1 Corinthians 11:24, “And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
The Lord Supper, as we also call Holy Communion, is a symbolic participation of the New Covenant through the flesh and Blood of Yahushua Mashiah / Christ. Just like Water Baptism, the Lord’s Supper is also an outward or physical symbol of what takes place in the spiritual realm. Matthew 26:26-28, “And as they were eating, Yahushua took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
The Lord’s Supper is the personification of the Lord’s sacrifice and New Covenant, and observing it is a command of Yahushua Mashiah / Christ to all His followers. The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion is a demonstration of what was involved in the New Covenant: The flesh and Blood of Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ. There cannot be covenant without the shedding of the blood. As the Old Testament involved shedding of the blood, so also the New covenant involved the blood, but better blood.
THE OLD PASSOVER AND COVENANT
“For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. 20 Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” 21 And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. 22 In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”
The Old Covenant involved the shedding of the blood of calves and goats as a symbol of the real thing to come through Yahushua. We need to understand that the blood of these animals didn’t remove the sins of the people of the Old Testament, it only served as shadow and pacified, pended their sins until the death of Yahushua Mashiah / Christ. The blood of Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ paid for the sins of all saints from Old Testament to the New Testament. How did that happened? The Old covenant was a shadow and symbol of what was to come. Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ had been foreordained to die for the remission of our sins before God created Adam, because God knew the end from the beginning; He knew Adam and Eve would fall into sin even before He created them, and Yahushua Mashiah / Christ had agreed to die for the remission of sins of all humanity from Adam to the last generation of the world. 1 Peter 1:19, 20, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
So, all the sins of the people in the Old Testament were debited to the account of Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ who was to come at the appointed time. It is just like a wealthy and rich man who was traveled abroad, and he told his people at home to buy and get whatever things they needed for themselves on his own account so that he would pay when he comes back. Then the people were given tickets to get what they wanted and write them on the tickets. When the rich man came back, he paid with his own credit card. The tickets the people were using before the arrival of the rich man were not credit cards, but symbol and shadow pending the time the rich man would come to pay with his credit card. In reality, all the sins of the saints of old were debited on the account of Yahushua, their forgiveness were given on the account of the blood of Yahushua who was to come at the appointed time. Yahushua came at once and paid the sins once and for all, He had not to die for Adam, Abraham, Moses at different time; He had not to die for the people in Old Testament and the people of New Testament separately, “He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:26.
Yahushua’ sacrifice paid for the sins of the people of Old Testament, for the people when He came to the world and for the people that would later come to the world, all at once.
BETTER COVENANT: NEW COVENANT OF YAHUSHUA
Hebrews 10:4, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”
The sacrifices of calves and goats could not take away sins, it could only pend sins, debit sins to the account of Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ. Then at the appointed time, Yahushua came.
“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Yahushua Mashiah / Christ once for all.”
That is the reason The Lord’s Supper had to replace the Old Testament Passover, since the blood of calves and goats being used for the Passover is of no use again, and such sacrifices are now irrelevant. Animal sacrifices or sacrifices of any kind are no longer accepted by God since the sacrifice of Yahushua, those who do sacrifices now are only sacrificing to demons.
DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME!
1 Corinthians 11:24,25, “and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken[c] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
Yahushua commanded us to observe His Supper, Holy Communion. This is a command for every Christian fellowship and denomination to regularly observe The Lord’s Supper.
THE AIMS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
Many denominations and churches today are observing Holy Communion, some on weekly, so monthly and others quarterly or yearly, but the Bible truth is that, majority of the churches observing Holy Communion are not following the biblical aim and purpose of the ordinance, and most of the believers partaking in the table do not have biblical understanding of what they are taking. Apostle Paul received the the instruction of The Lord’s Supper directly from the Lord Yahushua, and he gave the instruction to the churches. “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:23.
Apostle Paul helped us to understand the aim and purpose of taking The Lord’s Supper:
(1) To Put To Remember The sacrifice of Yahushua. “….do this in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24. When we take The Lord Supper, we remember the cost and sacrifice of out Lord Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ, lest we be forgettable and misuse the covenant.
When We Take The Lord’s Supper: (i) we remember what it costs Yahushua to pay for our reconciliation and to save us, and we can be diligent.Hebrews 10:28, 29, “Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”
(ii) we remember that we were redeemed by His blood and no longer under the bondage of old sinful life and satanic slavery. 1 Peter 1:18-21, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ/Mashiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” The blood of Yahushua gives us power over sin, over sickness and Satan; these are some of our benefits of the death of Yahushua and we should always remember to claim them.
(iii) we remember the special love of the Father and the Son for us. Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” When we put this to remembrance, we will always be grateful for His undeserved love toward us.
(2) To Proclaim Yahushua’ Death. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26.
