Summary: The Lord’s Supper in the New Testament is deeply rooted in the occurrence of the Passover in the Old Testament. Passover: God’s act of mercy and grace to deliver from His judgment those who believed in the blood
The Lord’s Supper
March 19, 2017
Passover: God’s act of mercy and grace to deliver from His judgment those who believed in the blood
14 When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”
20 In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.” Luke 22:14-20
“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord . . . and eats and drinks judgment on himself.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
In just a little while, we’re going to take the Lord’s Supper. Some faith traditions call it communion. Some traditions call it the Eucharist. Eucharist= is the Greek word for thanksgiving, although the word is never applied in Scripture to the Lord’s Supper. Those faith traditions who call it the Eucharist normally also believe that it is a sacrament. The word sacrament= comes from a Latin word which means ‘holy.’ Those who believe in sacraments, and there are 7 of them, believe that participating in a sacrament is salvific, that is, it participating in the sacrament mediates salvation and makes you holy. This of course, is nowhere in Scripture and cannot be true. We are not saved by any action, no matter how wonderful and holy it is—as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast.”
The word communion (koinonia)=sharing something in common.We share the experience together. I was raised in a tradition that used the term communion. However, the early church called this The Last Supper or The Lord’s Supper because Jesus instituted it at the last meal He shared with His disciples on the night before He was crucified.
The Lord’s Supper in the New Testament is deeply rooted in the occurrence of the Passover in the Old Testament. You might recall that the book of Exodus opens up with the Hebrews living in Egypt. In modern day parlance, they were immigrants. They had left the Promised Land of Canaan, modern day Israel, because of a drought and ended up in slavery in Egypt. For four hundred years they longed to return to their homeland. Finally Yahweh raised up Moses to deliver His message: “Let My people go!”
But Pharaoh wouldn’t listen. So God began to bring plagues on this most powerful nation in the world. Each plague corresponded to an idol or false god that the Egyptians worshipped. Yahweh was proving He was more powerful than any and all of their gods. The final plague was The Death Angel who would be the messenger sent to judge the Egyptians because of the hardness of their hearts. The death angel was going to bring death to the 1st born son and the 1st born of the flocks & herds. You’ve heard me teach on the Principle of First Fruits: that God expects us to give Him the 1st and the best; not what’s left over but off the top. He takes that seriously.
So God told Moses to tell the people, “Take the blood of an unblemished lamb and spread the blood on the doorposts of your house and your 1st born will be saved.” Those that believed the word of the Lord, those who responded in faith, were spared the ravages of the Death Angel. Of course none of the Egyptians believed, and the land was filled with the bodies of 1st born children and 1st born herds and flocks. (clip from “The 10 Commandments) In response, Pharaoh let the Hebrews go. The Hebrews had to get out so fast that they didn’t have time to make bread the way the normally did, putting yeast in the dough and letting it rise. That would take too much time, so they made the dough, hastily through it on an iron grate that they cooked much of their food on(pic of matzo), packed it away, and headed for the Red Sea. This whole event is called the Passover.