new and improved Passover – made by Jesus
It is a feast to REMEMBER deliverance from slavery.
Only this time it is deliverance on an eternal scale
It is deliverance from death and sin
And the reason we regularly celebrate communion is because Jesus commanded us to do it “As a remembrance”
FOR THE JEW OF JESUS DAY,
To remember something was to go back in one’s mind and recapture as much of the reality of the event as possible
To truly remember the sacrifice of Christ we relive his birth, life, agony, suffering, death, as much as humanly possible.
Without offering a sacrifice again we remember his once for all sacrifice for us and rededicate ourselves to his obedient service.
And we do that ,
- The bread
- The wine
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, "The House of Bread"
bread is one of life’s most common things.
God wanted his Son to be "common".
God wanted Jesus to be available to all.
- Bread of communion is a very similar
- It is a staple item
- - It is easily shared with others, you just cut it or tear it
- In the Passover meal it was unleavened to symbolize a lack worldly influences
it is available to all
Some churches will use crackers
- Some will use flour wafers
- Some will use an actual loaf
- It doesn’t really matter because the meaning doesn’t change
In John 6:35 Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry”