Summary: By first looking at the mechanics of the Lord’s Supper, we can then move on to understand the truths associated with it.
The Lord’s Supper: A Spiritual Banquet
1. Mark’s account is by far the shortest account of the Lord’s Supper. Even Paul’s account in I Corinthians 11 is longer.
The Lord’s Supper has always been an important and distinctive part of Christian worship. Early in church history, however, it became over-emphasized and eventually became the focus. As time went on, superstition and faith were confused, and people embraced the idea that we could control the spiritual by manipulating the physical. Things like relics or crosses could ward off demons or, later, vampires.
Once we embrace superstition, we can misinterpret so much.
2. Her husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months yet she stayed by his bedside every single day. When he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he said, "You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business fell, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you gave me support. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. Well, now that I think about it, I think you're a jinx!
3. In reality, the wife’s presence was a beautiful thing. So God’s ordinances are beautiful; we must not throw out the baby with the bath water. We simply need to understand things God’s way — not try to over correct to atone for previous error.
4. The Biblical ritual known as the Lord’s Supper, Communion, Eucharist, is grounded not in medieval tradition, but Jewish backgrounds. Best understood.
5. Two rituals we call ordinances (aka sacraments) were clearly given for Jesus’ followers to practice. Baptism is our public identification for Christ and pictures that we identify with Jesus death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection. It also confesses our belief that the One God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
4. The Lord’s Supper renews our focus upon the atoning work of Jesus who allowed His body to be broken and His blood shed for our salvation.
Main Idea: By first looking at the mechanics of the Lord’s Supper, we can then move on to understand the truths associated with it.
I. The MECHANICS of the Lord’s Supper
A. Part of the PASSOVER meal [Photo 1 Passover]
1. The origin of Passover
2. Two elements were taken from the Passover meal and developed as a more frequent ritual.
B. The MATZOH (unleavened bread) & CUP were prophetic of Jesus’ atoning death (22-23) [photo 2 Matzoh]
1. The three matzohs — represent the Trinity
2. Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the ?Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
3. The third cup — the cup of redemption
4. Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.
C. This PICTURES the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf [photo 3 Jesus Sacrifice]
1. The Jews would say over the bread, “This is the bread of affliction our ancestors ate when they came from Egypt.” In the language Jesus spoke (combo of Hebrew and Aramaic), no distinction between “is” and “represents.” Jesus alters the representation of these elements of Passover.
2. Jesus said, “I am the door.” “I am the gate.” “I am the way.” “I am the light of the world.” The idea is a word picture.
3. Jesus died only once for the sins of the word; the Lord’s Supper is not a re-sacrifice of Christ, as many believe, but a remembrance.
Hebrews 9:28, “…so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
Hebrews 10:12, “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.”
4. When Jesus said, “this is my blood,” His blood had not yet been shed!
5. The best understanding: this is a picture of my blood. This represents my blood.
II. The TRUTHS Associated With the Lord’s Supper
A. The Truth of the New COVENANT [photo 4 New Covenant]
1. Individually, the New Covenant is a fresh start for us.
• Rather than doing God’s will to be accepted, God accepts us because we have accepted Jesus Christ.
• We do not first get our acts together, we come to the Lord as we are. He then helps us to get our acts together, one step at a time, so that we become accustomed to doing God’s will. And He will never disown us.
2. God writes His Law on our hearts — in other words, we have a new desire to follow Him and serve Him.