Summary: This week we examine why Christians take communion.
• SLIDE #1
• The first time you walked into a church, when time for Communion, what was running through your mind?
• I was raised in a tradition where you had to get in a long, LONG line and walk up to the Priest who would put this wafer in your mouth and would give you a drink from a large cup of WINE!
• Honestly, today I do not know if I could do that. Nothing against you all, but I do not think I could drink out of the same cup as everyone else.
• We are in the midst of our series, Why Do We Do That? Today we are going to examine why we take Communion.
• Do you know that Communion has been a source of division within Christianity as well as a source of confusion for those outside of the church?
• In the early Church, in the passage we are going to spend the bulk of our time in this morning, had some divisions and stresses related to Communion.
• When Rome burned under Nero, some folks such as Tacitus, implied that Nero burned Rome himself, so Nero blamed the Christians for the fire because “These early Christians were believed to be practicing human sacrifice and cannibalism (communion). http://www.unrv.com/early-empire/nero-christians.php
• Churches throughout time have fought over the type of bread used, the number of cups used, how often are we called to take it, as well as the age old question, juice or wine.
• Today we are going to explain why we take communion, we will not dive into all the disputes over the centuries concerning communion, but rather we will examine three areas concerning communion that will help us to understand why we take communion each week at FCC.
• Let’s begin by turning to 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. We will begin with verse 23.
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Corinthians 11:23 (HCSB) For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread,
• SLIDE #3
I. The genesis of Communion. 23
• For the longest time I thought the Passover celebrated in the Old Testament as Communion in the New Testament were kind of one in the same.
• There are a lot of similarities and differences between the two celebrations.
• Passover- In the old age of the and the prophets- L.S.- In the new age of the Kingdom.
• P- Was the great festival meal of people. L.S.-Is to be the new celebratory God’s meal of God’s people.
• P- They remembered the Passover sacrifice, the exodus from Egypt, the new beginning for covenant people. L.S. - To remember the sacrificial of Jesus, bringing freedom from sin, the new covenant of the Spirit.
• P- By participating, Jews associated themselves with this salvation and covenant. L.S.- By participating, Jesus’ followers associate with his redemption and covenant.
• P- Looking back to the exodus and forward to God’s salvation. L.S.- Looking back to the cross and forward to the Kingdom.
• Paul explains that on the night He was betrayed, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it.
• The disciples, including Judas, were in Upper Room with Jesus celebrating the Passover feast.
• The Passover was a remembrance of when the Israelites were in Egypt as Moses was seeking to free them from Pharaoh. There were 10 plagues God sent upon Egypt in an effort to get Pharaoh to free His people, the first nine did nothing to change Pharaoh’s mind.
• However, the tenth and final plague was that the firstborn of ever family and animal in Egypt would die.
• God told the Israelites to spread the blood of a lamb or goat on their doorposts.
• SLIDE #4
• Exodus 12:22–23 (HCSB) Take a cluster of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and brush the lintel and the two doorposts with some of the blood in the basin. None of you may go out the door of his house until morning. When the LORD passes through to strike Egypt and sees the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, He will pass over the door and not let the destroyer enter your houses to strike you.
• Communion or the Lord’s Supper was not simply a new twist on an old celebration.
• They disciples celebrated the Passover and after they finished with the meal that accompanied Passover, Jesus begins this new celebration.
• SLIDE #5
• Luke 22:20 (HCSB) 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.
• It appears that at this time Judas had already left by this time, so he was not present at the time the Lord’s Supper, or communion was instituted by Jesus.