When we take The Lord’s Supper, we are proclaiming His death, in what way?
(i) By our ways of life, we are not living for ourselves anymore, but for Him who died for us. 2 Corinthians 5:15, “And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
(ii) We preach Him who died for the sins of humanity. After we benefit from the death of Yahushua, we need to proclaim His death to others by preaching to them so they can be free also. 1 Corinthians 1:23, “But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness”
(3) To Prepare For Yahushua’ Second Coming. “….till He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26.
When we partake in The Lord’s Supper, we remember He is coming back, and we must not be found wanting. Acts 1:10, 11, “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Yahushua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” When we partake in the Lord’s Supper, we present our spiritual weaknesses to Yahushua, and ask Him to revive and renew our hearts and strength; our commitment, our prayer lives, our evangelism lives should receive new strength when we partake in The Lord’s Supper.
(4) To Examine Ourselves. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28. This is a major benefit of taking The Lord Supper, it is a great opportunity of self examination. There are some little sins and shortcomings we may overlook on daily bases and care less to correct, but when we come together at the table, we have opportunity for sober reflection for each one to examine himself. The leaders and members come together in a sober gathering to examine themselves, to settle matters, knowing fully well, that what will disqualify us from taking The Lord Supper will definitely hinder us from making heaven. Each man examines himself, and the fellowship examine themselves together; expressing each other minds, and forgiving each other. “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.” 1 Corinthians 11:31. This is a great opportunity for solemn gathering for individual and collective sober reflection.
This also a means to renew commitment to God and to one another in love and selflessness. In John 3:16, we read how God gave us His Son to die for us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” In 1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” How do we relate John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 together? We should examine ourselves and follow the example of Yahushua sacrifice and also sacrifice for one another.
THE MATERIALS AND MEANING
The elements of the Lord’s Supper for Bible Christians are unleavened bread in one lump or loaf and non-alcoholic red wine from grapes. The only bread present at the Last Supper of our Lord Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ had to be unleavened bread, because our Lord used the bread of the Passover Supper, which had to be unleavened bread, which is why the Passover Feast was also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Matthew 26:17, “Now on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Yahushua, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” Our Lord Yahushua certainly used unleavened bread for instituting the Lord’s Supper. The cup at the Last Supper contained the fruit of the vine. Luke 22:18, “for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
Why unleavened bread? Because the church must be free from the leaven of malice, hypocrisy and all forms of sins; the church must be pure, plain and practical without pretense and pollution. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
Paul also taught that the bread of the Lord’s Supper should be one loaf that is broken during the Supper. The bread symbolizes the body of Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ that was torn for us, but it also symbolizes the unity of the congregation in one bread. I Corinthians 10:16-17, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” Apostle called the bread a single lump. I Corinthians 5:7, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” KJV. Manufactured wafers as many churches use or crackers like Catholics use precludes us from breaking the bread and showing the two pictures that the Lord and His apostles intended for us to see. There must be breaking of the bread to really show love and unity among the brethren.
The red wine of grapes symbolizes the blood of Yahushua. Note that these materials are used at the The Lord’s Supper to personify the body and blood of Yahushua, and so they are not in real sense the body and blood of Yahushua Mashiah/ Christ.
THE WRONG SYSTEM OF THE LORD SUPPER
Many believers and churches are misusing and misinterpreting The Lord’s Supper for personal and physical purposes, and so they are doing it in non-biblical ways and for non-biblical purposes. These wrong purposes and participation are:
(1) Child Participation.
It is not biblical for children who have not reached the age of accountability to partake in The Lord’s Supper. Bible does not mention specific age for the participation, but the person must reach the age to be able to examine him or herself. I don’t think a child who is not mature enough to examine himself is qualified to partake in the Lord’s Supper.
(2) General Participation.
Today, some churches are declaring The Lord’s Supper open to the general public, some even tag it a special program like “Sunday Service and Holy Communion”. This is an act of ignorance of the Word of God. The Lord Supper is not ordained for the purpose or means of catching blessings, it is only meant for those who are truly saved for sober reflection. Taking The Lord’s Supper unworthy only attracts present damages and eternal destruction. 1 Corinthians 11:29, 20, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”
(3) Physical Blessing.
The major and primary purposes of The Lord’s Supper are for our spiritual lives and preparation of the Lord Yahushua who died for us as stated above,but interpreting and focusing it on outward blessings of healing and financial blessing is a sign of backsliding and ignorant church and people.
The knowledge of these should help us to get things rights in our lives and ministries, and get the blessings and benefits of this biblical ordinance.
And as they were eating, Yahushua took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
If we are faithful till the end in our Christian living and ministries, we will be with Yahushua in His Father’s kingdom to take the Marriage supper of the Lamb. “Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:9.
May we not miss that in Yahushua’ name!