Monday, April 2, 2012
The Lord's Supper
Mat 26:26 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. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
In two days, our church observes Communion, The Lord's Supper. Oh, how we look forward to this important, inspiring service.
Varying denominations have different takes on Communion. We feel we have to be strictly biblical when it comes to observing something so important. We always observe Communion on the Wednesday night prior to Resurrection day, since Jesus was most likely crucified on a Thursday. In keeping with the actual schedule of Christ's week of passion, we feel it would have been on a Wednesday night that He instituted His Supper.
Admittedly, we cannot be completely dogmatic about some of these things, as trusted Bible scholars cannot come to agreement in totality. But we must honor our biblical convictions.
A few thoughts...
*We always partake of this ordinance in the evening. It is called the Lord's Supper. If He had instituted the Lord's breakfast, perhaps we would observe it in a morning service.
*We are careful who partakes. It is the Lord's Supper, not ours. Therefore it is for those who can truly recognize the meaning of the supper, saved, scripturally baptized believers. The ordinance is for the church, not for unaffiliated people who need to feel good about themselves by partaking in a religious act.
*We don't observe communion every week, or even once a month. We want it to be very special, not ritualistic. When the Bible says, "as oft as ye do it" does not mean to do it often.
*The elements are unleavened bread and unfermented juice from the vine. Leaven and fermentation are a type of sin. Since these elements represent the body and blood of the sinless Savior, there is no place for leaven or fermentation. There is no argument concerning the unleavened bread, but how can we not see the incongruity of employing fermented wine in the same celebration? Biblically ignorant persons like to quip, "But Jesus drank wine!" I beg to differ. In relation to the Lord’s Supper, it is referred to as “the cup” and “the fruit of the vine” but never as “wine.”
*The elements are purely symbolic. They do not turn into the literal body and blood of Christ when a bell sounds. They merely represent to body and blood of Jesus
*The Lord's Supper is an ordinance, like baptism. It is not a sacrament. There is no saving grace imparted to those who partake. We observe Communion in remembrance of our Savior, not to be saved.
*The Lord's Supper prompts us to look forward to the time when we sit with Jesus in heaven at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. He said that He would not partake of the fruit of the vine until we could do it together in heaven.
Having related our procedures concerning Communion, I hasten to add that this observance is something very positive, retrospective and introspective. It is a powerful service which motivates us to deepen our relationship to the Lord.